Sue L. (VampireRat) - Reviews

1 to 20 of 84 - Page:
After Dark  (Harmony, Bk 1)
After Dark (Harmony, Bk 1)
Author: Jayne Castle
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 283
Review Date: 1/6/2008
Helpful Score: 7


Taking what she learned in creating her first futuristic other-world novels (Amaryllis, Zinnia, and Orchid), Jayne Castle gets it right in this series of novels set on another planet called Harmony, set in the same universe. Each book will stand alone, but they are better if you read this one first as you will get a good introduction to life on Harmony, it's history, and it's culture.

The book description is right here, so I won't repeat that - but look over it to see if this is your "cup of tea." You will find likable characters, romance and love, and an interesting murder mystery, in a well-thought out, imaginative, and interesting setting.

Unlike the first novels set on the planet of St Helens, this series, set on Harmony uses characteristics of the alien world well to increase the mystery and provide some action and interesting characters.

I'd rate any book in the Harmony series as an "all-nighter."


Amaryllis (Curtain: St. Helen's, Bk 1)
Amaryllis (Curtain: St. Helen's, Bk 1)
Author: Jayne Castle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 179
Review Date: 2/19/2008
Helpful Score: 2


Writing as Jayne Castle, Judith Ann Krentz has a series of books set on far off worlds, originally colonized by Earth, but now cut off from their home world. Amaryllis, Zinnia, and Orchid are the first (in that order), set on the planet of St Helens where psychic energy is evolving to replace no-longer working Earth-based technology.

In these first forays into a futuristic setting for this author, the off-world details occasionally feel a little awkward. None of these 3 made me feel like reading an entire book in one sitting. That said, They kept my interest, the characters are interesting, and there is a mystery to solve as the hero and heroine fall in love in each book. From Amaryllis to Orchid, the books seem to become more polished and entertaining as the series develops.

The other-world marriage customs (using matchmaking agencies) were believable, but some of the descriptions of the technology and psychic powers felt less real, and the author just did NOT know what to do with other-worldly plants, animals, and by-products. In particular the practice of naming plant and animal items on the new planet with hyphenated versions of Earth names, drove me *crazy,* i.e. coff-tea, "shaggy six-legged ox-mules," honey-syrup, bee-flies, twin-snakes. Argghhh! And yet, they have (non-hyphenated) cars, trees, clocks, and phones.

If the frequent consuming of coff*hyphenated*tea doesn't get to you like it did me, you will enjoy getting into Ms. Castle's new universe.


Amazon Ink (Amazon, Bk 1)
Amazon Ink (Amazon, Bk 1)
Author: Lori Devoti
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 68
Review Date: 11/10/2010
Helpful Score: 2


An urban fantasy to rival many of the best sellers and beat a good number of them. Why is there not more talk about this author? This was a great adventure. Well developed characters in a well developed paranormal subculture. Romance, but no sex - no problem. There are murders happening and you become more interested in finding the killer along with the heroine. I would imagine the relationships with the men she meets in this novel will grow in future stories. I'll be watching out for them.


At Twilight: Beyond Twilight / Born at Twilight (Wings in the Night)
Review Date: 10/24/2008
Helpful Score: 1


After reading about Jameson Bryant, taken in by vampires as a young boy and raised by them, and later finding him in a story as a vampire, it was good to finally find the story that told of his crossing over. This trade-sized paperback is not easy to come by, but worth lookig for.

Old friends from previous novels made me feel at home in the Twilight world and Ms. Shayne always writes a good book, though I favor her vampire stories. This book also tells the story of the unusual conception and birth of Amber Lily, a legend among the vampires as she is the only child ever born to a vampiress.

To fill out the book, a shorter story has been added, telling the tale of Jane Cuylar and her former DPI pursuer-turned-lover, Ramsey, who has the antigen that will allow him to become a vampire, but does not know it.

Together, these stories give the reader more details about the vampire mythos in the Twilight world and the DPI organization that hunts them, along with a couple of good love stories.


Atlantis Rising (Warriors of Poseidon, Bk 1)
Atlantis Rising (Warriors of Poseidon, Bk 1)
Author: Alyssa Day
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 311
Review Date: 1/20/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Good first book by this author. Mixes Atlantean warriors with vampires and werewolves, but comes off OK. Lots of characters involved who will probably feature in later books. Not on the top of my list, but good enough to watch for the sequel.


