Category Archives: Science Fiction/ Fantasy

Mephisto’s Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Publisher: Egmont USA (April 26, 2011)
Kindle: 448 pages / 5 KB
Source: Netgalley
Rating: of 5 stars

Sasha is desperate to find out who murdered her father. When getting the answer means pledging her soul to Eryx, she unlocks a secret that puts her in grave danger—she is an Anabo, a daughter of Eve, and Eryx’s biggest threat.

A son of Hell, immortal, and bound to Earth forever, Jax looks for redemption in the Mephisto Covenant—God’s promise he will find peace in the love of an Anabo. After a thousand years, he’s finally found the girl he’s been searching for: Sasha.

With the threat of Eryx always looming, Jax knows he has to keep Sasha safe and win her over.  But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal life?

It’s an interesting premise that Faegen has created. The idea that a child of Hell could be redeemed by one known as Anabo, it’s unique.

The characters brought on a mixed reaction. Sasha is a character I didn’t fully like or understand. We start the story with her relentless pursuit of the truth behind her father’s death. So relentless in fact that is borders being obsessive to a dangerous degree. Sasha comes off as a super good person that anyone would be friends with when given the appropriate opportunity. (Which makes sense since she is an Anabo.) For anyone thrust into the situation Sasha found herself in, I’m sure we’d all like to go back to our days of ignorance. Sasha’s initial reaction makes sense, even as it irked me.

Jax is refreshing as a male protagonist. I’m so used to those heros who always felt the need to push away their love interests. It was good to see Jax pursue Sasha. Even as he’s trying to stay away from Sasha at her request, he does things for her that would have swept any girl off her feet.

The romantic tension between Sasha and Jax was obvious and enjoyable. Even as Sasha wanted to stay away from Jax, she couldn’t help but want to be with him at the same time.

A good read, with an intriguing idea. It’s a book to check out if the summary interested you even the slightest bit. With the struggle against Eryx not over, it’s a good thing Mephisto’s Covenant is only the first of six books. Mephisto’s Covenant comes out September 27, 2011 from Egmont USA.

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How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Publisher: Pocket (February 22, 2011)
Kindle: 384 pages / 629 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Even in Grundy, Alaska, it’s unusual to find a naked guy with a bear trap clamped to his ankle on your porch. But when said guy turns into a wolf, recent southern transplant Mo Wenstein has no difficulty identifying the problem. Her surly neighbor Cooper Graham—who has been openly critical of Mo’s ability to adapt to life in Alaska—has trouble of his own. Werewolf trouble.

For Cooper, an Alpha in self-imposed exile from his dysfunctional pack, it’s love at first sniff when it comes to Mo. But Cooper has an even more pressing concern on his mind. Several people around Grundy have been the victims of wolf attacks, and since Cooper has no memory of what he gets up to while in werewolf form, he’s worried that he might be the violent canine in question.

If a wolf cries wolf, it makes sense to listen, yet Mo is convinced that Cooper is not the culprit. Except if he’s not responsible, then who is? And when a werewolf falls head over haunches in love with you, what are you supposed to do anyway? The rules of dating just got a whole lot more complicated. . . .

Review:

An entertaining read, this was my first time reading anything by Molly Harper. Of all the places to move to just to get some distance from your parent, to go from southern USA to Alaska seems extreme. But as Mo elaborates on how her hippie parents are like, Alaska might not be far enough.

Mo is an interesting character who I’d probably get along with. She’s a good person, just looking for the place where she belongs after her tumultuous childhood. New to the small town of Grundy, Alaska, Mo is a novelty that has most bachelors flirting with her as she quickly finds a place for herself in their community.

The only one really against Mo’s move to Grundy is the perpetually grumpy Cooper. (As well as Lynette, who’s dislike comes from the men’s attention on Mo.) Consistently at odds with one another, Mo and Cooper can’t deny the latent attraction at work as well.

