Posts tagged ‘Kitty Norville series’

Just finished reading . . . Kitty Goes to War

Kitty Goes to War (Kitty Norville series, book 8 ) by Carrie Vaughn

This review cross-posted from Goodreads.
View all my reviews at Goodreads >>

This ARC was given to me by Tor for review.
Kitty Goes to War is released today, June 29, 2010.
Kitty Goes to war
Kitty Norville, Alpha werewolf and host of The Midnight Hour, a radio call-in show, is contacted by a friend at the NIH’s Center for the Study of Paranatural Biology.
Three Army soldiers recently returned from the war in Afghanistan are being held at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs.  They’re killer werewolves—and post traumatic stress has left them unable to control their shape-shifting and unable to interact with people.  Kitty agrees to see them, hoping to help by bringing them into her pack.
Meanwhile, Kitty gets sued for libel by CEO Harold Franklin after featuring Speedy Mart—his nationwide chain of 24-hour convenience stores with a reputation for attracting supernatural unpleasantness—on her show.
Very bad weather is on the horizon.

I seriously think that this is one of the most underrated series in urban fantasy. It’s installments are consistently good, the characters are complex, and the current on-going story arc of the “long game”, an impending struggle among supernaturals for ultimate power, ties the series together nicely.

Kitty’s character growth is my favorite thing about the series, and with Kitty Goes to War, she’s coming into her own as more than just a “reluctant Alpha”. While she questions whether she’s equal to the tasks of protecting her pack while assisting the rogue veterans who need her help, it’s apparent that her confidence has grown with her leadership abilities.

I really like how, unlike a lot of urban fantasy that takes place in a non-specific contemporary setting, this series is firmly entrenched in today’s world, including current events like the war in Afghanistan. It makes the book feel timely, and I love seeing how the supernatural world is interwoven with real events.

There are numerous storylines going on here: the vets, Speedy Mart’s mysterious CEO, Cormac’s release from jail (yay!), and the over-arching “long game”, yet the pacing is never overwhelmed by the need to keep all of them moving forward.

Speaking of Cormac (my favorite character), his re-entry into Kitty’s everyday life (not just occasional prison visits) was handled really well. I was curious to see how it would play out, given her marriage to his cousin Ben, and Kitty’s undeniable chemistry with Cormac. And, while I would have loved to have had things turn out differently for them, the current state of affairs works for the characters and for the story.

I’m really looking forward to seeing where this series goes: for Kitty, as Alpha; for her, Ben and Cormac, as family; and for the supernatural community, as the impending confrontation between vampires Roman and Rick,  and the other players in the fight for power.

  • Carrie Vaughn’s site.
  • Excerpt for Kitty Goes to War.

June 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm 10 comments

February 2010 Read Books

It felt like I read much slower in February, but I was surprised when I counted and saw that I’d read 19 books. I think the unexpected number is due to the fact that a number of them were ebooks, a lot of which are shorter.

While writing this post, I realized I only read 2 actual print books this month. Crazy! I read 10 ebooks and listened to 7 audiobooks. I think I’m seeing that my new ereader is slightly changing the books I pick to read. Where before it felt like a bit of extra effort to read the ebooks (mostly due to technical mac/ebookwise issues), it’s now much easier with the nook. Therefore, I’m catching up on a big backlog of ebooks I’ve been meaning to read for a while. Of course, this means I’ve also been neglecting my print tbr shelves, so I can’t win, can I? *g*

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Kitty Raises HellKitty Raises Hell (Kitty Norville series, book 6) by Carrie Vaughn 2/28/10

Between Kitty Norville books, I always forget how utterly enjoyable this series is. I think its strength is Kitty herself. I love how she has grown (and continues to grow) from a werewolf, uncertain of her place in the world, to a more confident alpha.

I still wish there was more of Cormac. My heart aches for him (and Kitty) when she and Ben visit him. KRH features much more of Rick who is becoming one of my favorite vamps around. There are so many layers to that guy!

The cult of  Tiamat plot and the appearance of Roman was enjoyably twisty. I can’t wait for the next book, Kitty Goes to War, due out in June 2010.

  • Carrie Vaughn’s site.

