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June 28, 2010

Shades of Grey (Icarus Project Book 02) by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 9:09 PM

Shades of Grey (Icarus Project Book 02)
by Jackie Kessler& Caitlin Kittredge



Jet and Iridium – best friends turned bitter enemies – teamed up to foil the evil plans of the rogue superhero known as Night, but in defeating him they inadvertently destroyed the secret Corp-Co transmitter whose frequency kept the metapowered heroes of the Squadron in line. Now these heroes have turned against New Chicago, ransacking the city they once protected.

Even worse, the powerful antisuperhero group known as Everyman has taken advantage of the chaos to fan the flames of prejudice against all superpowered men and women. Just when New Chicago needs them most, Jet and the small band of heroes who have remained on the right side of the law find themselves the targets of suspicion and outright hatred.

Things aren’t going much better for Iridium. When she springs her father, a notorious supervillain, from prison to help her fight the marauding ex-superheroes, she finds that Corp-Co still has some nasty tricks up its sleeve.

But when the most dangerous man alive, the sociopath known as Doctor Hypnotic, suddenly surfaces, Jet and Iridium will once again be called upon to set aside their differences. Yet in the process, deeply buried secrets will come to light that will change everything the former best friends think they know about each other and themselves.

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Review:The second book in the Icarus project series picks up a few weeks after the first book ended and mainly covers how Iridium, Jet and the few remaining heroes deal with the extra-humans who have revolted against the normal humans and Corp-Co after they found out that they were being mind controlled into obeying them.

The characters were quite well defined and well written. The plot had some twists and turns in it some of which I could predict and some I couldn’t. In all it made for a good read.

The other problem that I had mentioned in the first book where parts of the book read differently than other parts of the book was not an issue in this book. So I guess they figured out how to completely mesh their writing styles together.

The book ending leaves the way open for the next book in the series and I am quite eagerly waiting for it to be released.

Final Recommendation: A great read

June 27, 2010

Black and White (Icarus Project Book 01) by Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 9:03 PM

Black and White (Icarus Project Book 01)
by Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge


It’s the ultimate battle of good versus good.

They were best friends at an elite academy for superheroes in training, but now Callie Bradford, code name Iridium, and Joannie Greene, code name Jet, are mortal enemies. Jet is a by-the-book hero, using her Shadow power to protect the citizens of New Chicago. Iridium, with her mastery of light, runs the city’s underworld. For the past five years the two have played an elaborate, and frustrating, game of cat and mouse.

But now playtime’s over. Separately Jet and Iridium uncover clues that point to a looming evil, one that is entwined within the Academy. As Jet works with Bruce Hunter – a normal man with an extraordinary ability to make her weak in the knees – she becomes convinced that Iridium is involved in a scheme that will level the power structure of America itself. And Iridium, teaming with the mysterious vigilante called Taser, uncovers an insidious plot that’s been a decade in the making.a plot in which Jet is key.

They’re both right. And they’re both wrong. Because nothing is as simple as Black and White.

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Review:This is the first book in the series and is a collaboration between two excellent authors. Although I haven’t read any of Caitlin Kittredge’s work yet I am looking forward to getting acquainted with her work.

The book was a good read and the character development was superb. However the plot line wasn’t that complex and about 3/4th of the way through I had figured out who the ‘big bad’ was. But even figuring that out early didn’t really spoil the book so don’t let that detract you from reading the book.

I think that this is the first time the two authors have collaborated and it kind of shows in the book, not always but definitely in certain parts where the style of writing shifted significantly between sections.

Final Recommendation: A good book.Looking forward to reading the next book in the series

June 13, 2010

Blood Song (Blood Song Book 01) by Cat Adams

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 8:18 PM

Blood Song (Blood Song Book 01)
by Cat Adams


Bodyguard Celia Graves has definitely accepted her share of weird assignments, both human and supernatural. But her newest job takes the cake. Guarding a Prince from terrorists and religious fundamentalists is hard enough, but it seems like the entire supernatural world is after this guy too. When she is betrayed by those she is employed to help, and everything goes horribly wrong, Celia wakes to find herself transformed.

