Suramya's Book Review Cafe

June 28, 2010

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

Filed under: Urban Fantasy — Suramya Tomar @ 9:09 pm


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

Description:

AFTER THE FALL OF NIGHT

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: Urban Fantasy — Suramya Tomar @ 9:03 pm


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

Description:

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 22, 2010

Close Contact (Alien Affairs Book 02) by Katherine Allred

Filed under: Science Fiction — Suramya Tomar @ 9:01 pm


Close Contact (Alien Affairs Book 02)
by Katherine Allred

Description:

GEPs just want to have fun . . .

A Genetically Engineered Person and self-proclaimed “party girl,” Echo Adams loves her diplomatic job entertaining alien bigwigs for the Galactic Federation. But the Bureau of Alien Affairs has discovered she’s much more than she thinks — that a rogue scientist endowed her with skills and psi abilities dwarfing those of common GEPs. And suddenly Echo’s luxury life is over, replaced with a far more dangerous one: a special agent expected to not only chase bad guys but eliminate them.

Echo hates being stuck on Madrea — a planet of technophobes off limits to Federation visitors — hunting for a stolen quartz crystal with a powerful alien life form embedded inside. She despises the Bureau’s restrictive rules — especially the one warning her away from the dangerously seductive commander of the king’s army. And if she doesn’t learn how to use her alleged super-psi powers soon, her partying days — in fact all of her days — will be over for good.

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Review:The second book in the Alien affairs series is based 32 months after the first one and is told from the view point of Echo Adams who is a Genetically Enhanced Person (GEP) commissioned by the Department of Protocol to organize state events. But to her dismay tests show that she has a large PSI talent and because of that she is shifted to the Bureau of Alien affairs.

The book is a great read from the first page all the way to the end. I mean how can you not like a book that starts off with the following sentence “Kiera Smith should eat worms and die.”

The plot was not too complicated and the characters were quite well written and given enough of a background to make them interesting and not so much that I got annoyed. Some of the secondary characters could have used a bit more detail but it wasn’t that big an issue.

The ending was expected and wrapped up the current storyline quite nicely but enough new stuff was introduced to us that the next book in the series has a lot of plot lines to choose from.

Final Recommendation: A great read.

June 19, 2010

Skin Game (Skin Series Book 01) by Ava Gray

Filed under: Paranormal,Romance — Suramya Tomar @ 8:58 pm


Skin Game (Skin Series Book 01)
by Ava Gray

Description:

A beautiful fugitive’wanted dead or alive.

Kyra is a con woman and a particular kind of thief. She steals with a touch, but she only takes one thing: her target’s strongest skill. Which means she can be a fighter, an athlete, a musician, an artist’anything she wants’ for a limited time. Heartbroken, she turns her gift toward avenging her father’s murder; with deadly patience, Kyra works her way into casino owner Gerard Serrano’s inner circle. After pulling off the ultimate con, she flees with his money and his pride.

A hit man who never misses the mark.

Reyes has nothing but his work. Pity for Kyra, he’s the best and mercy never sways him once he takes a job. He’s been hired to find out where Kyra hid the cash’and bring her back to face Serrano’s ‘justice.’ Dead will do, if he can’t locate the loot. He’s never failed to complete a contract, but Kyra tempts him with her fierce heat and her outlaw heart. So Reyes has a hell of a choice: forsake his word or kill the woman he might love.

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Review:This is a book that I had tired to read before and for some reason couldn’t read more that a chapter at the time. When I started reading it again I thought that it would be the more of the same and would probably end up abandoning the book in the middle. But to my surprise I really enjoyed the book the second time around and finished it quite fast. I guess the first time I read the book I wasn’t in the mood for the kind of story this book had or something. I am just glad I reattempted to read the book.

The main character of the book is Kyra who has the ability to steal the strongest skill a person has by touching them skin to skin and she uses this ability to con people. The book starts off by introducing us to Kyra in the process of conning someone in a pool game. The plot was pretty simple but interesting and the way the characters interact with each other kept the book interesting.

One thing to keep in mind when suggesting this book to others, it has a lot of explicit sex scenes in it so don’t recommend it to someone who gets offended easily or is not old enough.

Final Recommendation: A good read. Will be getting the next book in the series.

June 14, 2010

Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic Book 01) by Patricia C Wrede

Filed under: Fantasy,Young Adult Fantasy — Suramya Tomar @ 8:54 pm


Thirteenth Child (Frontier Magic Book 01)
by Patricia C Wrede

Description:

Eff Rothmer is the twin sister of a seventh son of a seventh son, growing up on the edge of the “safe” settled area of the U.S. in the 1850s (though history has not gone quite the way it did in our world-the Civil War, for instance, happened in 1832, and Lewis and Clark never came back…)

This is the first book of a fantasy trilogy about settling the West in a world where magic works and the New World was not settled until modern magic (of Columbus’ day) made it
possible to fend off the dangerous wildlife (which includes both imaginary beasts like steam dragons and spectral bears, and real-life post-ice-age creatures like wooly mammoths).

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Review:This is a book that I had been waiting to read for a long time. It took forever for the store to deliver it to me but now that I have read it, it was worth the wait to get it.

The book has been written for young adults and stars Eff who is the 13th child in her family and because of that is expected to bring bad luck to everyone around her. The only people who don’t believe her are her immediate family and her twin brother.

The book starts when Eff is quite young and then covers her life till she turns 18. During this period she learns more about herself and the world around her and how even though she is the 13th child that doesn’t mean that she would bring doom to everyone around her.

Its a very nicely written coming of age story that takes place in an alternate universe where magic is real and the wild west is actually wild and the frontiermen have to deal with both magical and mundane threats.

Final Recommendation: A great read. If you know teens who might be interested in reading Fantasy then I recommend that you suggest this book to them.

June 13, 2010

Blood Song (Blood Song Book 01) by Cat Adams

Filed under: Urban Fantasy — Suramya Tomar @ 8:18 pm


Blood Song (Blood Song Book 01)
by Cat Adams

Description:

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: Urban Fantasy — Suramya Tomar @ 8:17 pm


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

Description:

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: Urban Fantasy — Suramya Tomar @ 8:15 pm


Inhuman Resources (OSI Series Book 03)
by Jes Battis

Description:

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: Urban Fantasy — Suramya Tomar @ 8:01 pm


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

Description:

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: Urban Fantasy — Suramya Tomar @ 7:55 pm


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

Description:

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.

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