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AquamarineAquamarine by Sara Bell 2/26/10 Ebook

A cute, sweet m/m sports romance. Friends to lovers, with family as a really nice supporting cast. Ford was wonderful as the “straight” friend who falls for out teammate/roommate Derek. My only complaint was that the sports end didn’t feel very realistic, wrt career paths for players and coaches given the copious amounts of  time I spend listening to my guy talking about the college and pro football industry.

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Shadows ReturnShadows Return (Nightrunners series, book 4) by Lynn Flewelling 2/25/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Adam Danoff. (It was a bit of adjustment getting used to a new narrator after the 1st 3 books read by someone else.

I’m so sad that I’ve now caught up with this series! I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy this book as much as the other ones given that according to the description Alec and Seregil spend much of the story apart. However, I was really caught up in the action, and their reunion was great.

I loved getting to see Plenemar society, and got a better understanding of the conflict between it and Skala.

Here’s my Nightrunners series post.

Can’t wait for The White Road‘s May 25, 2010 release.

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Hue, Tine and ShadeHue, Tint and Shade (Petit Morts, novelette 1 of 5) by Jordan Castillo Price 2/24/10 Ebook

I just love how JCP is able to create these empathetic, socially awkward characters that I can’t help but root for. Tommy is painfully shy, but wants to break out of his shell. Through the mysterious chocolatier, he meets Nathan, who brings color, excitement, and romance to his life.

  • Jordan Castillo Price’s site.
  • Excerpt for Hue, Tint and Shade. (Scroll down linked page.)

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The Iron KingThe Iron King (The Iron Fey series, book 1) by Julie Kagawa 2/23/10 Ebook

Original YA with a wonderful take on the Fey. It was a great combination of familiar fae characters (Queens Titania and Mab, Puck, the Erl King) and new ones. I loved the story behind the origin of the Iron Fay, and Meghan was a wonderful heroine. Robbie was sweet, and the Winter Prince very broody and intense. I can’t wait to read more when book 2 comes out in August 2010.

  • Julie Kagawa’s site. (Music begins automatically on linked page.)
  • Excerpt for The Iron King.

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Night PleasuresNight Pleasures (Dark Hunter series, book 2) by Sherrilyn Kenyon 2/23/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Carrington MacDuffie.

It’s taken me a while to get back to this series, and I don’t know if I would have if it it hadn’t been in audiobook format. While I enjoyed this story for the most part I don’t think I’ll be working my way through the entire series. Kyrian was uber alpha and tough. Amanda was down to earth and reminded me of an old school heroine, ultra feminine and slightly clingy. I think there’s too much cheese factor for me to commit to the rest of the series. No matter the danger, they are always hyper aware of each other, wanting to jump each other’s bones no matter if the demon guy is about to get them. Just not for me. However, I think I’ll give this series 1 last try in the form of Night Play, which, when I reviewed Fantasy Lover last year, I remember some said was the best book in the series.

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Archangel's Kiss Archangel’s Kiss (Guild Hunter series, book 2) by Nalini Singh 2/19/10

Nalini Singh does it again with Archangel’s Kiss. I love getting to see the angel city. The originality of the series and the visual pictures her words make are just wonderful. I’m really enjoying where she is taking Elena in this series and how her relationship with Raphael is progressing.

Now, if only we can get Illium’s story soon!

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She's Got it BadShe’s Got it Bad by Sarah Mayberry 2/19/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Zoe Hunter. Read the full review for this book here.

Sarah Mayberry is my favorite category author, and She’s Got it Bad is now my favorite Mayberry! She packs a lot into the relatively short format of a Blaze catergory. Yet, the development of Zoe’s and Liam’s relationship never feels rushed or contrived.

I really liked Zoe, who was a very unique romance heroine. Liam, like Zoe, has some issues and considerable history with Zoe. He rushes in playing the Alpha trying to “fix” her. I love that she fights him when he oversteps, but doesn’t turn down genuine help (like a job) that she really needs, when he makes a reasonable offer.

My only complaint is that while the audiobook narrator did an OK job, I wish the book had been read with an Australian accent given how firmly Sarah Mayberry’s books are set in that country. However, even this minor distraction did not take away from my overall enjoyment of this book.

