Moon Called

moon called

Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook $16.73
Paperback $11.25
Hardback
Kindle $7.99
Associated ISBNs 9780441013814
9780441019274 — Hardcover
9781597227520 — Paperback
9781101208434
9780356500584
9781841496832 — Paperback
9780786561438 — E-Book


Readers Annotation

She’s not a werewolf, but she has to deal with their problems.

Rating (VOYA)

4Q, 4P

This is a pretty well written book with no major errors in continuity or character.

Its a paranormal romance-y deal. People love that genre.

Summary

Spoilers Ahead!

Mercy Thompson is a mechanic in the Tri-Cities. Her neighbor is Adam, the leader of the pack (aka Alpha). She used to work for a Gremlin, but now owns the shop herself. She’s currently working on Stephan’s (the vampire) van. A kid approaches her and asks her for a job. He’s clearly homeless and clearly a new werewolf, he also clearly doesn’t realize that Mercy is a shifter (she can turn into a coyote). The kid says his name is Mac, and Mercy tells him he can help out. She’s trying to win over his trust, so she doesn’t ask questions or offer him unwanted help. Her undercover cop friend Tony shows up to ask Mercy to help out a lady friend of his.

Mac is confronted by generic bad guys/weres. Mercy intervenes. She accidentally kills one of the weres. The bad guys leave. Mercy and Mac pull the body into the garage and she calls Adam. Adam sends a witch (with a super complicated Russian name) to clean up the mess. When the witch gets there she throws some shade at Mercy. Adam arrives pretty pissed (thinking Mercy’s killed one of his wolves) but his anger soon gets directed at the rogues in his territory. He agrees to take Mac in.

Mercy goes home to her trailer, and meets up with Adam’s daughter Jesse.

Some time later Mac’s body ends up on her doorstep. Mercy rushes over to Adam’s home and finds some dead wolves and Adam fighting another. Mercy shoots the invader. Adam is severely wounded. Mercy turns into a coyote to see if she can follow Jesse’s scent to Jesse, but its no use. Thinking the pack may be involved, Mercy bundles up Adam and Mac’s body in her van and heads up to Bran (the Marrok) in Montana to fix him.

Mercy once lived in the Marrok’s pack (but was never one of them). She tracks down Sam (a former love) and Charles. They set Adam up in a cell and help fix him. Sam snaps at Mercy. Mercy works out some of her issues with Bran and Sam. Sam is sent to go back with Mercy and deal with the problems with Adam’s pack (and sends Charles to Chicago to work out the other part of the story). Adam and Sam do some adorable squabbling over Mercy (who just is done with this shit).

Mercy takes Adam to Warren’s place (and accidentally kicks out his boyfriend, which stirs up that can of bees). Mercy leaves Adam and Sam there and goes to talk to Warren’s boyfriend Kyle (and tells him Warren’s a werewolf because Warren can’t tell him b/c RULES). Mercy comes back to Warren’s house to find him standing off with Sam. Adam breaks them up. Adam is going to stay at Warren’s for the time being.

Mercy gets a call from her Gremlin friend for a meeting with someone who knows about the other wolf pack (that had taken attacked Adam). They meet in a bar. Mercy then gets a call from Stephen about Sam. His nest doesn’t like having a new, unofficial wolf in their territory. So Mercy and Sam meet up with Stephen to travel to the nest (the Gremlin gives her a magicked knife).

At the nest, they meet a touched vampire. Then they meet with the mistress, who is entranced by Sam, who is entranced. She drinks from him. Mercy breaks it all up. They are escorted out. They learn that the vampires were paid handsomely to let the other pack into their territory. They get an address.

Mercy and Sam travel back to Warren’s place and finds the rest of Adam’s pack there. There’s a short standoff. The pack decides to check out the address. Mercy is left behind. The address is abandoned when Mercy gets there. Mercy gets confronted at her trailer by the other pack. They talk it out and agree to help her rescue Jesse (and Adam).

They sneak in to get to Jesse. There’s a fight. Mercy figures out that the witch’s witch son is involved and that she’s partially resistant to magic. They take out the witch and confront Jake about his grand plan.

Mercy hires Tony’s girl’s son, goes on a date with Adam and Sam is crashing with Mercy for a while.

Evaluation

Ok, so I actually started this after we listened to Cry Wolf (the first book in the spin-off series). So, we were curious about Sam and Mercy.

This is a fun little read (or listen). Mercy has a great voice and is a good heroine (not super badass but definitely not a damsel in distress). She’s a sarcastic mechanic who happens to have a lot of connections. Adam is a pretty good character too. He’s not like Mercy (he’s more strict and organized). Sam is… difficult. We get a lot of his past, but I don’t always understand him. We get a taste of Bran and Jesse and all of Mercy’s other supporting characters.

