Monday, 23 February 2015

Book review 12: The Beast in Him, Shelly Laurenston (aka G.A. Aiken)

The Beast in Him (Pride #2) by Shelly Laurenston (aka G.A. Aiken)

German Version

Things to know:

  • I read the translated German version (original in English)
  • It was published April 2008 (German version in November 2011)
  • It has 325 pages (German 400)
  • It is set in New York (I'd guess early 2000s), about one year after book 1
  • I started: 19th February 2015 and ended it: 23rd Feb
  • Book 2 of "Pride" Series
  • Is set in the same world as the "Magnus Pack" Series, just shortly after, you don't need to read that though :) This time though, Sara and Zach have a short guest role.

Smitty and Mace work on a nerd party as security on very short notice. The host of the party is Jessica Ann Ward, who had a crush on Smitty before he left for the Navy. Jessie Ann isn't the shy nerd girl anymore who was hiding from the girls of the Smith-Pack, now she is the rich, sexy alpha of a wild dog pack, who doesn't even remember Smitty's name anymore. So what is the logical next step? Exactly, try to convince her to have a dinner with him. 
It takes a time, but somehow they get closer again. And when another wolf pack is trying to bribe Jessie Ann's pack, Smitty helps her even though it may course trouble for his own pack...

Okay, honestly, I don't think that I am taking much away when I tell you that yes, the two of them will become a couple! 
It took me some time to read into the book. I don't really know why, but even though I like both characters individually, I don't like them as a couple. The women of this series are all a bitchy and even aggressive, which isn't bad for one or two stories, but this was the 3rd women like that (though at least she has a moral) and when I think about the other women and men left from the packs and prides, it is crystal clear that the will be other couples similar to the 3 which already got together in this series.
I know I mentioned it already in my previous review, but Shelly Laurenston's/G.A. Aiken's characters all seem to have similar characteristics... I hope it will change at least a bit though, I am not giving up hope!


Saturday, 21 February 2015

Mail Week: 8

This week was WAY better than last week!!
1 letter, 2 greeting cards, 4 postcards and 1 parcel :D
Slovenia, Tina

Malaysia, Lily

Thailand, Lily
China, Postcrossing

Finland (view of Italy), Anne

Malaysia, Lily

Thailand, Lily

 Parcel: Japan, Yuki

bento box

candy: strawberry -milk/-yogurt/-jam

mascara, eyeshadow and magnet
 As you can see, 4 pieces of mail are from Lily. Thank you so much for always sending me mail with all those awesome stamps!!


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Book review 11: The Mane Event, G.A.Aiken (a.k.a. Shelly Laurenston)

The Mane Event (Pride #1) by Shelly Laurenston (aka G.A.Aiken)

German Version
Things to know:

  • I read the translated German version (original in English)
  • It was published January 2007 (German version in November 2011)
  • It has 391 pages (German 464)
  • It is set in New York (I'd guess early 2000s)
  • I started: 15th February 2015 and ended it: 18th Feb
  • Book 1 of "Pride" Series
  • Is set in the same world as the "Magnus Pack" Series, just shortly after, you don't need to read that though :)

This book includes 2 stories.
The first one is about Desiree "Dez" MacDermot and Mason "Mace" Llewellyn. Mace is an alpha Lion who was in the Navy for 14 years and wants nothing else than to find his high school love Dez, a NYPD cop and ex-Marine. They quickly meet each other after a member of Mace's pride is killed, and Mace tries his best to convince Dez to have a date with him. Everything turns out quite well, but when Dez meets an informant she is slightly poisoned, before she collapses on the streets Mace finds her and takes her to her place to care for her. Whilst Dez sleeps and gets better Mace finds out that she has two dogs - Sig and Sauer, well trained and usually rip everyone apart. But when Dez wakes up she notices that her dogs are scared of Mace, thus Mace has to explain to her, that he is a shapeshifter...

