Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (32) - Ironskin

(Iron Skin #1)
Tina Connolly
Release: October 2, 2012
Goodreads     Amazon
Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.

It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a "delicate situation"—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things is true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of her new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

I love the cover and I love that this sounds a bit unique. I'm not sure what it will be classified as, possibly paranormal romance, but I'm looking forward to it - love me some fey!

I have a lot of wonderful things going on this week to check out!

It's my Blogoversary!

Gunmetal Magic Blog tour: 
Ilona Andrews Favorite Kate Daniels Moments plus giveaway!

Netgalley Knockout Signup: 
The challenge begins today!

What is your WOW pick this week!

Blogoversary - Day 2

It's here! It's here!
Blogoversary and 1,000 Followers Giveaway!

*throws confetti*

Welcome to Day 2 of my Blogoversary! 

I can NOT believe its already been a whole year! 
AND just to make things even better, I just hit 1, 000 followers a couple weeks ago!

*throws more confetti*

Each day this week, Monday through Friday, I am posting some of my favorite reviews from the past year as well as a different giveaway every day! So be sure to come back every day and enter. All giveaways will end Sunday night (August 3).

To keep my posts from being crazy long, I am only posting bits and pieces from the reviews I'm sharing. You can can find links to all reviews in their entirety under the Reviews tab.

Today's favorite reviews: Urban Fantasy

Iron Crowned
(Dark Swan #3)
Richelle Mead

Goodreads     Amazon

Notable Book Quotes:
“Oh," he said to Kiyo, voice completely devoid of emotion. "I see. It's your turn again.” 
“Now get some clothes on before the women around here are driven into a frenzy."
He gave me a mournful look. "I'm afraid that'll happen with or without clothes, my dear.”

Review Quotes:

Eugenie's flaws are one of the things I love most about the character, so I suppose I can't really complain when she makes flawed decisions. I can also tell you that this book continues to perpetuate the back and forth we've seen throughout the rest of the series (Kiyo-Dorian-Kiyo-Dorian-Kiyo-Dorian......you get the idea). 

If you're a regular Mead reader, you know that the third book in the series is typically where the bottom drops out and Mead leaves you with a big cliff hanger. This one is no different. Mead continues the Dark Swan series with just as much action, romance, and tension filled moments as the first two books, and this one is my favorite of the trio. 

Summoning the Night
(Arcadia Bell #2)
Jenn Bennett

Notable Book Quotes:
“I don’t want secrets between us,” I said. “Not ones that matter, anyway. I keep secrets from everyone all day long. But not you. Okay?” He tugged me toward the bar stool, closing the remaining distance between us. “I’ve been waiting for you to say that for weeks,” he whispered. 
“Oh, really? Is that why he’s hot and bothered for Arcadia here?” Kar Yee tossed an accusatory glance my way. She was well aware that honesty wasn’t one of my strong suits. “Probably,” Jupe confirmed. “My dad says he likes her so much that if she kicked him in the balls, he’d just thank her.”
Review Quotes:

Bennett outdoes herself with Summoning the Night, packing action, fun, romance, and a hyper teenage boy into one wonderful urban fantasy. 

The Arcadia Bell series is, for me, like breathing in fresh air. Many aspects of the series are fairly unique for UF.

It is also a bit unique that Bennett writes such a strong urban fantasy without any fantasy creatures. There are other series, of course, which manage this successfully as well. However, there just aren't that many and I highly enjoy the original use of magic in this series. Every aspect of the way Cady uses magic is believable and there are no questions left unanswered about her or Lon's world. 

My Life As A White Trash Zombie
(White Trash Zombie #1)
Diana Rowland

Goodreads     Amazon

Notable Book Quotes:
"The nurse wasn't lying to me or messing with my head. No, I was simply a loser. Overdose. Great. Well, this was a new low for me, and it didn't help that it was totally believable." 
"Then I couldn’t resist. I took a deep breath and yelled: “Zombie Super Powers, Activate!”