The Tri-cities are as described as a city can be, as well as Mercy’s trailer, Adam’s home and where Bran’s pack lives (the name escapes me). They’re not super detailed, but they don’t really need to be.

Look, its a fun little romp. Its an interesting world and an interesting character. There isn’t much steam but its got the beginnings of a great love triangle.

Genre

Urban Fantasy

Paranormal Romance

Readalikes

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Significance

Urban Fantasy with a lady mechanic lead.

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

What do you think about this interpretation of werewolves/paranormal world?

What is your opinion of Mercy’s status in both packs?

Discussion on pack politics.

Author’s website

Patricia Briggs

Awards

none

Reviews

Amazon

Why I Chose It

Wanted to know the rest of the world from the other book in the spin-off series we listened to. Plus, ties to native culture! Yay diversity!

Other Information

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A Darker Shade of Magic

 

Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook $25.96
Paperback $16
Hardback $15.46
Kindle $9.99
Associated ISBNs 9780765376459
9780765376466
9781466851375

Rating (VOYA)

5Q, 4P

This book is so good. It deserves that 5Q its so well done, and the only reason that its a 4P is because I know there are people out there who don’t like Fantasy.

Readers Annotation

The balance between Londons is out of whack and only one man can save them all.

Summary

I don’t know if I can do this book any justice, and I really want to avoid the SPOILERS, so this will probably be a less detailed summary than usual. But for funzies here’s what V.E. Schwab had to say about her own book on Goodreads (which is super accurate tbh):

“–Magic

–Cross-dressing thieves

–(Aspiring) pirates

–Londons (plural)

–Sadistic kings (and queens)

–A royal who is equal parts Prince Harry and Jack Harkness

–More magic (blood magic, elemental magic, bad magic, etc. etc.)

–Epic magicky fights scenes

–Angst!

–And coats with more than two sides”

So Kell is one of the only Antari left (magician, two different eyes, able to travel between worlds). He works for the Red throne (obvs in Red London). He bops between Red, White and Grey London giving messages from monarchs to other monarchs.

SPOILERS?!?!

So, Kell has this habit of bringing things from other worlds back to Red London (which he’s not supposed to do). Rhy finds out and yells at him. Kell lives in the Red castle with the royal family and is a “family member”…. but Kell knows he’s not really family (except to Rhy, who loves Kell to death and whom Kell would do anything). 

So Kell goes to White London, which is ruled by these creepy tyrants (the Dane twins) and their pet Antari Holland. They’re clearly up to something and after drugging Kell they convince him to take something with him to Red London.

This something turns out to be something from Black London (the London that went magic mad and tried to take over all the Londons… its supposed to be dead and gone).

Kell ends up in in Grey London, Lila steals the rock from Black London. Hijinks ensue, and assassins come for Lila and Kell. The two team up and Kell ends up taking Lila with him back to Red London. They split up, as Kell needs to talk to the royals about what the Danes are up to.

Turns out, the Danes have taken over Rhy’s body, Lila infiltrates a party and Kell tries to rescue his brother. Rhy dies, Kell freaks out and uses the Black rock to bind their lives together, giving life back to Rhy. The catch is that whatever happens to one of them will happen to the other. Kell doesn’t care, he needs his brother.

Kell and Lila go to White London to take on the Danes (and Holland).

Evaluation

Look guys, this is my new favorite book.

I heart this book with a passion. So much so that I bought the whole series in hard cover after I got through with this one.

This is the best.

I feel like I’ve said that before (coughtReadyPlayerOnecough), but this is my JAM!

Fantasy, Urban Fantasy (any Fantasy) is right in my wheelhouse. After finishing the (admittedly awesome) Readers Advisory class that started this blog, I knew I wanted to read something I KNEW I was going to love. This was on my list. It took forever to get to it (what with the whole graduating/final portfolio thing that was the first half of this year), but when I did… Whoo boy!

… Insert all the Fangirling here.

It is so hard for me to look at this book objectively. I just love it so much.

The characters are great. Kell is such a compelling lead. He is trying to maneuver through all this political drama, he has issues with his family, and then he picks up this thief. Speaking of the thief in question: Delilah Bard. Lila is my new favorite heroine. Her personal motto: you can’t have too many knives (after all, who knows how many bitches you may need to stab?). She’s a badass teenager with trust issues (from living on the streets) but she is such a witty girl. These two are a winning pair. Look, most of the focus is on them (character development-wise), at least in this book. But V.E. Schwab really gives you a feel for every other character in these two’s orbit. He wasn’t in it much, but I found myself echoing Kell in the feeling of: protect Rhy at all costs (oh my precious little bi baby… you’re too good for this world).