Neither human nor vampire, Celia has become an Abomination – something that should not exist – and now both human and supernatural alike want her dead. With the help of a few loyal friends – a sexy mage, a powerful werewolf, and a psychic cop – Celia does her best to stay alive. On the run from her enemies, Celia must try to discover who is behind her transformation.before it’s too late.

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Review:This is a book by C T Adams and Cathy Clamp who together write under the pseudonym Cat Adams. The book covers the story of Celia Graves who inspite of being a ‘vanilla’ human is in the bodyguard business against supernatural threats.

During an assignment to protect a prince she is attacked and partially turned into a vampire. This gives her some of the strengths of being a vampire along with the vampire looks. So she has to figure out why she was turned and kill her sire before she is turned completely.

The book had a simple plot and not too many twists. In fact a large part of the book was setting some of the background for future books in the series. In spite of this the book was a good read and the characters were relatively well developed. Some of the secondary characters were not that well defined but that didn’t spoil the book for me.

Final Review: A good read. Will be waiting for the next book in the series before I make a decision about the author.

June 10, 2010

Demon Hunts (Walker Papers Book 05) by C E Murphy

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 8:17 PM

Demon Hunts (Walker Papers Book 05)
by C E Murphy


Seattle police detective Joanne Walker started the year mostly dead, and she’s ending it trying not to be consumed by evil. Literally.

She’s proven she can handle the gods and the walking dead. But a cannibalistic serial killer? That’s more than even she bargained for. What’s worse, the brutal demon can only be tracked one way. If Joanne is to stop its campaign of terror, she’ll have to hunt it where it lives: the Lower World, a shamanistic plane of magic and spirits.

Trouble is, Joanne’s skills are no match for the dangers she’s about to face – and her on-the-job training could prove fatal to the people she’s sworn to protect..

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Review:In this book Detective Walker has finally started accepting her legacy and powers. But the latest case is one where even magic seems to give no clues as to who the murderer is.

The book was a good read where a lot of gray area was tested. Some characters returned to the book that were though to have passed through and we get a glimpse of how Walker grew up to be the person she was and what her childhood was like.

The plot was interesting and book was a fun read. Nothing too heavy or anything but still a good read.

Final Recommendation: A good read

June 9, 2010

Inhuman Resources (OSI Series Book 03) by Jes Battis

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 8:15 PM

Inhuman Resources (OSI Series Book 03)
by Jes Battis


When a powerful necromancer is killed, Occult Special Investigator Tess Corday must handle the heavy politics in the occult community as carefully as she handles the scant evidence. But with her sometime lover Lucian Agrado representing the necromancers in the grisly matter, things are about to get out of control…fast.

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Review:The third book in the OSI series picks up about a year maybe two after the events in the previous books. When I started reading the book I had high hopes with it.

However I had to stop after the first couple of chapters because it felt like the author thought that the book didn’t have enough drama and decided to put in the tried and true feature where the main female character is very insecure about her relationship and so on.

Thankfully I restarted the book after a few days because the initial drama wasn’t dragged out and the book got quite interesting after that ended. If I hadn’t re-attempted to read the book then I would have missed out on a good book.

The plot was interesting and the characters were well developed. The book ended in a self-sufficient manner while giving information to set the stage for the next book in the series.

I don’t know if the author will see this but just as an advice, don’t fill the next book with too much angst or something. There are too many books out there that do that. Be different.

Final Recommendation: Book starts off slow but is a good read.

June 7, 2010

From Hell with Love (Secret Histories Book 04] by Simon R. Green

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 8:01 PM

From Hell with Love (Secret Histories Book 04]
by Simon R. Green


It’s no walk in the park for a Drood, a member of the family that has protected humanity from the things that go bump in the night for centuries. They aren’t much liked by the creatures they kill, by ungrateful humans, or even by one another.