The second story is about Rhonda "Ronnie" Lee Rees and Brendon Shaw. Whilst Brendon is a lion shapeshifter who already has 2 children with two different women of his pride, Ronnie is a Werewolf who wants to settle down - but just a little bit!
When Brendon is attacked by hyenas and another lion pride Dez, Ronnie and the wolf pack rescue him. When in hospital, fighting a fever which may cause death Rhonda is the only one who stays at his side. But then he gets attacked in hospital and Ronnie gets him out of there to her aunts' house in Long Island. When shapeshifters have a fever, they act strangely, slightly as if they where high. So Ronnie has to catch him when he escapes and walks along the street in his lion form. 
The real problem is though, that even though Brendon is completely in love with Ronnie, the latter is scared of her (and his) feelings...

I've read quite a lot of books by Aiken, this is why I wanted to read this one as well. It is shortly mentioned in the first story, that it is set in the same world as her "Magnus Pack" series, but no information of that series is needed at all :)
Though I liked to read it, as something I don't have to think about it, I have to say that at some point Aiken's characters do resemble each other and somehow most of them fear love in someway or another... They are great stories if you only read one series, but if you read more (This is my 3rd) the characters do seem boring... I will carry on with the series though - it's some kind of sickness I have; when I start a series I just have to finish it. And honestly, this book wasn't that bad :)


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Mail Week: 7

This week was an awful mail week for me :( only one letter and one postcard... I need MORE!!!

China, Postcrossing

Germany, Eva
 That's all...


Book review 10: A Blood Seduction, Pamela Palmer

A Blood Seduction (Vamp City #1) by Pamela Palmer

German Version
Things to know:

  • I read the translated German version (original in English)
  • It was published May 2012 (German version in August 2014)
  • It has 368 pages (German 400)
  • It is set in Washington D.C. and Washington V.C. and with the dates mentioned it should be somewhere between 2010-2020 (though I'd guess it's 2012)
  • I started: 14th February 2015 and ended it: 15th Feb
  • Book 1 of "Vamp City" Series

Quinn Lennox is 27 and works in a Laboratory, the only thing, or better - person, more important to her than her job is her half-brother Zack. Zack is a computer nerd and still doesn't understand, that he is actually in love with his best friend Lily. When one morning Lily suddenly disappears, Zack freaks out and asks for Quinn's help. As the two of them are searching, they are somehow dragged into a parallel world, a dead version of Washington D.C..
There, they are attacked by Vampires and are both made slaves, but for different vampire clans. While Quinn can be somewhat happy as her vampire lord at least doesn't want to hurt and kill her, Zack isn't as lucky and has to fear for his life. Quinn wants to get back to her World with Zack, and asks for help from her Vampire Lord Arturo, but he won't help her, and rather use her as his slave...

I have already read the "Feral Warriors" series from Pamela Palmer, liked it but somehow every book had the same plot, thus I wasn't going to buy another book written by Palmer, but as it was a Christmas present, I thought - why not :)
This book is completely different!!! It's way darker. Every time you, the reader, get to trust the male "hero" he does something to hurt Quinn again. I just couldn't decide on which side Arturo is really on, and a warning - it has an open ending!! And yes, I will read the next book too. (as much as I know it's supposed to be a triology).
With only about 400 pages it's a quick read, and I got hooked in the first chapter when people started to disappear!

All in all I'd say, that you should only read this if you have nothing against darker paranormal-romance. Because this does have the topics rape, slaughter, (sex-)slavery, etc. inside. Also this is not the kind of book where the guy falls in love with the girl at first sight and does everything for her. Because he doesn't!

This isn't a book for everyone to read, so be warned :D


Book review 9: Shadow's Claim, Kresley Cole

Shadow's Claim (The Dacians #1) by Kresley Cole

German Version
Things to know:

  • I read the translated German version (original in English)
  • It was published Nov 2012 (German version in March 2014)
  • It has 448 pages (German 564)
  • It is set in Dacia and Abaddon, a date is not given, but I'd say early 21st
  • I started: 12th February 2015 and ended it: 14th Feb
  • Book 1 of "The Dacians" Series, Book 12.5 of "Immortals After Dark" Series

First of all, I would recommend you to start with the "Immortals After Dark" series, but it's not a must, you'd understand it anyway, though the happenings of the former series do have influence on this series!

