Review: Lothaire by Kresley Cole

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Lothaire
Author: Kresley Cole
Published: 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Immortals After Dark #12
Rating: D+


Lothaire has found his bride, the woman who brings his body back to life and is his destined mate. The problem is that two souls currently inhabit his bride’s body. One is an evil goddess who lives for blood, violence and all around nefarious deeds. The other is Ellie, a mortal hillbilly who is content to live-out life on her family’s land. Naturally, Lothaire assumes that his bride is the evil goddess and begins planning a way to exterminate Ellie’s soul.

After waking up covered in other people’s blood, Ellie decides that the only way to stop the goddess is to kill the body they share. But every time Ellie devises a way to kill herself, Lothaire seems to know and pops-up out of nowhere to stop her. After one close call, Lothaire decides that the safest place to keep an eye on Ellie is close by. With this in mind, Lothaire hauls Ellie off to New York where she’ll be prisoner until he discovers a way to kill her soul. Continue reading

Review: Naked In Death by J.D. Robb

Naked In Death

Naked In Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Publish Date: 1995
Genre: Mystery
Series: In Death #1
Rating: D +


I was pretty content to skip around in this series, since each book works well as a stand-alone. However, after reading Glory in Death, I was really flummoxed by Eve’s relationship with Roarke. I didn’t understand why she was so invested in a barely six month old relationship with a man who was manipulative and overbearing. It didn’t seem to fit with her character. So, I decided to go back and read Naked in Death in the hopes it would get me on board with the relationship, which had so far only baffled and often annoyed me.

In Naked in Death, Eve Dallas is tracking down a serial killer who is preying on prostitutes. All roads seem to point to the wealthy Roarke as the lead suspect, but Eve is skeptical. Continue reading

Review: Suicide Squad, Vol 3: Death is for Suckers by Adam Glass

Suicide Squad 3

Suicide Squad, Vol 3: Death is for Suckers
Written By: Adam Glass
Illustrations By: Various
Publish Date: 2013
Genre: Comic
Rating: D +


Suicide Squad, vol 3: Death is for Suckers is the most disjointed volume in the series. I finished it yesterday on the bus, but I’d have a hard time giving you a coherent summary of what happens, except that there was a lot of fighting.

Nearly every page in this collection had characters just wailing on each other. The small bits of plot included were pretty vague and only served as an excuse for more fight scenes. At the beginning, there’s a semi-interesting story involving the Joker returning that ties in to the Death of the Family arc. But that was fairly short lived and mostly just an extended scene of Harley and the Joker beating each other to a pulp. It was also annoying because we’re told that Harley Quinn was only brought into the team as bait to get the Joker out of hiding. Seriously? The one female on the squad was only included because they wanted her boyfriend? If I hadn’t heard how much better this series gets in volume four, I definitely would have given up on it at that point. From there, the story devolves into more random fight scenes while the team tries to recover a “package” for Waller. Continue reading

Review: Gotham City Sirens, Vol 2: Songs of the Sirens

Gotham City Sirens

Gotham City Sirens, Vol 2: Songs of the Sirens
Written By: Paul Dini
Illustrations By: Guillem March
Publish Date: 2010
Genre: Comic
Rating: D-


When I heard that Paul Dini was the writer for the Gotham City Sirens series, I was ridiculously excited. I have nothing but fond memories of the 1992 Batman: The Animated Series cartoon, which he was one of the writers for. Unfortunately, I forgot that he wrote the awful episode where Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy become gal pals and start living together. After reading this comic, I went back to watch the episode and had to roll my eyes at Poison Ivy’s character (who spends most of her time spouting straw feminist ideologies). Basically, if you loved that episode from the show then you’re going to adore this comic series. Gotham City Sirens: Songs of the Sirens features Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn who are roommates trying to live “normal” lives.  Continue reading

Review: Suicide Squad, Vol 2: Basilisk Rising

Suicide Squad Basilisk Rising

Suicide Squad, Vol. 2: Basilisk Rising
Written By: Adam Glass
Illustrations By: Federico Dallocchio
Publish Date: 2012
Genre: Comic
Rating: D+


Suicide Squad: Basilisk Rising picks-up in the aftermath of Harley Quinn’s jaunt through Gotham to retrieve what was left of the Joker. Deadshot is dealing with the emotional trauma of what Harley did to him and the rest of the team is getting crushed under Amanda Waller’s thumb for various reasons. When new information on the Basilisk organization comes to light, Waller recommissions everyone to help bring its leader down.

