From The Book Pile: The Shadows

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I spent the wee hours of this stormy day finishing off my latest read. At 4 a.m as the wind howled outside and the snow piled up around us, I felt a little bit heartbroken and yet happy at the same time. That’s what happens when you are routing and hoping for the best for two brothers.

shadows

Personal opinion: 4 out of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of J. R Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. The Shadows is book thirteen in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. As always, the book is well written  and each character had their own defined voice. Which is hard to do when you are writing with so many personalities.

This book took me longer then thought to read. For starters, this book focuses on Trez and iAm, Shadows from the s’Hsibe. While I am a huge lover of iAm, his brother Trez was far from my favorite character. So it was (at first) hard to get into.

Also, when you get hit with a migraine or two, the last thing you do is strain your eyes and make your head worse by reading. That’s if you can actually keep your eyes open while in the middle of one.

But the last few days I have had my head down in the book, lost in the world of my favorite vampires.

In the beginning of the series, the points of view are few. Usually the Brother whose story it is, his mate, a villain and maybe another character is who you would be in the head of. But as the books went on, more and more PoV’s were added. I wasn’t happy with the last few books. In one book I skimmed much of it because I had zero interest. I didn’t see the purpose of that character having a PoV.

In this book however, the PoV’s were ones I wanted to see, for the most part. I didn’t skim as much as I had in the last book. I was anxious to know what was happening and a bonus: my fave character finally had a PoV again. If you have read the books, you know Rhage hasn’t had a real PoV in awhile. Which I know is also setting things up for the next book which he is the main focus. (I admit, if that book is “watered down” with a ton of different view points, imma be pissy. I need a dose of my book boyfriend 😉 )

I grew to love Trez, and my heart broke for him. (No spoilers). While in the past I felt Selena, his mate, was a cardboard character. But in this novel she was more in depth and I  enjoyed her much more.

iAm is a character I felt bad for in the past. He has taken care of his brother for so long. Putting his life on hod in some ways so he can be there for Trez. After all he has done, the Shadow was due some happiness.

All in all, this was a good read. If you have read The Shadows, what did you think of the book?

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Book Review: The Laughing Corpse

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Yesterday I finished reading ‘The Laughing Corpse’, book two in the ‘Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter’ series by Laurell K. Hamilton.

The Book Jacket:

Harold Gaynor offers Anita Blake a million dollars to raise a 300-year-old zombie. Knowing it means a human sacrifice will be necessary, Anita turns him down. But when dead bodies start turning up, she realizes that someone else has raised Harold’s zombie–and that the zombie is a killer. Anita pits her power against the zombie and the voodoo priestess who controls it.

In The Laughing Corpse Anita will learn that there are some secrets better left buried-and some people better off dead…

My Review:

I am a huge fan paranormal (fantasy/romance/horror/mystery) and when I read book one in the series (‘Guilty Pleasures’) I was hooked on the characters and where the story was going. If a book has vampires, zombies, witches and the like, I’m anxious to get it in my hands.

This book however…my feelings are as mixed as the other reviews I’ve read. And to be honest, it was a bit of a let down.

Just for kicks I looked online, to see how others felt about the book. The book has gotten everything from one star ratings (“TERRIBLE!” is one observation), while others have given is a five star review. (“Best book I have read,” was another thought on it.) Me? I am going to have to split the difference and give this a 3 out of 5.

There were parts of the plot that were fast paced and kept me interested. There were some great characters that came into play, like Jean-Claude, the vampire who wants Anita as his human slave. Then there is Anita herself, a strong female character who I love even though I sometimes want to slap her (her sass can come off as bitchiness, in my opinion.) Then there were the villains, my favorite being Dominga Salvador, a strong voodoo priestess. I would have liked to see more of her and what she could do, but I guess when you can have zombies do your dirty work, you can hide a bit.

There were parts, especially in the middle where it ran a bit long, that the plot lost some steam here and there. I’d skim along because I just didn’t care and wanted the story to “hurry up and get better.”

Also, when you are reading a book about a vampire hunter, it would be nice if she, oh I don’t know, at least had more interaction with a vamp aside from getting hit on. But zombies ruled this novel so there wasn’t much time or a chance for her to deal with bad vampires.

I am totally cool with gore. Both on the big screen and in books. My main issue with the gore in this novel dealt with the death of a child. That gore I really didn’t want to read. So that’s my least fave part of the novel.

My favorite part though, was pretty effing cool. Anita is an animator, which means she can raise the dead. And she raised an entire graveyard. The earth shook as hundreds of zombies began to climb out of their grave. She put them all back of coarse, when she was ready.

This book took me months to read, so that tells you right there my interest level. When I picked it back up again a week ago I was determined to finish it. But when I love a book, I devour it pretty quickly. (Unless life gets in the way. It has a way of doing that from time to time.)

Even though this was not even close to being my favorite book and I gave it a three star rating, I will still continue to read the series. It did have an interesting plot over all with a few twists added in. I also enjoyed the first book and want to keep going.

Have you read this? If so, what are your thoughts on it? I’d also love to hear if you read other books in the series and what you thought of them.