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Traitor's MoonTraitor’s Moon (Nightrunner series, book 3) by Lynn Flewelling 2/17/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Raymond Todd.

Seregil and Alec accompany Princess Klia (sp?) to Aurënen on a diplomatic mission. I loved seeing them as Talímenios (a committed same-sex couple) now, and how they are still getting used to their public “couplehood”.  Both of them are adjusting. I also really like getting to see more of the Aurënfaie and learning more about Seregil’s past and the story behind his exile.

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Love Under SiegeLove Under Siege (Brothers in Arms series, book 2) by Samantha Kane 2/14/10 Ebook

I love that Samantha Kane is really able to sell the love, romance, and emotion in her m/m/f books. Often in this genre there is an emotional imbalance between the characters, or 2 are the “main” relationship which doesn’t usually work for me as well. However, with the BiA series, there is a wonderful balance the the triads.
Of course, there requires a suspension of belief around some of the greater menage issues, but on the whole it is handled well, and I love the community of men and women being built into this series.

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Stalking DarknessStalking Darkness (Nightrunner series, book 2) by Lynn Flewelling 2/11/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Raymond Todd.

A couple of days after finishing Luck in the Shadows (book 1 in the Nightrunners series) I found that I couldn’t get Alec and Seregil out of my mind. I gave in and got Stalking Darkness eventhough my Audible points wouldn’t come in for another week. I was really glad I did.

Stalking Darkness WAS truly a dark tale. So much happens, I’m almost at a loss to sum it up in a brief mini-review. More is learned about the magic that resides both with the magicians of Skala (and Nysander in particular) and the necromancers of Plenimar. Alec and Seregil lead their double lives as Nightrunners and as bored society gadflies. Beka (Micum’s daughter) is now part of the Queen’s Horse Guard and fighting the war with Plenimar. All these disparate characters and elements come together in a compelling and tragic climax. Great stuff!

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Don't Look BackDon’t Look Back by Josh Lanyon 2/9/10 Ebook

Good romantic suspense about Peter, a museum director who has been falsely accused of embezzlement/theft from his work. I loved how (due to his amnesia) he is discovering what has happened to him as the reader does. Mike Griffin, the investigating officer is pissed off and out to nail Peter (ahem) for the crime. Isn’t he?

I love Mike’s alpha-ness. It’s clear that there’s more to his attitude than meets the eye, and it’s fun following Peter as he finds out what is really going on.

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I Spy Something BloodyI Spy Something Bloody by Josh Lanyon 2/8/10 Ebook

February DIK Challenge book. Read full reivew here.

For me, what makes this story is the protagonist, Mark. A spy with what sounds like MI-6, he’s hoping for a second chance at love with Stephen, and the suspense from this situation is just as strong as it is from the espionage story line.

For all of Mark’s macho job and “danger-man” persona, he is so vulnerable, both physically and emotionally. His love for Stephen is out there for all to see (especially Stephen and his jealous new boyfriend, Bryce). Stephen had such gentleness and sensitivity yet still had a core of steel, determined not to be hurt once again by Mark. Seeing him slowly lower his defenses against Mark was great reading.

I already have the sequel  I Spy Something Wicked loaded on my ereader and will be getting to it soon!

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Hard to HoldHard to Hold (Hard to Hold trilogy, book 1) by Stephanie Tyler 2/8/10 Ebook

I felt a real void after finishing Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series, and set out to find more SEALs series. This one sure fit the bill! While I didn’t love it as much as I do the Brockmann, I did enjoy it quite a bit.

I really liked Isabelle, who was so strong and such a survivor after her abduction while doing humanitarian work in Africa. Jake was a great military alpha male whom I loved seeing connect with Isabelle. He was so aware of her and what she needed given what she was working through.

I’m looking forward to reading the other two in the trilogy, which tell Jake’s brothers’ stories.

  • Stephanie Tyler’s site.
  • Excerpt at author’s site.

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The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium trilogy, book 1) by Stieg Larsson 2/7/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Martin Wenner.

A bit of a slow start, but once it built up some momentum was really a great story. Mostly this was due to the literary phenomenon that is Lisbeth Salander. She and Mikael Blomqvist investigate the 30 year old disappearance of a 16 year old girl, discovering that her fate may be intertwined with a number of mysterious deaths that have been going on for decades.