But when giving a review of this book, I'll try to act as if I only know about "The Davians" :)

Trehan Daciano is about 900 years old and a dacian Vampire. They live in secret in Dacia and don't drink the blood of living. Trehan works as an assassin for his Kingdom. Bettina of Abaddon on the side, is only 22 and the princess of the death bringing demons of Abaddon, but she is only a half blood; half demon, half Sorceri. She is more of a Sorceri though, with her fragile body and her magic. 

After Bettina was attacked, a deadly tournament is opened to find the strongest man to marry her and rule the country next to her. Bettina doesn't want to marry those monsters participating though, thus she tries to seduce her first love, Cas, to take her as his wife, but he doesn't love her. Cas also tells her, that he broke one of the main laws of Dacia, and now an assassin is after him, and he doesn't know if he'll survive the night. 
The assassin turns out to be Trehan, who comes into Bettina's room in search for Cas, but when he sees her, his heart starts to beat again. (That happens to vampires when they see their destined mate)
To win Bettina, Trehan participates in the tournament, and so does Cas. Who will win? and will Bettina even want Cas to win if he doesn't love her?

I've read a lot of Kresley Cole before, and I am always fascinated by all those scenarios she comes up with, which I absolutely love! I really love her books, but I have to criticise, that her plots are quite similar: men falls in love with women, but the women doesn't respond to his love. The men tries everything to make her love him, and she slowly does fall in love with him, but then usually something happens between those two which makes the relationship complicated again, until in the end they live happily ever after...
Not all her books are like this ofcourse, I remember "MacRieve" where Chloe and Uillium more or less fall in love with each other at first sight. And also, somehow, all love stories seem to have a similar plot. 
And as I already said, I LOVE the scenarios Cole comes up with!

If you like fantasy-romance books, then read this!!


Saturday, 14 February 2015

Book review 8: City of Heavenly Fire, Cassandra Clare

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare
Things to know:

  • I read the original English version
  • It was published May 2014
  • It has 725 pages
  • It is set in New York 2007 / 2008 (shortly after book 5)
  • I started: 10th February 2015 and ended it: 11th Feb

Nearly everything is fine between Clary and Jace now, the only put downs are that Sebastian is still out there somewhere and because of the heavenly fire inside of Jace, the two of them can't really touch each other. Okay, maybe nothing is really fine...
Alec is still trying to talk to Magnus, hoping that they'll be together again and Simon and Isabelle really have to DTR (determine the relationship)!
Sebastian is starting to attack institutes, turning the shadowhunters into endarkened, thus the Clave decides that all the shadowhunters should assemble in Idris to be save and make further decisions. Whilst everyone is in Idris, Maia and Jordan are trying to help with the problems Maureen is causing. But everything is (and everyone are) going to hell...

First of all; I really LOVED this book, the best book out of the series (maybe together with book 1, I can't really decide). The action starts right at the beginning, and we finally find out who Magnus' father is (though personally I already had an idea). I was surprised by the ending, I really like how it ended, not some "and they lived happily ever after" ending, a bit more... "realistic". Though, halfway through the book I had the feeling, that CoHF is a commercial for the new shadowhunter series which is going to be published this year. 
I didn't like the epilogue at all (just like with "The Infernal Devices"), I would have wished for something else... But then again, I think this was made so that "The Dark Artifacts" series will be bought by readers. 

I can't tell you much more, because I really don't want to spoil anything here, but if you are deciding, if to carry on reading is a good idea after book 5: YES it is!! finish the series, this book really was great!!


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Book Review 7: The Bane Chronicles, Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees-Brennan, Maureen Johnson

The Bane Chronicles by Clare, Rees-Brennan and Johnson

Things to know:

  • I read the original English version
  • It was published 2014
  • It has 502 pages
  • Includes 11 short stories
  • It is set in Peru (different cities) 1791, 1885, 1890 + 1962, Paris + Alps 1791, London 1857 + some years after infernal devices, New York 1929, 1953, 1977, 1989, 1993 + 2007
  • I started: 26th January 2015 and ended it: 10th February

BEWARE: "The Midnight Heir" and "The Voicemail of Magnus Bane" contain MAJOR SPOILERS if you haven't finished "The Infernal Devices" and "City of Lost Souls". Read those books before, as there are also small spoilers in other stories otherwise!! My review will as well! YOU ARE WARNED!