Review Quotes:

A ZOMBIE! I love the original premise for this book! Angel's journey is amazing and extremely entertaining. She gets a lot on her plate very quickly. Someone has mysteriously rescued her, made her into a zombie, and set her up with a job (as the person who picks up dead bodies at crime scenes and assists in autopsies). At least this job gives her easy access to her new craving...brains!

Angel makes more than one transformation as the story unfolds. Not only is she learning how to handle her new predicament and her new...eh...hunger, but she is also learning to have some confidence in herself. As Angel's story goes on, we see her gain some self-dignity and pride. Its nice to see these changes. It made me feel like I really knew Angel, and I was pulling for her the whole time. 

Now, keep in mind that this book is about zombies. That means some grossness. There were a couple times when I got a tiny bit squeamish (I really hate when fingernails fall off...), but really all of the gross stuff is written really well and not over the top.

Blood on the Bayou
(Annabelle Lee #2)
Stacey Jay

Notable Book Quotes:
"Shit happens. The only thing I have power over is how I deal with the shit." 
“We’re people who knew older versions of each other too well to ever see the new person standing in front of us.”
Review Quotes:

This sequel to Dead on the Delta exceeded all my expectations and thoroughly impressed me. Jay gives us the two things I wanted more of after reading the first one: a more in depth mythology of the fairies and more romantic and sexual tension than I could shake a stick at. 

Meanwhile, Tucker continues to lounge seductively in various spots around Annabelle's house and do mysterious and creepy things. 

Author Stacey Jay gives us some nice surprises here as well. There were some plot twists that I did not expect and I love being surprised when reading. I really hope there will be many more Annabelle Lee books to comes, because I am not ready to let this series go - I devoured this book!

Shadow Bound
(Unbound #2)
Rachel Vincent

Goodreads     Amazon

Notable Book Quotes:
"If you live in the dark long enough you start to forget what light looks like." - Kori 
"I stared at her, awed by her strength and determination. She'd done time in a hell I could only imagine, and come out intact. 'I feel sorry for all the people who will die without ever meeting you, Kori. But the selfish part of me is happy, because I don't even want to share you with the people you already know. Most of them don't deserve you.'" - Ian
Review Quotes:

Vincent's second in the Unbound series is darker and more intense than the first while still managing to have the same superior world building. 

Kori's POV was almost certainly the most difficult to write, although seeing her through Ian's eyes was almost just as painful. She is definitely a dark and twisty character, someone not used to being so vulnerable. As you can imagine, she is quite a bit messed up after her time in Tower's basement and her fear for her sister, her attempt to keep Ian at arm's length, and her conflicting feelings about convincing Ian to sign with Tower all roll together into a big ball of crazy. Despite her frailness, she is still a skilled ass kicker when need be. She is a wonderful and faulted character that I really enjoyed.

Ian is, of course, a wonderful balance to Kori. He is strong and sexy, but knows when to be honest and gentle with Kori. He has some secrets that come out slowly throughout the story, much like Liv and Cam's secrets in book one. 

Giveaway Day 2

Urban Fantasy Anthology

Enter on the Rafflecopter form below. Must be 13 or older and live in the UA/CAN.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gunmetal Magic Giveaway Blog Tour!

Welcome to my stop on the GUNMETAL MAGIC Giveaway Blog Tour!
I am tickled silly that I get to be a part of this tour because not only do I get to give away a copy of GUNMETAL MAGIC but I also get to post something special:

Ilona Andrews Top 5 Moments in the Kate Daniels Series!

I am posting favorite moment #2!

Read on to find out a favorite moment of Gordon's and one of Ilona's from the series 
(they EACH chose one!):

Top Five Moments of Kate Daniels Series 

The world has suffered a magic apocalypse. We pushed the technological progress too far, and now magic returned with a vengeance. It comes in waves, without warning, and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. When magic is up, planes drop out of the sky, cars stall, electricity dies. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail. 

It’s a volatile, screwed-up world. Magic feeds on technology, gnawing down on skyscrappers until most of them topple and fall, leaving only skeletal husks behind. Monsters prowl the ruined streets, werebears and werehyenas stalk their prey; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds. 

