Book Review → House of the Rising Sun

18453118Title: House of the Rising Sun
Author: Kristen Painter
Series: Crescent City
Publication Date: May 13th, 2014

Synopsis: Augustine lives the perfect life in the Haven city of New Orleans. He rarely works a real job, spends most of his nights with a different human woman, and resides in a spectacular Garden District mansion paid for by retired movie star Olivia Goodwin, who has come to think of him as an adopted son, providing him room and board and whatever else he needs.

But when Augustine returns home to find Olivia’s been attacked by vampires, he knows his idyllic life has comes to an end. It’s time for revenge—and to take up the mantle of the city’s Guardian.

Review: This was a pretty good book but I want to start this review with talk of the cover. While this holds no bearing on my actual review it is an important part of the book selecting process. Covers are the first thing a reader/buyer sees and is what gets them to pick up the book. The cover for House of the Rising Sun, while done well and is attention grabbing, is disconnected from the summary and feels like the publisher chose to slap a hot chick on the cover to sell books. While the book does change point of views, the summary only mentions Augustine and leads the reader to believe that he is the main character and the story will mainly be told through him, making the choice of a female on the cover odd. I think that the publisher could have done a better job to connect the cover and the summary together.

The actual story takes place in New Orleans in 2068. I was really skeptical when I saw the time period the story takes place, I’m not much for futurist books but it wasn’t glaringly obvious in this book. There are not any hover cars or anything too off the wall futuristic and with the exception of some really nifty gadgets it was pretty easy to forget it was in the future and not the current time. This was explained as New Orleans tends to cling to the past. While that seems like an easy out, it didn’t bother me in the slightest and the ability to forget it was in the future made the book easier for me to read.

I was very, intrigued by the fae aspect of this story, and I really would loved for there to be extra content that gave more information about the fae and some words used. I felt the world building could have been done better, I get this is a spin-off series, but I think the transition could have been handle better and that Painter owes it to new readers to let them know as much as possible about the world she’s built, especially since this is technically the first in a new series. I really was hoping that this book would keep the darker fae feel I got at the beginning of the book but it almost felt like with the addition of the romance between the main characters the tone of the book changed. I did find myself wishing that there was a bit more depth to the plot. Characters were introduced and it was not too hard to figure out they were up to no good. There were not really any surprises for me, I figured things out before the characters.

For the most part the characters were enjoyable. The dialogue was weird for me in places, I found myself raising my eyebrow at some of the word choices and phrases. At times it felt as if the characters all had one voice and not individual voices and expressions. The pov changed quite a bit and to varying people, this is probably a factor in that. And while we learned quite a bit about most of the characters I don’t feel like I knew them at all, let alone connected with any of them. Though neither Augustine nor Harlowe felt two-dimensional, so that is something.

As I mentioned above I felt the world building was a little lacking. This is a companion/spinoff series from the House of Comarré series and as a new reader of this author I know nothing about her world. And after reading this book I don’t feel I know it as well as I would like to. After finishing this one, I did go back and read the first of the Comarré series, and I’m starting to get the feeling that I’m going to find the world building overall for both series lacking. I really, really would have loved more information and we were given to unreliable narrators who knew little about being fae or anything fae, which didn’t help things at all.

This was a really enjoyable book, I was entertained the entire time I was reading it, however, it’s unmemorable. It’s been a week or so since I’ve read the book and handwritten the review to me typing it, and I am having a hard time recalling a lot of what happened.

Stars: ★★★
Recommendation: Borrow it
I received this book from Orbit on Netgalley for an honest review.

Book Review → Unfixable

21527270Title: Unfixable
Author: Tessa Bailey
Publication Date: April 14th, 2014

Synopsis: Willa Peet isn’t interested in love. She’s been there, done that, and has the shattered heart to prove it. Ready to shake the breakup,she heads to Dublin, Ireland. But there’s a problem. A dark-haired, blue-eyed problem with a bad attitude that rivals her own. And he’s not doling out friendly Irish welcomes.

Shane Claymore just wants to race. The death of his father forced him off the Formula One circuit, but he’s only staying in Dublin long enough to sell the Claymore Inn and get things in order for his mother and younger sister. He never expected the sarcastic American girl staying at the inn to make him question everything.

But even as Willa and Shane’s fiery natures draw them together, their pasts threaten to rip them apart. Can Shane give up racing to be with the woman he loves, or will Willa’s quest to resurrect the tough-talking, no-shit-taking girl she used to be destroy any hope of a future together?

Review: I really enjoyed Willa’s book, it was nice to get to see her a few years later and all grown up. I’ve been hoping that we would get a Willa book since we first met her in Ginger and Derek’s book, Protecting What’s His, and it was great news when Tessa Bailey announced that she was writing one. Bailey has written an engaging story, not just a love story, but a story about a young girl trying to find herself. The Irish setting was a huge plus.

I found Willa and Shane to both be enjoyable characters. I enjoyed the snark between the two of them. Their begrudging attraction to each other that turned into love as they got to know each other better was much preferred to the love at first sight we usually get with contemporary romance.

Bailey has written yet another great book, something I’ve come to expect from her. I was pulled into the story within the first few pages and only put the book down because my eyes would not stay open any longer. Unfixable is an enjoyable, lovely read that could be easily finished in one sitting, and is definitely worth the time.

Stars: ★★★★
Recommendation: Yes
I received this book from Entangled Embrace for an honest review.

Feature → Book series I think should end

bookseries

Hi guys! I’ve been sick the last two days and I don’t have any reviews yet to post. I need to flip through my notebook and type up a bunch of them and I figured while I work on that I’d tide you over with another one of these posts. (Plus some more recs.)

A book series that you think needs to end:

book series - anita blake

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton

I started reading this series in 2007 and I devoured pretty every single book that was out in this series at the time. I loved the first 8 or so books but after that the series went downhill for me. The books become heavily focused on sex, in several books Anita spends most of her time on her back. While I’m far from a prude I really don’t care to read close to 600 pages of sex, and I am not exaggerating when I say that.

The first 8 to 9 books were heavily plot and character focused books. You got to learn about the world and the characters, Anita is such a badass in these first books it’s a travesty what has been done to her in the later ones and breaks my heart. Anita is a vampire hunter, who the vampires call The Executioner, she can’t stand them and only puts up with them as long as they behave. And when they step out of line, she’s there with her stake to put a stop to that. And not only is she a vampire hunter she is also a necromancer who can raise the dead. Like I said, she’s a badass.

Then she gets embroiled in a love ‘triangle’, which caused me to roll my eyes. Then as we get farther into the series pretty much every male that she comes into contact with falls madly in love with her and can’t live without her. Plus everyone wants to shag her. Hamilton has gone a long way against making Anita likeable and enduring her to her readers in these aspects. The books went from having a plot, great characters, and serious aspects to them to feeling like Hamilton was playing out her personal sexual fantasies through Anita.

I stopped reading at Bullet, while Bullet reminded me of old school Anita in ways and all the things I loved about the series, I’ve found it hard to put my faith back in Hamilton and hope that she’s not gone back to her wild sex crazed ways. I’ve attempted several times to read Hit List, I made it two chapters or so in the last time but rolled my eyes when Edward mentions ‘her guys’ and closed the book. I knew it was only a matter of time before the porn started back up.

This series has been going on a long time and has long run its course. It’s true that each series has a certain lifespan on them and this one has long since expired and is now a walking zombie.