The first volume (Kicked in the Teethfocused mainly on Deadshot with the government portrayed as an underlying antagonist, willing to use convicts as expendable resources. Where I had issues with the astounding amount of cliches in the first volume, it at least had direction. Here… I’m not sure what they were trying to do. Continue reading

Night Broken

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Night Broken
Author: Patricia Briggs
Published: 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Mercy Thompson #8
Rating: D +


Night Broken is number eight in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series and my introduction to the books.

After a late night visit from Fae Lord, Alistair Beauclaire, Mercy is given seven days to retrieve an artifact from Coyote. Unfortunately, no one seems to know how to find him and Mercy isn’t currently at the top of her game. A panicked phone call had forced Mercy and her husband, Adam, to open their home to his ex-wife, Christy. Now Christy is living with them as they protect her from a homicidal stalker.

Briggs is an engaging writer, but I have a problem with the fact that the rape of her heroines is a device she uses repeatedly. I found it hard enough to deal with it in her Alpha and Omega series, whose heroine has a brutal history of being repeatedly gang raped. So, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to dive into these books since I knew that, in one of the earlier stories, Mercy is sexually assaulted. In Night Broken, I was a little disturbed by how the rape was referred to consistently as just an assault. If I hadn’t known about it prior to going into the story I would’ve assumed that Mercy had just been beat-up. I was also horrified that there’s a video of it floating around, which almost everyone seems to have seen. I was further disturbed by the fact that everyone ignores what happened to Mercy and instead concentrates on how awesome/terrifying Adam was in it when he took out her attacker. This is not what should be concentrated on here. Why does it seems like the tape is getting passed around? Why does no one in this book see it as an extreme violation to have seen this tape? Why isn’t Mercy more upset by it? I really despised how this aspect was handled throughout the story.

Originally, I had chosen to start with this Mercy book because the plot interested me the most. I’m a sucker for stories where established relationships are going through a difficult time while danger stalks them. However, it didn’t work for me here. Mercy is having a tough time as Christy attempts to manipulate her way back into Adam’s life. Instead of doing anything about it, Mercy just keeps quiet. She constantly plays the martyr throughout this novel. By the end, I was so tired of her accepting the blame for every issue that arose and trying to take the heat for people who were at fault.

I also had a huge problem with how Adam handled Christy. He did nothing to protect his relationship with Mercy. If anything, I would say that he piled onto the issue by catering to Christy’s requests. I wasn’t on board with the excuse for his actions being that he didn’t want Mercy to look jealous and petty. I can understand (sort of) why Mercy would be concerned about everyone seeing her that way, as she’s trying to win people over. However, why is Adam so concerned by it? He’s in charge and people seem to adore him. Setting some clear boundaries and backing-up his wife instead of his ex should’ve been a no-brainer. I was further frustrated at how, by the end, nothing came from all the drama with Christy’s manipulations. We spent the majority of the book on Mercy’s angst around the topic and there was no real conclusion to it. The only thing I can think of is that Christy will still be flitting around in the next book and that’s why there was no closure there.

Despite my issues with the novel, I enjoyed the plot around Christy’s stalker and Briggs’ writing style is very smooth. It’s what kept me reading. However, I won’t be picking-up another Mercy book. I didn’t enjoy the characters, or their relationships with each other, enough to read another one. I’ll be sticking with just Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series for now.

Review: Rage by Thea Harrison

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Rage

Author: Amanda Carpenter (aka: Thea Harrison)

Publish Date: 1984

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: D –


I read Rage purely because I was curious to see what Thea Harrison was writing back in the 80’s under the name Amanda Carpenter.

The novella length story focuses on a pair of wealthy socialites and their relationship. Jessica King is a model who has been the long time lover of Damien Kent. When Damien announces that he plans to marry another woman “for business”, Jessica is devastated and decides that some things need to change in her life. Namely, her relationship with Damien.

Rage had some hardcore 80’s soap opera stuff going on. Glasses were getting shattered dramatically, people were slapping each other’s faces, and the rich protagonists are going around calling each other droll. Now, I love a crazy melodramatic book once in a while but this one did not work. It didn’t go far enough into the ridiculous for me to enjoy it as a campy read. There were no rich male stripper with a heart of gold and pet owl (see Lightning That Lingers) or evil twin. Instead, the underlying plot was fairly interesting and believable. It was just the characters’ reactions to what was happening that was completely overblown. (Like Jessica locking the door on Damien which made him kick it down like he’s the freaking Hulk.) That was the major problem I had with this story. The characters’ extreme reactions didn’t match with the tone of the plot. On top of that, the stereotypical snobby rich tone of the dialog grated on my nerves.

Rage was interesting because it shows have much Harrison has developed as a writer in 30 years. However, I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re a fan of her recent work or looking for a contemporary romance to read.