The investigation and Mikael’s story were interesting, but Lisbeth was the true draw here for me. She’s a young woman (early 20’s) who is under the guardianship of a victimizing opportunist, due to her early history of emotional instability. What happens with her is horrifying, and how she takes control of her life is utterly shocking and compelling.

I’m on the waiting list for the audiobook of book 2, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and I can’t wait for the release of TGwtDT movie, later this year.

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SympathySympathy by Jordan Castillo Price 2/6/10 Ebook/Short Story

I really liked this  sweet and touching story about Tony, a landscaper who is still dealing with the aftermath of an accident that took his father’s life and much of Tony’s health. He meets artist David, who is now living in the town’s “haunted house on a hill” and immediately they connect. There’s a lot going on emotionally for such a short (48 pgs) story. Very enjoyable.

  • Jordan Castillo Price’s site.

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Striking Sparks (A PsyCop novelette) by Jordan Castillo Price 2/4/10 Ebook

This “novelette” can be read after Criss Cross (PsyCop #2)

Two words. More. Crash.

Want more? OK. Vic and Jacob don’t make an appearance here, but as much as I love those guys, I didn’t miss them, since we get a closer look at Jacob’s ex (and the thorn in Vic’s side). We get a little more depth and insight into Crash, but here he serves as a foil to the closeted, engaged to be married Andrew, who shows up at the Tarot Card reader’s, downstairs from Sticks and Stones (Crash’s shop) looking for—something. He’s not sure what. What he finds is Crash.

This isn’t a romance with an hea. More of a sexy encounter. Fun reading!

  • Jordan Castillo Price’s site.
  • PsyCop site.

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Luck in the ShadowsLuck in the Shadows (Nightrunner series, book 1) by Lynn Flewelling 2/2/10 Audiobook

Audiobook read by Raymond Todd.

This book was slow to start, but once the characters were developed a little and the action gained momentum, it was a rollicking good listen. Since I’ve covered some of this book/series in my Nightrunners series post, I’m borrowing shamelessly from it.

Seregil, a young Aurënfaie (think elvish), is a wonderful character: witty and sharp, skilled in the ways of court and thievery, he surprises himself and those around him by taking Alec under his wing.

Alec is a 16 year old orphan who, until he is thrown in the prison cell where he meets Seregil, is all alone in the world and has been taking care of himself with his hunting skills and down to earth attitude.

Over the course of the first book, they come to rely on each other, often saving the other’s life. When Seregil is stricken by a mysterious magical illness, Alec proves that he is just as capable of taking care of him, and their dire situation.

This book is a great beginning to a wonderful fantasy series.

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The Art of DyingThe Art of Dying (Partners in Crime #4) by Josh Lanyon and Jordan Castillo Price 2/1/10 Ebook

The two novellas, “Lovers and Other Strangers” by Josh Lanyon and “Body Art” by Jordan Castillo Price are both good, but Josh Lanyon’s “LaOS” just stole my heart. Finn, recovering from a near fatal car accident has returned to his remote New England home for the first time since he’d discovered his lover, Con cheating on him with his twin brother, Fitch.

I loved how Finn saw and interpreted the world around him through color (like the colors of paints). (My mother loved to oil paint, and I spent much time as a kid in art stores looking at the tubes with their wonderful, evocative names.) I wasn’t sure I’d warm up to Con, especially given his infidelity, but I did and then some.

JL packs a lot into this 129 pg novella and it is now one of my favorite stories by him.

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This month really seemed to belong to the Nightrunner series for me. The series crept up on me slowly, and it wasn’t till a couple of days after I finished the first book, Luck in the Shadows, that I realized I had to get the next book. Immediately. After that, the glom was on.

My other top reads of the month were Josh Lanyon’s story “Lovers and Other Strangers” from The Art of Dying and I Spy Something Bloody. Also, Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Kiss and Julie Kagawa’s The Iron King. So, YA, pnr/uf, m/m, romantic suspense. About par for the course! :-)

So, what were your favorite reads in February?

Check out my other 2010 reads here.

March 6, 2010 at 4:00 am 13 comments


Vintage pin-up girl reading
Urban Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Mystery, M/M, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, audiobooks, it just goes on and on...
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