Now their Matriarch is dead, and it’s up to Eddie Drood, acting head of the family, to figure out whodunit. Unpopular opinion is divided: it was either Eddie’s best girl, Molly. Or Eddie himself. And Eddie knows he didn’t do it.

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Review:Think James Bond with magic and then add a bit of aliens, Gods and Immortals and you get the world of Eddie Drood. The book is based in the same universe as the Nightside books but the two never interact thanks to some ancient binding pacts.

The book has a very fast paced plot and has some interesting plot twists. The ending was completely unexpected and sets the way beautifully for the next book in the series.

The characters were mostly well developed though some of the secondary characters could have used a bit more fleshing out. The book is filled with one liners and has a distinct feel of homage to the Bond movies/books. Some of the plot twists I expected but some I didn’t which made this a very interesting read.

If you haven’t read the previous books in the series then you might miss out on some of the finer plot points but in a pinch you can read this as a stand alone book too.

Final Recommendation: A great read. Really recommended

June 6, 2010

A Flash of Hex (OSI Series Book 02) by Jes Battis

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 7:55 PM

A Flash of Hex (OSI Series Book 02)
by Jes Battis


In our line of work, there were demons and necromancers, and then there were’other things. Older things without names that you didn’t ever want to meet. I swallowed a lump in my throat, knowing I was in the presence of evil’

As an Occult Special Investigator, Tess Corday has seen her fair share of disturbing crime scenes–but nothing ever shocked her as much as the ritualistic murder of a drugged-out runaway kid, who she soon learns was not the first such victim.

All the dead teens had traces of the dangerous magical drug called Hex in their bodies. All were the children of powerful mage families. All were killed with the sacred tools of mages. It adds up to the chilling possibility that the OSI is dealing with a serial killer, one who has incredible inhuman powers.

To stop the slaughter, Tess and her partner Derrick will go anywhere and do anything’including seeking help from the necromancer Lucian Agrado, whom Tess is under orders to avoid . But as the deaths continue, Tess becomes convinced that the identity of the killer is locked inside her own head. And the question is’how many rules is she willing to break to get to the truth?

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Review:The second book in the OSI series picks up about 6 months after the end of the previous book. Tess Corday has been promoted to OSI Level 2 and has formally adopted Mia along with her partner.

The plot was quite intricate without becoming laborious and the characters were well developed. Different facets of their personalities are explored and we learn some really interesting facts about some of the characters (I can’t tell you more without spoilers) and certain characters from the first book make an unexpected appearance in the book.

The story universe is expanded a bit more from the 1st book and the characters have a quite sense of humor that borders on the macabre at times but is quite fun to read.

Final Recommendation: A great read. Going to go get the next book in the series now.

June 4, 2010

Night Child (OSI Series Book 01) by Jes Battis

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 7:50 PM

Night Child (OSI Series Book 01)
by Jes Battis


Enter the night world of the OSI… OCCULT SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR

Tess Corday, Occult Special Investigator for Vancouver’s Mystical Crime Lab, is used to seeing dead vampires. But there’s nothing ordinary about this case. Not the lab results on the cause of death. Not the teenage girl living at the address found in the vamp’s pocket, who may well be in thrall to a demon. And certainly not Lucian Agrado, the necromancer who is liaison to the vampire community. Agrado is supposed to be part of the solution, but Tess suspects he might be part of the problem.

Soon she finds herself in the middle of a paranormal conspiracy that will change her life forever – and possibly end it.

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Review:Night child takes us to an alternate world where Vampires, Mages and Demons exist and while their existence is not known to public at large enough people know about them that a government agency has been created to deal with crimes committed by paranormal entities.

The book was a good read. It took a slightly different view of Vampires and Mages by making them humans with Demon blood instead of just plain humans who have died or have a hereditary trait that allows them to control power.

The characters are well defined and the plot was also quite interesting. It took me almost till the end of the book before I was able to figure about who was the killer.

