Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Genre: fiction, fantasy
Paperback 324 pages
Book Source: the library
My Rating: 90/100
From the author's website:
What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Considering how few of Queen Victoria’s Londoners knew of it, the great Romanesque fortress was dreadfully imposing, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met the powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadow, the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She knew simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow-white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gifts. But this arched stone doorway offered a portal to a new life, an education far from the convent—and an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death…
This was such a fun and delightful book! Percy comes to Athens Academy from the only place she has ever known: the convent. She looks odd and people treat her as such, but Percy is a delightful young woman, who is interested in learning and maybe, having someday, the touch, warmth, and love of man. But that is a fantasy that will never happen according to Percy. At least until she comes to Athens Academy where hope springs eternal. Pretty literally apparently per the story.
Hieber utilizes Greek mythology in her story, for both the main characters and the thrust of the story. I have always liked mythology so I think that may be why I liked this books so much. In addition, the writing is beautiful and lush. Hieber describes the environs in such resplendent terms, from the Gothic office of Professor Rychman to the streets of Victorian London, all foggy, dreary and ethereal. Percy's physical appearance and abilities only add to the otherworldly feel of the book. The story and the environment were perfectly matched and put me right in the story.
Professor Rychman is quite a character and although he became a bit tedious at times, it went with the story. Those elements were required by the character and myth that accompanied it. Rycham is part of a group known as The Guard. They are charged with protecting the public from the various haunting spirits who have also been known to harm people as well. In addition to their Grand Work, the Guard has a Prophecy to fulfill, but they have only been given clues to what it is and means. The Guard has six members including Rychman, and each one is different and quite unique. They all have their own personalities which shine in the story. I liked all of them as well, and several were amusing.
The Prophecy is fulfilled at the end and it was a different and interesting twist that I haven't read in a book lately. Again, the Prophecy is rooted in mythology. So now that my interest in Greek mythology has been renewed, if you know of a good book about it, please let me know. Part of the ending of this story is typical but it has to be, due to the mythology. I just liked how that was worked in. This is the first in the Strangely Beautiful Series by Hieber, and I look forward to reading the next in the series. I hope the other members of the Guard are explored further, because they would certainly make for a good story as well.
For more information please visit Hieber's website: http://www.leannareneehieber.com/
[P.S. This review has been in my draft folder forever! And I don't know why?!]
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
The two winners of my contest for a copy of a Demons are a Girl's Best Friend by Linda Wisdom are
Congratulations Girls! I will be in touch. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did :)
Thanks to everyone who entered.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Genre: Paranormal romance
Paperback, 384 pages
Book Source: Sourcebooks
My Rating: 93/100
Feisty witch Maggie enjoys her work as a paranormal law enforcement officer, until she’s assigned to protect Courtney, a teenager with major attitude and a sleazy boyfriend. A group of satanic Mayans priests has decided Courtney has a drop of divine blood in her—making her the virgin sacrifice they need to release their God and rule the world.
To prevent this catastrophe, Maggie must team up with half fire demon Declan, the proprietor of Damnation Alley, an underground club and busy demon portal. Declan will be damned if he’ll allow his demon race to be blamed for the malicious acts of some evil Mayans. He decides to seduce the sexy witch in an effort to discover what the law enforcement agency knows about the Mayan’s plans, but when things get more than a little hot, Declan finds himself entangled with the sexiest woman he’s ever met…
Maggie is quite the sassy witch, who has seen a lot in her life time. Maggie is an expert at what she does, protect innocent people from supernatural things that mean them harm. Maggie is normally calm, cool, and collected, until she meets Declan. Declan makes her think about things she never dared to before, a normal life and settling down. Declan brings about such strong emotions in Maggie that she would rather forget them. He's a demon for Hades sake! Declan for his part, is not your typical demon. Not just because of his lineage, but because he wants a good honest life for himself. He has worked hard to be where he is and falling in love with a witch was not in his plans.
Both Maggie and Declan were not expecting to find love but they do. They are both a bit stubborn or strong willed, and with such strong personalities you wouldn't think they work well together, but they do. The sparks fly quickly when they meet, but the actual payoff to the romantic declarations of Maggie and Declan are a slow burn. It is not instantaneous, and I appreciate that. Supernatural or no, love at first site is a bit ridiculous. The romance in this book is very satisfying.
As for the rest of the story, I loved the world that Wisdom has created. The Hellion Guard's magical compound, the messenger ferrets, and most of all Maggie's close friends and Hellion Guard partners, a spider named Elle and an elf named Sybil, were easy to imagine and made for an entertaining read. Elle and Sybil are excellent secondary characters in their own right. Maybe they will have their own stories? Although the Spider may be a bit difficult :) The mystery aspect was also quite good because Mayan myths don't normally come up in my books. It was something different which I appreciated. As for the teenager Courtney who must be protected from the Mayans, she worked my nerves a bit, but she's a teenager, so I guess she should. I did like how Maggie saw herself in Courtney, and made her think about possibly having a family of her own someday.
Overall this was a great read, that made me forget about my toothache and I love that. Entertainment at it's finest and I am sorry I have waited so long to read Wisdom's works.
For more information about Linda Wisdom, please visit her website: http://www.lindawisdom.com/
Thanks again to Danielle from Sourcebooks for ARC.
And don't forget about my contest to a copy of this fun book. Click here for details.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Hello dear Readers! Please welcome Linda Wisdom, witchy author of the Hex Series, and the new book Demons are a Girl's Best Friend, the first in her new paranormal romance series.
1.) Congratulations on the start of your new paranormal romance series with Demons are a Girl’s Best Friend. What was the impetus for this new series or direction?
LW: It was actually my editor who turned this in a new direction. The title for this book was originally The Best Hex Ever and another of my witch books. She liked Declan so much and with the book having a little bit of an urban fantasy feel, she wanted to change the look of the book and the title. I love the new cover and the best thing is the cover artwork is what I originally suggested. I still consider this my a part of my witch series, but with a new twist.
2.) I’m glad that Declan is a smoking hot fire demon instead of the usual werewolf or vampire. Is there is a particular reason why made Declan a demon or was it something you always wanted to do with a character?
LW: To be honest, I can’t say why Declan turned out to be a demon. I guess it’s because I did want to try something different and I wanted someone who would be equal to Maggie. I already used a vampire and Jake as the shifter, so time for someone new. Declan worked out from the first scene.
6.) When you are not busy creating spells and supernatural beings, what other things do you enjoy doing with your time? Any hobbies?
LW: Reading, of course, taking walks with my white mini Schnauzer, Barney, who will be showing up in a future book, and getting together with friends. I collect dragon, witch, and faery figurines along with Halloween Barbies.
7.) Since summer is coming do you have any wonderful vacation plans?
8.) What can we expect to see from you next?
LW: I have A Demon Does It Better coming next year plus I’m working on some young adult ideas and I’ve been putting my backlist books along with some original novellas up for Kindle, Nook, and at Smashwords.
A Bewitching Woman on a Mission…
Feisty witch Maggie enjoys her work as a paranormal law enforcement officer—that is, until she’s assigned to protect a teenager with major attitude and plenty of Mayan enemies. Maggie’s never going to survive this assignment without the help of a half-fire demon who makes her smolder…
A Hotter-Than-Sin Hero with an Agenda…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
_________________________________________________________________________________* Deadline for entries is midnight, April 11th, 2011.