Beautiful Bows: Inspirational Ideas for Decorating Flowers, Crafts and Gifts
Review Date: 2/23/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Instructions for making over 20 different bows from basic to tailored and compound for packages, florals, home decoration, and crafts. Unusual bows include a fan, pinwheel, poinsettia, and ribbon rose. Clear instructions with hand drawn illustrations and photo examples.


Bloodlist (Vampire Files, Bk 1)
Bloodlist (Vampire Files, Bk 1)
Author: P. N. Elrod
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 69
Review Date: 11/10/2008
Helpful Score: 5


One reviewer didn't like this series, saying the books are all the same, but I found them entertaining. Book 1 tells you how Jack Fleming, ace reporter, wakens to find himself soaking wet, alone at night on a beach outside Chicago. What happened is a mystery to him, as he's got a bit of a problem with his memory, but that's only the beginning. Within minutes of making it to the highway he is purposely run down by a car and then shot by the driver --- and heals almost immediately. When he can't see himself in a mirror, nor feel his heart beat, he must accept that he's been turned into a creature of legend --- a vampire.

The setting is the early 1930's and the style is noir. Al Capone hasn't been in jail very long and Chicago is still run by gangs. Jack Fleming speaks in the first person and I kept hearing Humphrey Bogart in my head. There are characters named Lucky, Slick and Gordo. And of course, a dame. It's tongue-in-cheek cheesy and a fast, fun ride.


Bridal Jitters (Harmony, Bk 1)
Bridal Jitters (Harmony, Bk 1)
Author: Jayne Castle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 72
Review Date: 2/26/2008


This is a slim REPRINT OF A NOVELLA that appeared in the anthology, CHARMED.


Changes: Stories of Metamorphosis
Changes: Stories of Metamorphosis
Author: M. Bishop, Ian Watson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/5/2008


Eighteen SF stories, mostly written in the 70's to 1983, the publish date. Toime-proven authors some of whose novels you might have read: Ursula LeGuin, Gene Wolfe, Clifford D. Simak, Algis Budrys, R. A. Lafffert. All entertaining.

Excerpts from the introduction:
"Evolution tells us we have changed from quite other beings into what we are now. Therefore (should we survive--touch wood) we ought to change from what we are today into quite other future beings."
"And it may be that we may not change our bodies at all, but deeper down in our beings. . ."
"It's interesting, then, that when a range of writers are invited to concentrate upon the theme of change...many should chose to describe not only bodily alterations, but inner changes as well."


Charmed Destinies: Counting Crows / Drusilla's Dream / Moonglow
Review Date: 1/27/2008
Helpful Score: 2


Lackey is ALWAYS good. Lee and Asaro were new to me. I'd rate Lee as OK and Asaro as Not Interesting. All the stories were good enough to read through, but I could not sympathize with Asaro's characters. I seem to remember being aggravated at her heroine's stupidity. Lee's story was just not memorable that I can recall much about it.


Conran's Kitchens and Dining Rooms
Conran's Kitchens and Dining Rooms
Author: Nonie Niesewand
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/22/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Though the book is dated, it still contains useful ideas on kitchen layout, storage, etc. There are some How To's (for example, "How to Lay Cork and Vinyl Floor Tile," and How to lay ceramic tile.) There's a section of floor plans. and chapters on storage, surfaces, floors., and lighting.


Counterprobe (Probe, Bk 2)
Counterprobe (Probe, Bk 2)
Author: Carole Nelson Douglas
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 1/27/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Couldn't get through the first one, it moved so slowly for me. I have this one somewhere - want it? I don't.


Cow People
Cow People
Author: James Frank Dobie
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/25/2009


I have a hardback copy of this book published in 1964 in the US and Canada by Little, Brown & Co. No ISBN, but a Library of Congress number is 64-17477. Author shoen as J. Frank Dobie.
VR


Crimson City (Crimson City, Bk 1)
Crimson City (Crimson City, Bk 1)
Author: Liz Maverick
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 220
Review Date: 1/20/2008
Helpful Score: 3


A good, moderately fast read. I was previously unfamiliar with this author, but I would read more by her now.

Besides being a good stand-alone story, this book is an intro. to the world of Crimson City, created by Liz Maverick. Several other authors were then invited to create stories set in this world. I suggest you start here and read them all, though each one will stand on it's own. There is even an anthology of short stories. If you like this one search Romance for "Crimson" to find more.


Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega, Bk 1)
Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega, Bk 1)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 852
Review Date: 11/25/2008
Helpful Score: 2


Maybe not quite as engaging characters as the Mercy series, but this book certainly kepat MY attention for a fast read. The characters are flawed and carry a lot of baggage which gets in the way of your warming up to them right away. But the more troubles they have to overcome, the more you appreciate their triumph in the end. I also appreciated becoming more acquainted with Bran and learning more about his family and his powers of control over his pack.


Dark Dreamers: Dark Dream / A Dream of Stone and Shadow
Review Date: 1/5/2008
Helpful Score: 4


If you have enjoyed any of Feehan's Dark novels, you will also like this novella. Note, as mentioned by another reviewer, Dark Dream has already been published in another anthology: After Twilight(?) (this review form is covering my screen and I'm not sure I am remembering the anthology name correctly.)

Liu became one of my favorite authors the first time I read one of her books. She is a relatively new author, all of whose books so far involve characters who work for Dirk & Steele, an undercover paranormal organization. Primary characters in one book have turned up in supporting roles in subsequent books. Most of the paranormals are shape changers, though with this novella, Liu introduces a new type: gargoyles.


Dark Light (Harmony, Bk 5)
Dark Light (Harmony, Bk 5)
Author: Jayne Castle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 229
Review Date: 9/22/2008
Helpful Score: 2


Being the fifth book in a series, you will enjoy this one more if you have read some of the others first, but that said, it can be an fun read on its own since the author gives you plenty of background within the story. It is set on a distant world in the future, cut off from the home world of Earth, where psychic powers are commonplace.

You get to know the characters and like them right away; you get involved with their good times and their problems and you care about them. Sierra is from a wealthy family and struggling to find her role in life, feeling like she has failed at everything she's tried, she is working for a cheesy tabloid newspaper. John Fontana is a wealthy Guild boss with no family status, having been born a bastard, which is practically unheard of on the planet, Harmony. It's a perfect match...

As always, Jayne keeps the story going with lots of action, a bit of death and destruction, peppered with kidnappings and close calls--but with all that, the story is light and fast. There's plenty of romance, just enough hot moments, and an abundance of comic relief provided by Sierra's little "dust bunny" fur-ball named Elvis, whose preferred costume is a sequined cape and dark glasses.

Jayne makes a reference in the book to another of her series, The Arcane Society, having Sierra's family be future descendants of the Society.


Darkness Calls (Hunter Kiss, Bk 2)
Darkness Calls (Hunter Kiss, Bk 2)
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 96
Review Date: 7/19/2016


While I have enjoyed all of Miss Liu's other book series, I could not relate to Hunter Kiss and, after reading HK #1, I found the next two books sitting neglected on my shelf week after week until it was not worth the shelf space to keep them.


Demon's Kiss (Wings in the Night, Bk 13)
Demon's Kiss (Wings in the Night, Bk 13)
Author: Maggie Shayne
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 317
Review Date: 1/20/2008
Helpful Score: 6


Set in the same world as her other vampire novels, this book takes a little different bent: We follow not a couple, but a whole troupe of unusual individuals. Seth is linked to Vixen and must save her. Reaper has an unusual attraction for darkly twisted Briar. Jack stole from Topaz, but she still loves him. I've never had to keep up with so many characters and couples in one of this author's novels. It was distracting.

Seth is a newly made vampire, learning the ropes and caught up in this adventure because of his own strong link to another newly-made vampire, Vixen, who is also a werefox(!) and a tortured prisoner that Seth must rescue.

Reaper is a vampire assassin and Seth's maker. Gregor is also a vampire and is the one holding Vixen. Briar is a member of Gregor's team and the terribly twisted torturer of Vixen.

If you are a regular Shayne reader, some characters and situations will be familiar: Rhiannon makes a cameo appearance. Roxanne/Roxy the one Chosen who will not die young of her affliction, plays a significant role. Jack and Topaz are just silly vampires. Toward the end of the book, we meet Ilyana, another Chosen who apparently heads off into the sunset for her own future book.

Shayne writes well enough to keep my attention, and I usually really like her books, the most interesting thing about which are her characters. I liked some of these characters, but others drove me crazy with their stupidity. You'll just have to try it for yourself.


Derik's Bane (Wyndham Werewolf, Bk 3)
Derik's Bane (Wyndham Werewolf, Bk 3)
Author: MaryJanice Davidson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 647
Review Date: 1/18/2008
Helpful Score: 2


I've enjoyed the Queen Betsy books, but I liked this one even better. A fun, light, fast read. More wit, as fas as I'm concerned, than the Betsy books, and that's what I read MJD for.


1 to 20 of 84 - Page: