Book Review: Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #9) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Blake, the tough, sexy vampire executioner, zombie animator, and police consultant for preternatural crimes in St. Louis, hunts monsters in New Mexico in the ninth book of Laurell K. Hamilton’s excellent series. Edward, Anita’s mentor in slaying, asks Anita to return the favor that she has owed him since she killed a backup he brought in to protect her. He needs Anita’s preternatural expertise as well as her firepower. Something is skinning and mutilating a few of its chosen victims, and dismembering others. Edward has no idea what creature could be responsible for such heinous crimes.

Summoning Anita has its downside for Edward, since it means letting her onto his turf. Anita is surprised to find that this normally aggressive man has a personal life, and shocked by his ability to be entirely different from the stone cold killer she’s known. She also has problems with the cop in charge in Albuquerque, who believes her powers must be evil, and with the other backups Edward has brought in. Most of all, she has to deal with her own vulnerability–she’s tried to shut down her ties to her vampire and werewolf lovers and go it alone, but it turns out to be harder than she thought.

Anita’s usual supporting cast is missing, and she’s taking time out from her complex love life, but there’s plenty of bloody action, vampires, werewolves, and Aztec ritual. Plus a lot more about Edward. Fans will find this installment similar to the earlier books in the series, particularly The Laughing Corpse. –Nona Vero

Anita never can just take a casual trip anywhere can she? Well no of course not because she is Anita Blake and while I admit I missed Jean Claude in this one, I did not miss some of the boyfriend drama that crops up when him and Richard are involved. Without that secondary boy drama around Anita was able to get down to the business of being ass deep in alligators. Yes she still has moments when she thinks of them and complains about what a Monster she is becoming but that is Anita you just accept it after a while, it does not keep her from kicking some butt and taking names.

Personally I also love the fact that we get to know Edward more. The mysterious assassin for hire has always been a curious note for me and one that I enjoyed. So Anita getting to spend some quality time with a man who didn’t want to get into her pants and letting us the reader get to know him better gets a thumbs up from me. Overall this was a solid installment in the series and I would recommend it to fans in a heart beat.

My Gemstone Rating:



Book Review: Gates of Paradise (Blue Bloods #7) by Melissa de la Cruz

Schuyler Van Alen is running out of time. The Dark Prince of Hell is storming the Gates of Paradise, intent on winning the heavenly throne for good. This time he has his greatest angels by his side, Abbadon and Azrael—Jack and Mimi Force, as they are known in the Coven.

Or so he thinks. Even as Lucifer assigns Jack and Mimi the tasks of killing their true loves, the Force twins secretly vow to defeat the Dark Prince once and for all. But how far will Mimi and Jack go to conceal their real loyalties?

Meanwhile, former vampire Bliss Llewellyn has joined forces with Lawson, the greatest wolf of the underworld, to free his people from their imprisonment in Hell. As they struggle against impossible odds, an ancient message, woven into the very fabric of time, reveals just how much depends on the success of their mission.

Lucifer seeks the key to the Gate of Promise, and when Schuyler is taken captive and delivered straight to Hell, she must make an unthinkable choice—the same one the archangel Michael was forced to make during the Crisis in Rome. Will Schuyler find the strength to do what he could not?

The epic, heartbreaking Blue Bloods series comes to a close with this final novel about staggering courage, unbearable sacrifice, and the immortality of true love.

I have been up and down with this series, from moments of pure love to moments of “why the heck am I reading this?” and I have to say while this last installment of it did not help me fully find the love again it was a solid ending, mostly anyways. Those who want Mimi with Kingsley and Schuyler with Jack will be happy campers, won’t say how they get there but enjoy.

So what about the rest of the book, well while we get some answers and a big last battle, there is so much that is not well thought out or plotted out that you are left kind of going, what? I won’t go into the full details to stay away from spoilers to much but seriously there are plot holes bigger then a bus that you could drive a lot of stuff through and it just kinda leaves you feeling, Meh.

I am glad that I stuck with it long enough to finish the series. However if there is any spin offs I do not see myself investing much in them either. Bit of a mixed bag for me in the end.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Shadowborn (Darkborn #3) by Alison Sinclair

From the author of Lightborn, the third book in a Regency- flavored fantasy series of magic and manners.

Magic dies with the mage, or so the Darkborn believe. That’s why Lady Telmaine Hearne has been condemned to death for sorcery. She’s escaped but is now bound with her mageborn allies for the Borders and war. Meanwhile, her husband, Balthasar, has learned of his family connection to the Shadowborn-and is fighting for survival and sanity as magic turns him against everything he holds dear.

I really hoped that the third book would remind me why I fell in love with the Darkborn series sadly it did not. Once again while it was not a terrible book it just was not that great and it could have been. In the end this series ended up being to convoluted and not able to sustain itself without coming off as just muddled. The characters that seemed so key in the first two books were nearly missing in this one as well, which left me confused and slightly upset as well.

So while this is not the worst series I have ever read it is certainly not the best. Some of the questions I wanted answered did get answered others did not. A lot of this one dragged as well, which it shouldn’t have felt like it did because there was action. In the end this one jut leaves me feeling luke warm.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Lightborn (Darkborn #2) by Alison Sinclair

The Darkborn aristocracy has rejected magic, viewing the pursuit of science as the only worthy goal. But Lady Telmaine Hearne does not have that luxury. She has kept her own powers secret, fearful of being ruined in society…until her husband Balthasar draws her into a conspiracy to protect the archduke and his brother against a magical enemy. But who will protect them from her?

Well as has been documented on the blog here I was in a little bit of a meh mood about reading in general when I started this book, however I did manage to shake that mood and dig into the second book of the Darkborn series.

I have to say I preferred Darkborn to this one a great deal actually. We do get to meet some new Characters and some that were lesser in the first book are brought forward more. However two of the main characters are pretty much not here at all and for me that was troubling. I have not been able to personally connect well with Telmaine so the story being mainly from her POV made it a little bit of a snooze fest for me. I wish I could blame it on my mood but I really do feel it was the book, it just was not as good. You do not get much answered either which is troubling. Personally when I am reading a series I think that each book in the series needs to build and give me some answers from the previous books questions, not just keep heaping questions on the pile.

So while this was not my favorite book I will read the third in the series and hope that I get the rest of my questions answered that way. All in all this one was a luke warm feeling for me.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Revealed (House of Night #11) by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast

Revealed is the spellbinding eleventh and penultimate installment in the #1 New York Times bestselling vampyre series by PC and Kristin Cast.

Drastically altered after her fall at the end of Hidden, Neferet is now more dangerous than ever—and her quest for vengeance will wreak havoc on humans, as well as Zoey and her friends. Chaos is loosed in Tulsa and the House of Night is blamed. Can Zoey stop Neferet in time to keep her anger from escalating to full-on war? Or will someone else have to step in to take the fall?

The House of Night series is an international phenomenon, reaching #1 on U.S., German, and UK bestseller lists, and remaining a fixture on The New York Times Children’s Series bestseller list for nearly 150 weeks and counting. With more than 12 million copies in print, rights sold in thirty–eight countries to date, and relatable, addictive characters, this series is unstoppable. Now, in the eleventh and penultimate installment of the series, the action is more intense and the stakes even higher as Zoey and her friends battle to protect their school and home from devastating evil—all while balancing romances, precarious friendships and the daily drama of the House of Night’s halls.

This review has:

There were things I liked about this book and things I did not like about this book. What I did not like is a lot of the repetitiveness that is cropping up. We seem now to be going in circles with the actions and even the big things that people are doing. Including how in the end Zoey has a temper tantrum of horcrux like style and kills to guys. Sure they were creepy and preyed on little girls, but hello call the cops. It is a sad day in reading when you are starting to root for the very bad bad guy just because the kids are starting to get a little ridiculous.

Now one thing that I did like a lot was Kalona, he is really starting to come into his own as a character and be more then just the winged immortal. He has a soul has feelings and he truly is trying to get back on the good side of the Goddess. Watching his struggle is so very human and enjoyable. Maybe the fact that he is not a teenage brat is helpful as well because he you know acts like an adult.

Like many I have stuck with the series this long I am going to stick until the end, I just feel myself getting a bit happier that the end is very near now. Oh and for the record we really don’t learn as much about Neferet as they claim we will…at least nothing interesting.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Burnt Offerings (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #7) by Laurell K. Hamilton

“You can’t trust anyone who sleeps with the monsters.”

That’s what I’ve always said. That’s what I’ve always believed. But now I’m the one sharing a bed with the Master Vampire of the City. Me, Anita Blake. The woman the vampires call the Executioner. From part of the solution, I’ve become part of the problem. So it hits close to home when an arsonist begins to target vampire-owned businesses all over town — an arsonist who seems to want to destroy more than just property. It’s the monsters who are in danger now. And it’s up the the Executioner to save them from the inferno..

I think if I was Anita I would decide to run away and never return with how much her ass is usually up in alligators. That happens to be the case again in Burnt offerings, and what is worse is that of course her and Jean Claude are at odds with Richard. Not to mention that when the council comes to town they make things even worse on Anita and her gang. So what do you do when the chips are down? Dress up and fight back with a lot of ammo and everything else.

I really enjoyed this installment of the Anita Blake series and I have to say it is the first one that really really made me say OH YEAH this is why I am reading it. We see such a nice variety of vampires that can all do different things. Some are monsters, some appear to be monsters and are not and some are just pretty decent. I give this one a big recommend.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Lost in Time (Blue Bloods #6) by Melissa de la Cruz

The stakes have never been higher for the young Blue Bloods of Manhattan. After their brief yet beautiful bonding ceremony in Italy, Schuyler Van Alen and Jack Force depart for Egypt, desperate to find the elusive Gate of Promise before Jack must face his twin, Mimi, for a blood trial. A blood trial that only one of them can survive. But everything Schuyler thought she knew about the gate turns out to be a lie, and they soon find themselves ensnared in a deadly battle against the demon-born. Schuyler and Jack take up arms, only to realize that there is a much graver threat simmering in the Kingdom of the Dead.