The book starts off pretty slowly. But when we finally get to the scene described in the summary, where Mo finds a naked man stuck in a bear trap, the story just takes off.

A quick, fun read, this book isn’t one to pass up.


Abandon by Meg Cabot

Publisher: Point (April 26, 2011)
Kindle: 320 pages / 360 KB
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

Review:

This was such a great read. However towards the beginning it did require a bit of a push to get into the story. Cabot jumped around in time so much that I nearly got fed up. But I knew it’d make more sense if I just powered through. Luckily my faith was rewarded.

Even when Pierce was so angry with the situation at hand and didn’t like John all that much, I couldn’t help but root for them to be together. There was this pull that Cabot made apparent and irresistible. The plot twists and increasing mysteries only help to keep me drawn in and reading to the end.

What makes this better is that “Abandon” is just the first book. There will be more to expand on the characters and answer the questions left unanswered. This is a great start. Cabot worked magic on this, and I’m excited to see where she takes it. Another book I’d recommend to anyone who’s interested in either YA fantasy books or vague interpretations of Greek mythology.


Angel Burn, by Lee Weatherly

Publisher: Candlewick (May 24, 2011)
Kindle: 464 pages / 801 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Review: Angel Burn actually turned out to be a lot better than I expected it to be. The jacket summary of the book was a little cringe worthy, and it certainly wasn’t a monument of literature, but I found the story and characters to be very engaging. The premise also was very immaginative. As the title suggests, the story is about angels, but in this case, the angels are not heavenly beings sent from God to grant miracles, they are soul sucking fiends from another dimension.

The angels’ world is collapsing, and they have realized the only way to survive is to come to our world and feed off the life force of humans. They can disguise themselves in human form, but when they feed, they become giant, beautiful beings built of light and energy. They latch onto a human’s aura and suck them dry. The humans don’t die instantly, but are left with lasting physical, metal and emotional scarring–they develop cancer, MS, depression, Schizophrenia…the list goes on. The scariest part is that the humans are left feeling nothing but bliss after their encounter. They never make the connection between their future illnesses and the day when they were touched by an Angel. The plague of the angels has become so wide spread that a cult-like church, Church of Angels, has spring up and attracted thousands of devotees nationwide. The members of the church are sick, some of them dying, but they think that the angels are saving them and giving them peace, when actually the angels are destroying them.

Sounds cool right? Indeed. There is a small band of “AKs,” Angel Killers, who know the truth. The travel around the country trying to take down angels when they can. This works okay, but the angels are planning something big. maybe too big for the AKs.

The book is about a young girl named Willow who gets pulled into the thick of it after giving a psychic reading to a highschool friend, Beth. She doesn’t know the truth about the angels, but she sees horrible things in Beth’s future–and that these things are linked with the angels. Beth is considering dropping out and joining the Church of Angels after one feeds on her. willow just wants to go to the church to talk some sense into beth, convince her the angels are bad. It all goes awry, and leaves willow on the run with Alex without even getting a chance to say goodbye to her family.

It’s pretty action packed and engaging story, but it definitely has some faults. Willow is a bit of a Mary Sue, and some of the “reveals” of the story are painfully obvious (I won’t spoil them here!). The love story between Alex/Willow is well done at first but gains so much momentum that it reads like a Melodrama toward the end. However, it is still a very entertaining tale. There is a sequel, Angel Fire, and I found this book to be intriguing enough to pick up the second one.

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Publisher: Harper Collins, Inc. (May 31, 2011)
Kindle: 496 pages / 833 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it’s getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she’s haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they’re destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

Review:

We start off with Helen who isn’t normal, but wants to be. Or so she tells us. Sure, she can lift heavy weights and run distances without tiring, but how strange is that? To the skeptical, it can all be explained with extreme training that happened prior to the reader’s entrance into Helen’s life. But that’s no fun, nor is it supernatural in any way. Solution to that: Helen is a demigod.

