Dec 13, 2008

Short Takes on Vampire and Other Paranormal Titles

There truly are so many books and so little time that I've decided to do short takes on interesting titles that I come across. As much as I would love to read and review every book it's just not possible to do by my lonesome.These are titles I recently found at the new book section of Howard County's Central Library (Maryland)

Every Last Drop: A Novel by Charlie Huston. Ballantine, 2008. Here is the most recent addition to the gritty novels featuring rogue vampire Joe Pitt.

From the publisher: "It’s like this: a series of bullet-riddled bad breaks has seen rogue Vampyre and terminal tough guy Joe Pitt go from PI for hire to Clan-connected enforcer to dead man walking in a New York minute. And after burning all his bridges, the only one left to cross leads to the Bronx, where Joe’s brass knuckles and straight razor can’t keep him from running afoul of a sadistic old bloodsucker with a bad bark and a worse bite. Even if every Clan in Manhattan is hollering for Joe’s head on a stick, it’s got to be better than trying to survive in the outer-borough wilderness.

So it’s a no-brainer when Clan boss Dexter Predo comes looking to make a deal. All Joe has to do to win back breathing privileges on his old turf is infiltrate an upstart Clan whose plan to cure the Vyrus could expose the secret Vampyre world to mortal eyes and set off a panic-driven massacre. Not cool. But Joe’s all over it. To save the Undead future, he just has to wade neck-deep through all the archenemies, former friends, and assorted heavy hitters he’s crossed in the past. No sweat? Maybe not, but definitely more blood than he’s ever seen or hungered for. And maybe even some tears–over the horror and heartbreaking truth about the evil men do no matter who or what they are."

The Reawakened (Aspect of Crow, Book 3) by Jeri Smith-Ready. Luna, 2008.
From the publisher: "She is Rhia, bound to the Spirit of Crow and gifted with vision. In a world besieged by escalating conflict, fate has marked her to deliver the Reawakened from oppression.

Now, with a mighty army of Descendants threatening to crush what's left of her people's magic, she must trust an ancient prophecy and accept the power that is her birthright—the power of life and death itself.

For while the storm of revolution rages, the legacy of the Reawakened is about to be rewritten…in her family's blood. "

I did pickup this book, but everything I have seen tells me the series should be read in order. That means reading first Eyes Of Crow (Aspect of Crow Trilogy) and second Voice Of Crow (Aspect of Crow).

Jeri Smith-Ready is known to vampire fans for her excellent novel Wicked Game
. Pocket, 2008. The sequel Bad to the Bone will be available from Pocket, May 16, 2009.

Deja Demon: The Days and Nights of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom (Kate Connor, Demon Hunter) by Julie Kenner. Berkley, 2008. This is the fourth book in the series. I admit I haven't read any of the titles, but the descriptions look so intriguing. One of the days.....

From the publisher: "Between attending gala fundraisers for her husband’s political campaign, training her teenage daughter to wield a crossbow and a stiletto, pottytraining a toddler, and her increasingly complicated personal life, Kate Connor hardly has time to prepare for the impending chaos of a neighborhood Easter party that has her enslaved to dying hundreds of hard-boiled eggs.

Keeping the local kiddos in line will take all of Kate’s skills as a mother and demon hunter, just when she’ll need them the most. The High Demon Goramesh has returned to San Diablo—this time with a full-blown army of the undead and a powerful demonic ally. Once again, it’s up to Kate to save the world. Good thing she can multi-task..."

Twelve Steps From Darkness by Karen E. Taylor. Juno Books, 2007.
From the publisher: "Something's not quite right about the neighborhood of Woodland Heights. Five years ago, six children disappeared in this suburban heaven. When Laura Wagner moves into a house that had been vacant for most of those five years, odd things begin to happen. Not that Laura, a divorced mother of two, notices. Addicted to alcohol and prescription drugs Laura is oblivious to almost everything. But when she returns home clean and sober after a forced rehabilitation, she realizes there's something very wrong. A wicked spirit begins to prey upon her friends, even her children, avid to spread its evil message of death and despair. Laura's new life and new romance with Mike, the officer who arrested her are in jeopardy. She must learn to control her own inner demons before she can subdue the malevolent forces threatening to break free."

I finished Twelve Steps From Darkness a few days ago. It's the kind of book that keeps you glued to the pages. A brutal haunting infects Laura's house, and it makes her pull together in away she didn't think was possible.

It's worth noting that beginning in 1994 Karen E. Taylor wrote a series of seven novels - Vampire Legacy - that were basically crime stories solved by vampire Deirdre Griffin and her former police detective husband Mitch Greer. I read most of them and enjoyed everyone that I read. In order of publication they are:

Blood Secrets (Vampire Legacy)

Bitter Blood (The Vampire Legacy #2)

Blood Ties (Vampire Legacy, #3)

Blood of My Blood (Vampire Legacy, #4)

The Vampire Vivienne (Vampire Legacy, #5)

Resurrection (The Vampire Legacy, #6)

Blood Red Dawn (The Vampire Legacy, #7)

Dark Curse (The Carpathians (Dark) Series, Book 16)
by Christine Feehan. Berkley, 2008.

From the publisher: "Born into a world of ice, slave to her evil father, Lara Calladine knew only paralyzing fear as a child. Only by escaping with her mysterious gifts unbroken would she survive to claim her great Carpathian heritage as a Dragonseeker…

Now, Lara is in search of the source of her nightmares—the cold, dark corners of her childhood just on the edges of her memory. Only one man has the power and the will to help her: dangerous, arrogant Nicolas De La Cruz.

Together, Lara and Nicolas search the treacherous Carpathian landscape for the truth about their pasts—and discover a passion that neither has ever known before."

Undead and Unworthy (Queen Betsy, Book 7)
by MaryJanice Davidson. Berkley Sensation, 2008. Book 7 in the wildly popular series featuring airhead, fashionista Betsy who finds herself the reluctant queen of the vampires.

From the publisher: “No one does humorous romantic fantasy better than the incomparable MaryJanice Davidson” (The Best Reviews), and nobody reigns over the undead with more savvy than her heroine Betsy Taylor, back to rule the nights as Vampire Queen––and survive the days as a new suburban bride. But it’s not all marital bliss. Betsy’s husband, Sinclair, has been perusing The Book of the Dead, Betsy’s being hounded by a ghost who’s even more insufferable in death than in life, and a pack of formerly feral vampires has decided to pay an unwelcome visit…"

I love this series and am in the middle of Unworthy. Light, funny, witty, and crazy adventures. Everything you expect to find.


SciFiGuy said...

Hey Patricia, I have not come across the Vampire Legacy series you mention. How does it stand up today and compare with recent urban fantasy and paranormal? Should I be checking it out?

PatriciaAltner said...

Hi Doug

It's been a while since I read the books, but from what I recall I believe the series would be enjoyable today. The characters are very appealing and the stories complex and engaging. Taylor started the series before the term urban fantasy became popular. I think these books fit in very well.

I looked through my messy book shelves to see if I could find my copies. Didn't happen.

So to finally answer your question. You probably would enjoy them. If you do read any let me know what you think.

SciFiGuy said...

Thanks Patricia. I checked them out on Amazon and they are out of print but I know a few good used bookstores so I am going to try and track them down. The reviews crossed the spectrum, but I suspect based on what I could see that they were ahead of the paranormal curve and are probably really good.

Jackie M (Literary Escapism) said...

Wow, there's a few on this list I need to check out.

Oh yeah - I nominated you :)

PatriciaAltner said...

Thank you, Jackie!

I'm honored!