In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. But sometimes even trained killers make friends and fall in love, and when the universe tries to kick them in the face, they kick back. 

Every author has favorite moments in their series. Gordon and I have many. We're easily bored, so we try to make each other laugh or go "Oooooh" at least once per scene. The idea is to cram as much gratuitous coolness into every chapter as humanly possible. Sometimes we come up with awesome moments, and sometimes it's kind of wince-inducing. We both had times when we'd ask each other, "Hey, this is what I've got. I need something funny here." Sometimes the response is great and sometimes we just end up rolling our eyes and scrapping the dialogue. 

With that in mind, here are some of our top favorite moments and how we came up with them. We will be posting one special moment on 5 different blogs, so stay tuned…. 

Gordon and Ilona 

Ilona, Moment #2: Make that weight your bitch. (Magic Burns) 

This is one of my favorite Kate and Curran interactions. I just think it's hilarious, because this is probably the first time Kate gets checked. 

The roof was filled with assorted free weights. Curran lay on a massive weight bench with reinforced steel frame. He was working the bench press, raising a bar loaded with weight above him and bringing it back to his chest in a slow controlled movement. He didn't cheat by letting the bar "bounce" off his chest.

I came closer. The bar was thicker than my wrist. Had to be custom made. I tried to count the weight disks on the bar. Normal bar weighed forty five pounds, normal disks up to forty five pounds also. But these didn't look normal.

I stood to the side and watched the bar rise and fall. Curran wore an old, torn T-shirt, and I could see his muscles pump under the fabric.

"How much are you lifting?"

"Seven hundred."

Allrighty then. I will just stand over here, out of your way, and hope you don't remember my promise to kick your ass.

He grinned. "Wanna spot me?"

"No thanks. How about I just scream verbal encouragements at you?" I took a deep breath and barked. "No pain, no gain! That pain is just weakness leaving your body! Come on! Push! Push! Make that weight your bitch!" 

Gordon, Moment #2: Dancing Saiman (Magic Burns) 

It's a very rare moment for Saiman. The mask of careful civility drops, he loses his air of indifference. He's happy in this scene. He's enjoying life and embracing what he truly is. He's drunk with joy dancing on top of a the only highrise remaining in Atlanta, while snow swirls around him in mid-June. 

...A man wrapped his arm around my waist pulling me to him.

He was tall, perfectly proportioned, and muscled like a Roman statue. The same golden radiance that had illuminated the blonde lit his skin from within. His hair, a deep red streaked with gold, fell to his waist without a trace of a curl. His face was angular, yet masculine, and his grin had a mordant edge sharp enough to draw blood. He leaned to me and I got a good look at his eyes. They were orange. Radiant, brilliant orange, streaked with pale green that almost looked like the crystals of ice growing on a window during a freeze.

They did not look human.

"Kate," he repeated, pulling me closer. He towered at least half a foot above me. Snowflakes swirled around us. His breath smelled like honey. "I'm so glad you came to visit. I was so dreadfully bored."

That's it. The flare had driven him insane.

I tried to pull away, but he held me tight. There was strength in those arms that I had never expected to be there. ... Saiman touched my hair and I felt my braid unwinding on its own. In a moment, my hair framed my face. "What happened to you?" I asked.

He grinned wider. "Deep magic. It sings in my bones. Don't you feel it?"

I felt it. It pulsed through me like a wild wine ever since this magic wave had hit. Power twisted and wound within me, wanting to break loose, but I had held it in check this long and I wasn't about to let myself off the leash now.

"Can you dance?" he asked.


"Dance with me, Kate!"

And we were off, spinning and twirling through the snow, raising glittering snowflakes with our feet. The snow refused to fall but chased us, following our movement like a light shroud. It was a wild dance, primitive and fast, and all I could do was follow his lead.

Ahh, memories.

 Check out the other blogs participating and read all the other top moments Gordon and Ilona picked - and enter their giveaways as well!

Check out the other stops on this tour:

Moment #3: Pure Textuality

Moment #5: Dangerous Romance

Now enter to win a copy of GUNMETAL MAGIC for yourself!

This giveaway is US only and you must be 13 or older to enter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blogger Buddy Love (3) - Paranormal Itch Reviews

Blogger Buddy Love is a feature I started to help some of my fellow Terrible Girls gain exposure and followers. Please check out their blogs and show them some love!

Today's Blogger to Love Is:

Blogger #1

Name of blogger(s): VanesMate 

Started blog: Feb. 2011

Top three favorite genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy and Erotic Romance

Genres reviewed: PNR, UF, YA, Sci Fi, Erotic Romance, Historical Romance, Steampunk

Top five books so far in 2012: 
Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard
Blood Moon Rising Trilogy by Karin Tabke
Succubus Diaries by Jill Myles
Morning Star Trilogy by Darcy Town
On Demon Wings by Karina Halle.

Blogger #2

Name of blogger(s): HeatherJay

Started blog: Joined the blog March 2012

Top three favorite genres: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal, Historical Romance and Dystopian.

Genres reviewed: UF, Paranormal, YA Dystopian, Steampunk

Top five books so far in 2012: 
Chasing Magic by Stacia Kane
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones
Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane
Pure by Jennifer Armentrout

Please go check out this AWESOME blog and show these ladies some love - and followers!

Blogoversary - Day 1

It's here! It's here!
Blogoversary and 1,000 Followers Giveaway!

*throws confetti*

Welcome to Day 1 of my Blogoversary! I can NOT believe its already been a whole year! 
AND just to make things even better, I just hit 1, 000 followers a couple weeks ago!

*throws more confetti*

Each day this week, Monday through Friday, I am posting some of my favorite reviews from the past year as well as a different giveaway every day! So be sure to come back every day and enter. All giveaways will end Sunday night (August 3).

To keep my posts from being crazy long, I am only posting bits and pieces from the reviews I'm sharing. You can can find links to all reviews in their entirety under the Reviews tab.

Today's favorite reviews: Young Adult

Anna Dressed in Blood
(Anna #1)
Kendare Blake

Goodreads     Amazon

Notable Book Quotes:
"Everything I want to talk about I can't say to them. It feels so separate, like I've touched something that's taken the color out of me. Or maybe I'm in color now and they're in black and white...We're in on the secret, aren't we Cas? And it's taking us out of the world." 
"It's your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story..."
Review Quotes:

Cas is one of the best lead characters I have ever read in a YA book, and certainly my favorite male narrator (not that I've read that many). Blake wrote him as a believable teenage boy who has been spending most of his teen years moving from place to place, avoiding connections and relationships, and...oh yeah...killing ghosts. He is smart, sarcastic, and good at what he does.

Cas finds himself drawn to Anna for unexplainable reasons. Blake does not half-ass Anna in any way. She is scary and strong and violent. I loved her to pieces, even though her opening scene in the book involves words like 'screaming', 'twisting', 'bleeding', 'tearing', and 'corpse'.

Clockwork Prince
(The Infernal Devices #2)
Cassandra Clare

Goodreads       Amazon

Notable Book Quotes:
“Will has always been the brighter burning star, the one to catch attention — but Jem is a steady flame, unwavering and honest." 
“You haven't broken his heart yet, have you?"
"No," Tessa said. Just torn my own in two.
"I haven't broken his heart at all.”
Review Quotes:
Readers will recall being entranced by one of the most heart wrenching love triangles in young adult fiction.

Clare's ability to twist the knife is wonderful and I was in tears at several places throughout the story. Both Will and Jem have sad stories accompanying them and they are both equally in love with Tessa. I feel torn between the two, unable to really root for one over the other since no matter who wins Tessa's heart, the pair of almost-brothers will never be the same!

I love the dialogue that Clare writes for her character in this series, so many serious moments with wonderful, heartfelt words; but also some great comedic one-liners.

Masque of the Red Death
(Masque of the Red Death #1)
Bethany Griffin

Goodreads     Amazon

Notable Book Quotes:
“Hours trickle by, and I wilt. The magic isn't here for me tonight. I can't get away from the heavy feeling of being me. I want to blend in, to be someone besides myself, someone who is part of something secret and subversive and exciting.” 
“And I'm falling in love with you,' he whispers. "But I would throw you in the water and watch crocodiles tear you to bits, if I thought that doing so would accomplish my goals. Do. Not. Trust. Anyone. Especially me.”
Review Quotes:

You know how some books just stay with you? You think about them when you're not reading them and by the time you finish you realize the book has somehow crept into your soul? That's how I feel about Griffin's Masque of the Red Death.

Araby is unusual for a YA heroine. In fact, she would be unusual for a heroine at any age. When the story begins, we can tell that she is extremely depressed and living a fake sort of life to get through the day. . . But its obvious that she is in pain, and the unfolding of the story behind that is gripping to say the least.

It would not be fair to categorize this as a "love triangle" since it is so different than those that I have read. There are moments when I was convinced that one was right for her, and then something would happen and the other would be my favorite. There are secrets revealed about both guys, some good and some bad.

(Lux #1)
Jennifer Armentrout

Goodreads     Amazon

Notable Book Quotes:
“You’re such an ass. Has…anyone ever told you that?”
He flashed a genuinely amused smile. “Oh, Kitten, every single day of my blessed life.” 
Leaning closer, he tipped the edge of his desk down. There were only a few inches between our mouths. Totally inappropriate amount of space, really, since we were in class, and he had a girl on his lap yesterday. "You're nothing like I expected."
"What did you expect?" I was sort of turned on by the fact I had surprised him. Weird. My eyes dropped to his poetic lips. Such a waste of a mouth.
"You and I have to talk."
"We have nothing to talk about."
His gaze dropped and the air suddenly felt steamy. Unbearable. "Yes," he said, voice low, "we do. Tonight."

Review Quotes:

They have the best and most tension-filled chemistry I have ever read in a YA book. Their back and forth was entertaining and I kept shaking my book, trying to magically turn it into an adult book so these two would get it on already. 

Katy is actually a great young adult heroine. She's smart, helpful, and doesn't give in to Daemon. There's no love at first sight in this book (although there may be a bit of a lust at first sight situation...). She fights her attraction to Daemon constantly because he is just such a total jerk most of the time. And even when she sees a glimpse of his softer side she doesn't run into his waiting arms.

Some sci-fi is very scientifically and technologically based with a lot of unfamiliar terms. This is not one of those. Armentrout gives us just enough information about Daemon and his kind without info dumping or getting too much into the science-y stuff.  

Immortal Rules
(Blood of Eden #1)
Julie Kagawa

Goodreads     Amazon

Notable Book Quotes:
“You are a monster.” Kanin’s deep voice droned in my head again, as I forced myself to move, to walk away. “You will always be a monster, there is no turning back from it. But what type of monster you become is entirely up to you.” 
“He suddenly leaned in, and his fingers brushed my cheek. Warmth flooded my skin, and I frozen, waiting for him to pull back.

He didnt. The tips of his fingers lingered on my cheek for a moment. Then, very slowly, his hand slipped forward, the palm brushing my skin. Frozen, I stared at him, watching his face as his fingers moved from my cheek to my forehead to my chin, like a blind man tracing someone's features to see them in his mind.

"What are you doing to me?" he whispered.”

Oh. My. God. This book has won the award for Best YA I Have Ever Read. 

I loved watching as Allison learned her new strengths and weaknesses and came to terms with the fact that she was no longer human. Allison must learn to become a baddass, which I love. Like I said before, Kagawa pulls no punches. Her vampires are not romantic or sexy or sparkly. They are monsters who need to feed on human blood to survive. She doesn't give them any 'outs'.

Reading while Allison tries desperately to fit in with humans, holding my breath every time she feels The Hunger, wondering if she was going to accidentally kill someone in the group or when someone was going to realize what she was - holy cow! And watching Allison fight her attraction to a human was just heartbreaking.