I’m not talking Rick Riordan’s half-bloods who get quests from their godly parents and a decrepit oracle. This is about an ancient blood feud and generations of parallels forced onto the younger generation by the Fates.

Enter the Delos family. Before their arrival on the small island Helen lives on, Helen had no idea what she was. All Helen was is a beautiful, extraordinary girl trying desperately to fit in and fade into the background. It’s all for naught as the first thing Helen does is try to kill Lucas, on of the Delos kids. Oh, that blood feud at work again, forcing innocent people into violent rages they don’t understand.

This book started off slowly with Helen’s overly modest nature and need to be normal while inwardly accepting that maybe she isn’t, and it grates on my nerves at first. But with the appearance of Lucas and his family, things start to get interesting. From there the mysteries just keep coming.

As “Starcrossed” is only the first in a trilogy, more questions are brought up than answered. But Angelini wrote the book in such a compelling way that rather than be upset over being so left in the dark, I’m happily anticipating the next book. It’s just so frustratingly wonderful. Or is it wonderfully frustrating? Either way it is an interesting play on Greek mythology, and is definitely a recommended read.


Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Publisher: Penguin Publishing (March 1, 2011)
Kindle: 430 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she’s seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

Review:

Such a captivating read. It was maddening, confusing and just … wonderful. The start was a little rocky. Something inside me rebelled against all the restrictions Theia had to deal with.

For the first part, up until I find out what Haden is, the book was very Alice in Wonderland-esque. I felt lost and confused, just following Theia as she searched for answers. Then as some questions get answered, more pop up. Rather than being frustrated, I was intrigued and more drawn into the world Hayes created.

By the end I was happily satisfied by the answers provided and the story’s end. In fact, I was bursting with happy energy of having read such a good book. But, of course, “Falling Under” is just the first book. I look forward to the the next installment, though, and hope it’s just as enthralling.

A recommended read for anyone who doesn’t mind more than a little confusion and a whole lot of romance. It’s a great read for any YA paranormal romance fan.


Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (September 13, 2011)
Kindle: 400 pages / 5 KB
Source: Galley Grab
Rating: of 5 stars

Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire . . . fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil . . . until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don’t exist), and they’re shocked she survived. They’re even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl’s family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King’s feast—as the entrÉes.

The only problem? Pearl’s starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets down her family. What’s a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

Review:

I know I mentioned on the Book Munchies Twitter (follow if you have a Twitter!) that I would be switching to another genre besides Young Adult/ Teen fiction. Apparently, I lied. I decided to try “Drink, Slay, Love” by Sarah Beth Durst. Maybe it was Durst’s story or the characters she created that made me change my mind. Or maybe it was the fact that the book wasn’t based off of Greek mythology, and was an interesting change of pace. Who knows? All I know is I got sucked into it almost immediately. (There was a slight hitch until the unicorn came into the picture, but from there it was smooth sailings.)

Normally I race through books trying to see when the romance between the characters will start. But not with this book. The premise of the books is so unique and enthralling that, for once, Pearl’s romance with Evan took a back seat. It also helped that Durst had these neatly placed tidbits to tide me over until the romance actually kicked in.

The writing was smooth, and the pacing perfect. There were times where I worried about Pearl, and other times she just made laugh because of something she said or a situation she found herself in. Her worries, her thoughts, her interactions … her everything just fit. As a vampire who could exist in the sun due to a unicorn attack, Pearl had me convinced.

Definitely a recommendation for anyone who wants to read a non-traditional vampire tale and have a good laugh while you’re at it. “Drink, Slay, Love” comes out on September 13, 2011.


The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (May 1, 2011)
Kindle: 304 pages / 441 KB
Rating: of 5 stars

It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride, and a goddess.

Review:

It was a fun read that was easy to get caught up in. Carter brilliantly craftered this tale that, rather than being a retelling of Hades and Persephone, was very much it’s own story.

