Tag: urban fantasy books

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire Review

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1)Title: Rosemary and Rue
 
Author: Seanan McGuire
 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
 
Series: October Daye #1
 
Goodreads Rating: 3.75/5
 
 

Synopsis: October “Toby” Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a “normal” life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas…

The murder of Countess Evening Winterrose pulls Toby back into the fae world. Unable to resist Evening’s dying curse, which binds her to investigate, Toby must resume her former position as knight errant and renew old alliances. As she steps back into fae society, dealing with a cast of characters not entirely good or evil, she realizes that more than her own life will be forfeited if she cannot find Evening’s killer.

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_ & @elaine_reads_romance
 

What I thought about the book:

This series is based on fairies such as the Tuatha Dé Danann (the narrator pronounced Tuatha as “tootha” and drove me crazy!!!!) which I grew up with and just loved having them feature in modern adult stories.

Toby (October) is a fae halfling or changeling who works as a knight and has to constantly prove her worth and strength to full-blooded fae. The ongoing plot of the series centres around her life in this position, she has many experiences and undergoes many changes.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository

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Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

5 Books of the Dead for Dia De Los Muertos

Dia De Los Muertos or the Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday that is actually two days honouring the dead. The first day celebrates infants and children and the second celebrates adults who have passed away.

In honour of the Day of the Dead here are some of my favourite books where the dead are not quite so inanimate.

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A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries, #1)A Hidden Fire – Elizabeth Hunter

A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mysterious manuscript he’s hunted for over five hundred years. He never expected a young student librarian could be the key to unlock its secrets, nor could he have predicted the danger she would attract. 

Now he and Beatrice De Novo follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, though the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation hundreds of years in the making.

The day itself makes an appearance in this urban fantasy book.

Get the book: Amazon

““Do you know much about Dia de los Muertos?” Beatrice asked as they walked.
He shook his head. “Not much. I haven’t spent a great deal of time in Latin America.” He knew plenty, of course, but he preferred to hear her explanation.
“It’s not usually celebrated until November second, but the art center hosts a family fair on Halloween so parents have an option other than trick-or-treating for the kids.” Beatrice smiled at a pair of small children in skeleton costumes with flowers in their hair as they rushed past on the way to the carnival games.”


My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1)My Life as a White Trash Zombie – Diana Rowland

Angel Crawford is a loser.

Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she’s a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who’s been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.

That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn’t have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there’s a job waiting for her at the parish morgue—and that it’s an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.

Before she knows it she’s dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey—just when she’s hungriest!

Angel’s going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn’t, she’s dead meat.

Literally. 

Highly entertaining zombie series.

Get the book: Amazon / Book Depository


Pet SemataryPet Sematary – Stephen King

Sometimes dead is better….

When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son — and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly cat.

But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth — more terrifying than death itself…and hideously more powerful.

King at his finest.

Get the book: Amazon / Book Depository


Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)Halfway to the Grave – Jeaniene Frost

Flirting with the Grave…

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father – the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner – are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

Very raunchy but still fits the urban fantasy bill.

Get the book: Amazon / Book Depository


The Lesser DeadThe Lesser Dead – Christopher Buehlman

The secret is, vampires are real and I am one.

The secret is, I’m stealing from you what is most truly yours and I’m not sorry—

New York City in 1978 is a dirty, dangerous place to live. And die. Joey Peacock knows this as well as anybody—he has spent the last forty years as an adolescent vampire, perfecting the routine he now enjoys: womanizing in punk clubs and discotheques, feeding by night, and sleeping by day with others of his kind in the macabre labyrinth under the city’s sidewalks.

The subways are his playground and his highway, shuttling him throughout Manhattan to bleed the unsuspecting in the Sheep Meadow of Central Park or in the backseats of Checker cabs, or even those in their own apartments who are too hypnotized by sitcoms to notice him opening their windows. It’s almost too easy.

Until one night he sees them hunting on his beloved subway. The children with the merry eyes. Vampires, like him…or not like him. Whatever they are, whatever their appearance means, the undead in the tunnels of Manhattan are not as safe as they once were.

And neither are the rest of us.

One of the best vampire books I’ve read.

Get the book: Amazon / Book Depository

Mexican dia de los muertos skull background Free Vector

Synopsis from Goodreads.

One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews Review

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3)Title: One Fell Sweep

Author: Ilona Andrews

Genre: Science Fiction Urban Fantasy

Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #3

Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads Link

Synopsis: Dina DeMille may run the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, but she caters to a very particular kind of guest… the kind that no one on Earth is supposed to know about. Guests like a former intergalactic tyrant with an impressive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced-and-superhot werewolf; so don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage.