And now for Giveaway #1

YA Hardcover Pack

Smart Girls Get What They Want Delirium (Delirium, #1)

Enter on the Rafflecopter form below. Must be 13 or older and live in the US/CAN.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Netgalley Knockout - Kickoff Post!


This is my kickoff post for the Netgalley Knockout month long reading challenge! 

(If you have no idea what I'm talking about but think you might be interested in joining, check out the original post HERE.)

I am going to post all of the books I currently have on my ereader from Netgalley and Edelweiss that I have not yet read here. Then I will be coming back to this post throughout the challenge to update with which books I have read!

 NO, I do not plan on reading ALL of these books. That would be insane. I just want to have the list all in one place so that I can pick and choose which books to read!

Please make a similar kickoff post for yourself and add the link to the linky below! Doing so will make you more responsible in sticking to the challenge and getting some of those egalleys read! 
Also, I will be adding the Netgalley Knockout badge to each of my reviews that meet this challenge. Please feel free to do the same!

Remember, everyone who signed up on the original link will be entered to win the prize of $12 in books from Book Depository at the end of the challenge!

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
Tarnished (St. Croix Chronicles #1) by Karina Cooper
The Janus Affair (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #2) by Phillipa Ballentine
Flutter by Gina Linko
Kiss of Pride (Deadly Angels #1) by Sandra Hill
Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox
What's Left of Me (Hybrid Chronilces #1) by Kat Zhang
Kept (A Coveted Novel #2) by Shawntelle Madison
Demon's Curse by Alexa Egan

___ / 9 books

A Touch of Crimson (Renegade Angels #1) by Sylvia Day
A Hunger So Wild (Renegade Angels #2)
Romeo Redeemed (Juliet Immortal #2) by Stacey Jay
Innocent Darkness (Aether Chronicles #1) by Suzanne Lazear
Blade Song by Shiloh Walker
Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Something Red by Douglas Nicholas
Velveteen by Daniel Marks
Silver (Bandia #1) by Talia Vance
Defiance (Defiance #1) by C.J. Redwine
Demon Hunting in the Deep South by Lexi George
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Dark Star by Bethany Frenette
Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk #1) by Bec McMaster
In A Fix by Linda Grimes
Mystic City (Mystic City #1) by Theo Lawrence
The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington
Hounded (Iron Druid Chronicles #1) by Kevin Hearne
Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) by Lia Habel
Dearly, Beloved (Gone With the Respiration #2) by Lia Habel
Immortally Yours (Monster M.A.S.H. #1) by Angie Fox

  1   / 21 books

Total:   1   / 30 books

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (10)

Stacking the Shelves is a *new* weekly meme to feature all the books that have made their way into our homes this week! 
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

(Click on cover to be taken to Goodreads)

Stormdancer (The Lotus War, #1) Demon's Curse (Imnada Brotherhood, #1) Moonshifted (Edie Spence, #2)

(Click on title to be taken to Amazon)

Stormdancer (Lotus War #1) by Jay Kristoff
Demon's Curse (Imnada Brotherhood #1) by Alexa Egan
Moonshifted (Edie Spence #2) by Cassie Alexander

(Click on cover to be taken to Goodreads)

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1) Dark Currents (Agent of Hel, #1) Before I Wake (Soul Screamers, #6)

(Click on title to be taken to Amazon)

Poison Princess (Arcana Chronicles #1) by Kresley Cole
Dark Currents (Agent of Hel #1) by Jacqueline Carey
Before I Wake (Soul Screamers #6) by Rachel Vincent

What goodies did you add to YOUR shelves this week?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Early Review: Two Weeks' Notice by Rachel Caine

Two Weeks' Notice
Revivalist #2
Rachel Caine
Release: August 7, 2012
Goodreads     Amazon
After dying and being revived with the experimental drug Returne, Bryn Davis is theoretically free to live her unlife—with regular doses to keep her going. But Bryn knows that the government has every intention of keeping a tight lid on Pharmadene’s life-altering discovery, no matter the cost.
And when some of the members of a support group for Returne addicts suddenly disappear, Bryn begins to wonder if the government is methodically removing a threat to their security, or if some unknown enemy has decided to run the zombies into the ground…

Keep calm, and watch for decomposition.
Two Weeks' Notice surpasses the first book in this series, which I already loved, with more action and a stronger connection between Bryn and Marcus. Caine really outdoes herself with this one.

