Very Brief Book Reviews: Part II
One of these days, I’m going to get burned out on urban paranormals. Most of them have very similar plot lines: vampire and/or shape-shifting protagonists struggle against antagonists of Great Evil, protagonists eventually win and live happily ever after with a liberal sprinkling of “sequel baiting” (i.e. the appearance of secondary characters who are “getting their own book” in the next entry of the series).
But just because I’m still reading this genre doesn’t mean that I read all of them indiscriminately. There are plenty of books in which I’ve read two or three chapters and then chucked because the author’s writing style grated on my nerves.
Warning: All of the following books are parts of series. I generally don’t like reading series unless each volume can stand alone. Or I get hooked into it from the beginning.
Bite Me If You Can by Lynsay Sands – On her way home, Leigh gets bitten by a rogue vampire and must be nursed back to health and tutored about the ways of the immortals by the hunter of rogue vampires, Lucian Argeneau. Yes, this sounds like just another one of those generic vampire books, but come on, this is Lynsay Sands. She does funny vampires–badass vampires stuck in completely ordinary situations like cleaning house and shopping at the mall. It was an amusing read until approximately ninety pages from the end when everything went downhill–mostly due to the completely unbelievable villain. This is the sixth book in the series, but all the books are standalone–so I don’t think you’d be missing anything if you skip this entry.
She’s No Faerie Princess by Christine Warren – This is the second book in Warren’s Other series–but it might as well be a singular novel since its connection to the previous one is tenuous at best. The niece of the queen of the faeries decides to take a little “vacation” by traveling to one of the fae’s banned destinations: the human world–more specifically, Manhattan. But before she’s barely out of the gate, she gets attacked by a demon and rescued by a grumpy, sleep-deprived werewolf trying to keep the peace between humans and paranormal beings. Of course, the appearance of the demon is an immediate sign that something larger and more sinister is at play. Although the identity of the bad guy is screamingly obvious and the volatile relationship between the two leads can get a bit annoying–this was a fun read; a no-brainer.
Protector of the Flight by Robin D. Owens – While recuperating from a serious injury and escaping from the emotional rejection of her father, Calli Torcher stumbles through a portal to another world. But this is no accident–she’s been Summoned to bond with flying horses called volarans and to fight a great evil encroaching onto the land. Through navigating her way through this new world, she finds acceptance when there was none in her old home. If it wasn’t for the two previous books in this series (which is epic fantasy, not paranormal), I would have never picked this book up. I generally find horses, wings or not, boring. The volarans in Protector of the Flight weren’t particularly original either. I was far more interested in the inner turmoil and character development of the main protagonist which I think the author pulled off satisfactorily. As for the main conflict overarching the series, Owens wimped out on this latest episode of the struggle against a still unknown enemy. It’s already book three (and from what I can tell, there will be a total of six books)–where are the hints on why the evil is targeting that world anyway?
Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh – Yay! I found a new author who is a fun read and not a writer who makes me want to tear my hair out (cough like the author who gave the cover quote cough). Another surprising thing about Slave to Sensation is that there is a fair amount of solid world building here (compared to most other novels in the genre in which it’s wishy-washy at best). In the future, humanity has been split into three branches–normal humans, changelings (humans who can shape-shift into animals), and the Psy–humans with impressive mental powers but no emotion. Sascha Duncan is Psy, but unlike others of her kind, she struggles to hide her emotions so she won’t be turned in for “rehabilitation,” i.e. turned into a vegetable. It was fun seeing the protagonist grapple with what she perceived as a flaw and come to realize that it may be one of her greater strengths.