But what passes for Dina’s normal life is about to be thrown into chaos. First, she must rescue her long-distant older sister, Maud, who’s been exiled with her family to a planet that functions as the most lawless penal colony since Botany Bay. Then she agrees to help a guest whose last chance at saving his civilization could bring death and disaster to all Dina holds dear. Now Gertrude Hunt is under siege by a clan of assassins. To keep her guests safe and to find her missing parents, Dina will risk everything, even if she has to pay the ultimate price. Though Sean may have something to say about that!

One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews Bookstagram photo Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram: @elainehowlin_

What I thought about the book:

Loved it!

This series is fantastic! Each book has been a 5 star read for me (fingers crossed for book 4) . One Fell Sweep picks up a few days after Sweep in Peace. Dina is dealing with what she discovered in the previous book when she receives a message from her sister to rescue her from a very dangerous planet.

We get some great character interactions and developments in this one and  some spaceship travel which was one of the things holding it back from feeling more like science fiction to me. Spaceships mean science fiction! The fantasy and sci-fi blend doesn’t suffer for this though.

With the Inn under siege and Dina protecting her guest, sometimes to her detriment, there are plenty of tense situations and action scenes. The love triangle (that I never felt was a love triangle really but a lot of people seem to) is resolved in a great way. I just love the ending so much!!!

It’s just great! A breath of fresh air in genre fiction.

“Yes, the princess you were expecting put on her armor and left to kill the dragon. So sorry.”
― Ilona AndrewsOne Fell Sweep

My Rating: 5 star review

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

The Innkeeper Chronicles

Clean SweepSweep in PeaceOne Fell Sweep


Synopsis and book covers from Goodreads. Photo from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

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July Wrap Up

The Love Story of W.B. Yeats and Maud GonneGuilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #2)Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #3)The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #4)Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #5)The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #6)The End of the AffairBurnt Offerings (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #7)

The Love Story Of W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne by Margery Brady Elaine Howlin Books Blog bookstagram photo
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Books Read

The Love Story of W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne

The Love Story of W.B. Yeats & Maud Gonne by Margery Brady ★★★★☆

This was very interesting but it does focus more on Maud than on Yeats. She seems to have lived a more interesting life with her determination to see Ireland free. It’s more a chronicling of events than a story but I did discover a lot about these people I wasn’t aware of.

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #1)

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★☆

Oh Anita, how awesome your early books were!! This book was voted Castle Dracula’s book of the month for July so I reread it with the group. I disliked the later books so much I had almost forgotten just how good the first few in the series were. Since this is a first in a series there is some world building though not much because the world isn’t that elaborate. We also get a lot of character introductions. It’s a great book if you were a fan of Buffy but want something more adult. It does show it’s 90’s-ness now but it’s still very enjoyable.

Anita is a vampire hunter and animator which is someone who raises the recently dead as a zombie usually for legal reasons such as finalising a will. She’s also a preternatural expert consulting with the police on murder cases where a beastie is believed to have done the deed. So she’s a busy gal!

The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #2)

The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

I enjoyed rereading book 1 so much I decided to keep going with the series. This book fleshes out the world more and we get to know the characters a lot better. I felt the Big Bad in this one had potential to be a bigger character but it didn’t work out that way.

Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #3)

Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★☆

Book 3. The series has gained momentum here and things really start to heat up.

The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #4)

The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★★

Book 4. One of my favourites in the series. A really enticing plot and not too much relationship drama yet.

Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #5)

Bloody Bones by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★☆

Book 5. Excellent addition to the series but again I felt the Big Bad was hyped up a lot then too easily defeated.

The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #6)

The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★★☆

Book 6. This book is the first turning point for the series I think. The books start to focus more on Anita’s romantic relationships from here and so much drama!

The End of the Affair 

The End of The Affair by Graham Greene ★★★★☆

This turned out to be a lot more than a story about an affair. It’s more about people finding their religious identity and beliefs and dealing with loss, jealousy, and what it means to love someone.

Burnt Offerings (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #7)

Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★☆

Things are starting to get annoying now but we’re not quite there yet. We still have a pretty interesting story but we’re sinking really into the vampire world and I always thought Anita’s abilities were more interesting and had more potential for inventive storylines.

Currently Reading

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I’m very slow with reading this. I’m enjoying it but it’s not the kind of book that I feel an urgency to read. There’s no ‘oh my gosh, what will happen next’ feeling.

Her Name Was Rose Her Name Was Rose by Clare Allen

I received an ARC of this from NetGalley and have just started it. Very interesting so far.

Shadowed Souls Shadowed Souls Edited by Jim Butcher

Short story anthology with stories by Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire and Tanya Huff. I probably won’t read them all because I’m not familiar with all of the series that the stories are part of.

BookTubeAThon TBR

BookTubeAThon runs from July 30th – August 5th this year. Check out my announcement post.

The Surface BreaksThe Last UnicornThe Great GatsbyThe Bloody ChamberThe Second SexBlue Moon (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #8)Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #9)

What was your favourite read in July?