I love this series. It's a little different that most of the urban fantasy that I read because. . . its not urban fantasy. There are no paranormal elements in this series and Bryn's return to the living, although sometimes referred to as being 'zombie-like', is through a scientific drug that keeps her alive. There is no munching on brains here. I feel like I must get that out of the way because its important for readers to know what they are reading. Going into this book expecting an urban fantasy about zombies might leave you disappointed.

NOW, that's out of the way. Let's talk about how much I lurved this book! I love the mature writing style Caine uses for this series. There are no stupid decisions made by characters that should know better, no unnecessary secret keeping used as a plot device, and no obvious answers that the characters just can't seem to come to. Instead, Caine's characters are smart, strong, and normal.

I made even more of a connection to Bryn in this book than the last because we get to see how she is coping with being a Returne addict/victim. In the previous book it was all very new, but here we get to see what day to day life will look like for Bryn for the rest of her 'life'. The daily pain-inducing experimental shots that keep her alive are just a part of what she must endure. Knowing that she will live on and stay the same while everyone she knows will age and eventually die is difficult to cope with for Bryn and the others on Returne. I liked that Caine including some other Returne users and showed us how hard things were for them. It broadened the world of this series a little bit. Even worse, Bryn can't even live a normal life because the government is a constant threat to her existence.
Normal life has passed her by, at light speed; she'd cashiered out of the military and hadn't had time to form casual friendships before she'd taken the job at Fairview. . . and then her life had ended. Well, maybe not ended, but certainly morphed into something that was not normal even if it was sometimes amazing. When had she last had a simple, glorious evening of movies, pizza, and beer with friends? Or even had one of those by herself?
Bryn and Marcus' relationship goes to the next level in this one (yes, yes, that means what you think it means) and I was super excited to see them acting more like a couple. They have more tender moments and more. . . er . . other moments than before.
When he let her arms go again, he did it slowly, sliding his fingers all the way down the smooth, taut skin to her shoulders. As she reached for him again, he put his hands around her waist, pulled her forward, and spun her around with dizzying speed to face the door. She gasped and slapped both hands flat on the surface, about to push off, but he was close against her, heat like a bonfire at her back. Those suddenly gentle fingers traveled up her arms agin, and he whispered in her ear, "Now do you trust me?"
Marcus along with Bryn's bodyguard Joe are a big part of this series and I adore them both, although I have a love for "call it like I see it" Joe. Bryn always has one or both at her back while she searches for her missing - and recent Returne 'victim' - sister, investigates what is happening to disappearing Returne users, and figures out who in the government to trust.

Some of those scenes were totally cringe-worthy. Jumping out of a building several stories high? Not a problem when you're on Returne. Dealing with the injuries of that fall. . . still painful as shit. Having all of her bones set so they don't heal wrong during her speedy healing process? Yikes.
"That," Joe said in a hushed voice, "may be the most disturbing fucking thing I have ever done, and that's. . . saying something. Bryn? You still with me?"
There was also a torture scene toward the end of the book that will give me nightmares about spoons for a little while. . .

Like I said above, I really love this series and I hope readers will give it a try now that they know what to expect. Bryn is a strong lady, not with a katana or magical powers, but with a pistol and some army-trained fight moves. Her dog, Mr. French, is also pretty badass in his own doggy way and Marcus' butler (although you'd better not call him that) rounds out a cast of characters that I look forward to seeing agin in book three!

Recommended for fans of: smart heroines, good action, French bulldogs, UF/Sci-fi crossovers, any silverware except spoons, and butlers who can shoot.


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