I'll start of with telling you a bit about each short story, won't be much though, as they are mostly less than 50 pages long.

1. What Really Happened in Peru:

 Well... I guess you can guess what this story is about... it is set in 4 different years in which Magnus was in Peru, for different reasons, and what he did over there. This is somehow a followup to the running-gag why Magnus was banned from Peru :)

2. The Runaway Queen:

Queen Marie-Antoinette needs help, and a handsome guy asks Magnus to help her - he just can't say no. 

3. Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale:

Magnus meets Edmund Herondale (Will's father) and is an eyewitness on how the latter falls in love with a mundane.

4. The Midnight Heir:

James Herondale (Will's and Tessa's son) is in trouble.

 5. The Rise of the Hotel Dumort:

In this story you will find out why even mundanes think that the old Hotel is cursed.

6. Saving Raphael Santiago:

What could this be about??? Guess!
Answer: about Raphael who was kidnapped by a Vampire.

7. The Fall of the Hotel Dumort:

Vampires are starting to overkill mundanes and leave their bodies everywhere. Magnus is helping the Werewolfs find a solution without the Shadowhunters noticing. 

8. What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything 
(And Who You're Not Officially Dating Anyway):

Magnus has a job, for which he has to summon a demon. Whilst doing so he is thinking about what to get Alec for his Birthday and is discussing this with the demon.

9. The Last Stand of the New York Institute:

Magnus has to deal with the Circle and Valentine. A few years later Jocelyn comes to seek help for Clary.
Also revealed: why Jocelyn chose the surname Fray.

10. The Course of True Love (And First Dates):

This is the first real date of Alec and Magnus and perfectly shows what is going on in the latter's mind :D

11. The Voicemail of Magnus Bane:

Alec, Clary, Isabelle, Simon and some others are leaving Voicemails on Magnus' phone, to convince him to get back together with Alec.

As often the case with short story collections I like some stories more than others. 

First of all those I liked:

What Really Happened in Peru - as it gives a huge insight in Magnus' past.
Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale - helps you understand more about his past. How he got to know Camille, why he later helped Jocelyn, etc.
The Course of True Love (And First Dates) - this is by far my favourite short story!!I loved it so much. I want more Alec and Magnus!!

I neither liked nor hated:

 The Midnight Heir - I didn't really get the point of this story, or why it's been told. Yes, it is mentioned a few times that Tessa is the only Warlock able to have children... but you get that info by reading "Clockwork Princess". I did enjoy some more Will and Jem moments though (and Magnus is hilarious).
Saving Raphael Santiago - There were really funny moments here, and you get to know Raphael a bit more, I just didn't enjoy it as much as other stories.
What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything - This is really funny but I would have loved some more moments with Alec actually being there too!
The Last Stand of the New York Institute - This story explains a lot, and I think it's good I read it before "City of Heavenly Fire", bur it wasn't fun reading. It was split in 2 stories, and I didn't really get into either of them. Too short!

I didn't like:

The Runaway Queen - Point? I really don't know why this story has been told... Okay, you'll find out why Magnus isn't that fond of Vampires... but nothing new really. 
The Rise of the Hotel Dumort - Here again, I didn't get into the story. It just makes you want to know who Magnus' father is.
The Fall of the Hotel Dumort - This is the story of a memory Magnus lost. I would have wished a further explanation on what the consequences of everything where.
The Voicemail of Magnus Bane - This really has no point!! Just voicemails after each other with no reaction or anything... Boring!! Liked this the least!!

I must say, most stories are too short, there is always something missing... 
This isn't a must read, but some stories are still fun. You decide :)


Saturday, 7 February 2015

Mail Week: 6

This week I received 2 letters and 3 postcards, at least a bit better than last week :)

Russia, Postcrossing

Ukraine, Postcrossing

Germany, Postcrossing

Russia, Maria

USA, Karen


Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Mail Week: 5

In week 5 I only got one letter and four postcards :(

Latvia, Postcrossing

China, Even

Lithuania, Giedre

Germany, Eva
Slovenia, Tina
 I hope next week I'll get more mail to reply to :)