Since this is the first book in the series I am going to go get the second one now and I am adding this author to my list of authors to watch out for.

Final Recommendation: A good read

May 25, 2010

SpellCrash (WebMage series Book 05) by Kelly McCullough

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 7:35 PM

SpellCrash (WebMage series Book 05)
by Kelly McCullough


The WebMage books are a fantasy-cyberpunk hybrid set in a universe where an ever-increasing number of life threads has forced the Greek Fates to a upgrade the great loom of Fate into a computerized system that blends magic with programming. Of course, where there are computers there are also hackers. Enter Ravirn, a hacker/sorcerer, and his laptop familiar, Melchior. Ravirn is the grandson of both the Greek Fate Lachesis and Thalia the muse of comedy and comedic poetry, making him the end product of Fate and Slapstick. Together with Melchior he takes on Fate, Hades, Nemesis, and all other comers. The results range from disastrous to catastrophic with many side trips into the sublimely silly.

Ravirn is the best hacker around. But when the system controlling the multiverse needs a massive reboot, Ravirn must utilize all of his skills as a mage and prevent complete chaos-even if it costs him his life.

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Review:SpellCrash is the latest book in the WebMage series and is a book that I have been eagerly waiting for the last few months. The book was great and it brings everything that the past 4 books in the series built to head and to a resolution.

I always love books that are based on computers and when you have a book that combines computers with magic you have a win-win situation. Especially when the main character in the book is a hacker who uses both computers and spells to hack into the fabric of life itself.

The book does a great job of re-iterating all the major plot points from the previous books so I didn’t have to go back and re-read the previous books to understand this one, which is something I don’t like doing as I rather read a new book than re-read old books before I can start on the new one.

The characters at this point have been quite well developed and the plot was interesting. The book ended in a way that if the author decides not to write any more books in the series then the readers have a proper ending for the story but if he decides to write another story in that universe then there is enough of an opening left for that also. (BTW, if you haven’t figured out by now… I am rooting for the second option)

Final Recommendation: A great read

May 24, 2010

Amazon Queen (Amazon series Book 02) by Lori Devoti

Filed under: Reviews-Urban Fantasy — Suramya @ 7:33 PM

Amazon Queen (Amazon series Book 02)
by Lori Devoti


Being an Amazon ruler just became a royal pain.Amazon queen Zery Kostovska has never questioned tribe traditions. After all, these rules have kept the tribe strong for millennia and enabled them to live undetected, even in modern-day America. Zery is tough, fair, commanding – the perfect Amazon leader.At least, she was. A new high priestess with a penchant for secrecy and technology is threatening Zery’s rule. Plus, with the discovery of the Amazon sons, males with the same skills as their female counterparts, even Zery can’t deny that the tribe must change. But how? Some want to cooperate with the sons. Others believe brutal new leadership is needed – and are willing to kill to make it happen.Once, Zery’s word was law. Now, she has no idea who to trust, especially with one powerful Amazon son making her question all her instincts. For Zery, tribe comes first, but the battle drawing near is unlike any she’s faced before … and losing might cost her both the tribe and her life.

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Review:Amazon Queen is the second book in the Amazon series and I really liked the book. Its written from the perspective of the Amazon Queen Zery who is more rules bound than her friend Mel who was the focus of the first book. However this adventure forces her to re-examine her outlook and make several decisions that her earlier self would not have condoned.

The plot was nice and complex and even though it took a lot of twists and turns it didn’t quite go to the realm of annoying. The characters were all quite well written including the secondary characters also.

It did get a bit confusing in the middle for me with all the characters but that could have been because I was pretty tired at that point and wanted to finish the book before going to bed.

Another pleasant surprise was that the author didn’t pad the story with loads of sex. If you have read some of her other books you know what I am talking about, if not then I suggest you try reading her Hellhounds series.

Final Recommendation: A good read. Waiting for the next book in the series.

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