Meanwhile, determined to save the only vampire she still loves, Mimi has followed Kingsley Martin into Hell. With the help of her new human Conduit, Oliver Hazard-Perry, Mimi makes a bargain with the Queen of the Dead that she may soon regret. When the time comes to choose between love and revenge, both Mimi and Oliver will learn the true meaning of sacrifice.

confronted by danger, betrayal, and loss at every turn, the Blue Bloods must find the will to fight – and love – another day

This one is much better then Bloody Valentine the Novella and I feel more on par with what is going on in the series again. So very good on that end of things. Some of it just seemed to drag a little and seemed like filler, but overall I enjoyed this this installment of the Blue Bloods novels. We are getting closer to the end game of finding the gates, having indeed found a gate to hell. I do hope we get to the other gate soon, the actual gate of promise or as is being hinted the gate to paradise.

Kingsley is back as well and there is a lot of very teenage go around with that between Mimi and him while Oliver just kind of hangs out and seems a little gullible. I wish they would make him the solid smart lad he was before. Overall a 4 rating because the story itself was enjoyable. It did not however keep me overly invested in the series other then the fact I have already invested so much time in it and I want to see what happens.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Destined (House of Night #9) by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet – which would be a whole lot easier if the High Counsel saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx’s gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together – if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father’s shadow…

But there are new forces at work at the House of Night. An influx of humans, including Lenobia’s handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability. And then there’s the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more – or possibly less – than human. Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon. But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling. And there’s something strangely familiar about him…

Will Neferet’s true nature be revealed before she succeeds in silencing them all? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox’s humanity in time to protect him – and everyone – from his own fate? Find out what’s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

Okay in general I feel the last line of the book description is a little deceiving as we do not get to much into Aurox and his humanity, some yes more then when we first met him yes but it was not the entire crux of the story. That said I really enjoyed this installment of House of Night. I love the play and different views of characters and what we learn from them. My favorite part although it made me cry and cry a lot was that Dragon who I always enjoyed and wanted to get to know better redeemed himself from the path of being very close to darkness that he was going to walk.

Lenobia gets more of a story in this version as well and we slowly start to learn some more about the horse Mistress. I loved the action in this one but I really loved that we are branching out and getting to know some of the “secondary” and older characters within the book as well not just the teens. I am looking forward to the next installment.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Bloody Valentine (Blue Bloods #5.5) by Melissa de la Cruz

The Blue Bloods have powers beyond human comprehension: strength that defies logic, speed that cannot be captured on film, the ability to shape-shift, and more. But in matters of the heart, no one, not even those immortal vampires, has total control. In Bloody Valentine, part of the best-selling Blue Bloods series, author Melissa de la Cruz offers three tantalizing stories that delve deep into the love lives of the all-powerful vamps (and their Red Blood friends) from New York’s Upper East Side. Might a witchy new girl help cure Oliver’s broken heart? How did Allegra fall in love with a human? Will Schuyler and Jack finally be bonded?

Romantic and sensual, Bloody Valentine reveals the undying love, the hope and devastation, and the lust and longing that have defined the Blue Bloods throughout history. Prepare to be swept off your feet.

Personally with this one I found that the description promised a lot and the writing did not deliver. It was all smashed in to fit the novella and a lot of what happened was just to fast and not very clear. There was also a pop in by a character from the Witches of East end that just kind of made my eyebrows go up a bit. I guess it does not seem completely off to tie your books together, but still.

So while it was not the worst thing I have ever read but it was not the greatest either. I think the author might have been better off putting it into the first chapters of the next book in the series. It was useful on some things, but other then just getting some loose ends taken care of.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #6) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Dating both a vampire and a werewolf isn’t easy. But just to complicate Anita’s already messy life, someone has put a price on her head. Love cannot save her this time, so she turns to Edward, hitman extraordinaire, for help. But finding the person behind the threat won’t be easy, because as both a vampire hunter and zombie reanimator, Anita has made a lot of enemies-both human and otherwise.

FINALLY! FINALLY! She slept with one of them. In the interest of not giving away which one I won’t say since it is a spoiler, but FINALLY. This was a pretty good installment of the Anita Blake series,and I was not overly surprised at who put a price on her head. What I did appreciate and was surprised by was how far, Edward the friendly neighborhood assassin was willing to go to keep Anita safe. Looks like he has a heart in there somewhere. There was a lot of action in this one, as usual Anita was ass deep in alligators but I really enjoyed it. I also really enjoyed picturing the leather get up she got into when going with Richard to the pack. I know silly of me but Jean Claude really has much better fashion sense then Anita does. He is french after all, and fashion is one thing I will always give to the french.

My Gemstone Rating:


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