Fast paced, almost too fast at times, I was able to enjoy Katie’s changing feelings in regards to her tests and towards Henry. The mysteries that kept me reading late into the night were one by one revealed in the end.

Though I would have been happy if this was a stand alone novel, to find out it is just the first in a trilogy is great as well. I recommend others even remotely interested in YA romances and Greek myths to read this. You won’t be disappointed. Then we can anxiously anticipate the next books together. (“Goddess Interrupted” coming late January 2012 according to AimeeCarter.com!)


River Marked by Patricia Briggs (fiction)

Publisher: Ace Books (March 1, 2011)
Kindle: 576 KB
Hardcover: 336
Series: Mercy Thompson #6
Rating: 5 of 5 stars

Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She’s never known any others of her kind. Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-one that her father’s people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help…

Review:

This is the newest Mercy Thompson book I mention in my last review. I pre-ordered it on Amazon/Kindle and spent Tuesday reading it. Definitely a fantastic continuation of the series.

As the readers of the series know, (mostly) through no fault of her own, Mercy inevitably finds herself embroiled in all sorts of trouble. This time though, Mercy and Adam are away from the pack and their friends on their honeymoon.

With the past books, there was a lot of focus on Mercy and her “crew”, as I’ll call them. That “crew” consisting of Stefan the vampire, Adam, Warren, Kyle, Zee, Adam’s pack, etc. This time Briggs moved us away from that focus. Instead, for majority of the book, we get to see Adam and Mercy on their own interacting with strangers. What I loved about this book was how the mystery of Mercy’s father was finally touched upon and explored.

No longer is it just the typical supernatural creatures being represented. Briggs is moving away from just werewolves, vampires, etc. for this book. Instead we get to delve more into Native American folklore. Which I felt was a brilliant move on Briggs’ part to keep the story interesting and the reader coming back for more.

A must read for any Patricia Briggs/ Mercy Thompson fan. And if you haven’t read any of her work/ this series yet, go read “Moon Called” and fall in love with them as I did.

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Side note: Thanks to Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic for letting me use her book review style!


Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (Fiction)

If anyone reading this has read my previous review of “Skinwalker”, you guys may have noticed how enamored I am with the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. The first book, “Moon Called” will be the review topic for today and hopefully cause one or two people to try one of my favorite series. Plus the new book in the series (“River Marked” yay!) comes out today, so I thought this review would be a nice way to commemorate it.

As the series name indicates, the book is about Mercy Thompson, a mechanic who also happens to be a skinwalker. When a stray werewolf finds his way to Mercy, it triggers a chain of events that lands her in the middle of it all. And she soon finds herself in more trouble than she wanted. You’ll meet the potential love interests of Mercy: Samuel Cornick, Mercy’s old flame, and Adam Hauptman, her hot & hotheaded, controlling neighbor. Coincidentally (or not), both men are werewolves. Plus, throughout it all, you get a taste of the romantic tension to come as the series progresses.

Categorized as an urban fantasy, Briggs is skillfully able to weave in the fantasy and mythology, of monsters & creatures of magic thought to be mere story, into the world as we know it today. The fae have come out, and it is clear that werewolves and other magical beings are likely to follow.

Written from a first person POV, we see Briggs’ world through Mercy. A kickass character, Mercy is a skinwalker who had been raised by werewolves. As anyone aware of any werewolf folklore may know, werewolves are intensely dominant and aggressive creatures. Growing up in that sort of environment has helped develop Mercy in a headstrong character. She’s a good mix of disobedience, stubbornness and caring that makes her a compelling character to learn more about.

This is a book at the top of my recommendation list. This is the first time I seriously started thinking about reading adult sci-fi/fantasy books. Prior I mainly stuck with YA ones, because as a coworker of mine said, YA sci-fi/fantasy books tend to be plot driven and lack a lot of the gratuitous sex and violence often seen in adult sci-fi/fantasy. Check it out.

Side note: We’re always looking for suggestions. If there’s something you want us read and review, leave a comment or email. Thanks.