The three main worlds are completely different, and V.E. Schwab does a great job differentiating them. Grey London is so drab and magic-less and boring. Red London is bright and vibrant and full of magic. White London has that feeling of of the life draining from it (literally) and the people are just starting to go off the rails.

I don’t even remember what else I’m supposed to analyze, I’ll have to come back to this some day with a clearer head.

Point is this: if haven’t already, READ THIS BOOK!!!!!

Genre

Fantasy

Historical Fantasy

Readalikes

We Will All Go Down Together by Gemma Files

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Significance

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

Author’s website

V.E. Schwab

Awards

Library Journal Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

LibraryReads Favorites: 2015

Reviews

Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Booklist

Why I Chose It

This sounded like a really neat book with a premise right up my alley (plus it had a pretty sweet cover).

Other Information

Guilty Pleasures

Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook $80.73
Paperback $11.02, $6.00
Hardback
Kindle $7.99
Associated ISBNs 9780441304837
9780515134490 — Paperback
9780515136173 — Paperback
9780515144185 — Paperback
9780425187562 — Hardcover
9780425197547 — Paperback
9780785776185
9781596880078 — Hardcover
9780613582926
9781596880283 — Paperback
9781596880061 — Hardcover
9781101146385
9780755355297 — Paperback
9780786528967 — E-Book
9780755374816
9780785125792

Rating (VOYA)

3Q, 4P

The quality was alright. It wasn’t the best written, the characters weren’t the greatest, but it was sturdy and appealing.

Popularity wise, this was a big one from my Readers Advisory class, and it seems as though it must be popular (considering it spawned like, 27 sequels).

Readers Annotation

Someone’s killing vampires, and it isn’t Anita Blake.

Summary

Anita Blake is a necromancer (by any other name). She raises the dead for a living. Her friend is having a bachelorette party at a vampire strip club. But surprise! Its a set-up. The vampires have manipulated Anita into coming to the club to blackmail her into finding the killer targeting vampires. Her friend is now under the power of one of the vampires from the club. Jean Claude (the sexy, French vampire club owner) really wants to be able to mentally manipulate Anita. She reluctantly agrees to look into the killings (not that she has a choice).

A “friend,” a psychopathic former assassin, is looking for the vampire queen. He knows Anita knows something. Anita gets abducted by Jean Claude. She gets thrown into a basement filled with were-rats. She fights them to stay alive. The vamps pull her out eventually. Then she meets the vampire queen, a scary old little girl. She meets their personal necromancer and keeps them from killing him.

She investigates the murders with the help of her cop friend. The psychopath ends up helping. She’s running low on sleep. She figures out who the killer is, there’s a showdown. She confronts the vampire queen and there’s a showdown too.

Evaluation

Of course he’s a foreign vampire with a sexy accent. Of course he’s going to be the love interest. Of course she’s a “badass.” These are all things I found myself thinking at the start of this book. I listened to the audio, which was great. But really, its like all the modern vampire cliches were in this book just to begin. I honestly thought this would be just like One Foot in the Grave, but it wasn’t. In fact, there wasn’t any romance at all, just hints of what will surely come. It wasn’t what I was expecting and I found it refreshing. I mean, we all know she’s going to end up with Jean Claude eventually.

Really, I found the characters… lacking. The plot was interesting. I liked that there was a mystery for the characters to solve, and I think it had just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting, but once you looked past that there were some problems. I didn’t completely connect with Anita. She didn’t really seem to deserve her killer reputation (pun intended). She wasn’t entirely likable, even though I loved her sarcasm. Jean Claude was questionable, and really wasn’t developed so well. He came off less sexy, and more creepy, manipulative asshole.

I think the world that was built was interesting. I wonder about having all this supernatural stuff out in the open, but it seemed mostly believable. I thought the human/supernatural conflicts were relatively believable, if not a little muted given today’s world.

I don’t know, overall. I liked it while I was listening to it, but it wasn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever read. I’m really on the fence about it. I think I’ll try another one and see where it leaves me.

Genre

Urban Fantasy

Readalikes

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

River Marked by Patricia Briggs

Significance

A sexy paranormal romance without the sexy romance.

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

Do you think Anita deserves the “Executioner” title and associated fear?

What do you think of the world Laurell K Hamilton has built?

What do you think about this interpretation of vampires?

Author’s website

Laurell K Hamilton

Awards

None

Reviews

Amazon

Why I Chose It

I chose this book because everyone in my Reader’s Advisory class had raved about this series, so I thought I’d try it out.

Other Information

One Foot in the Grave

Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook $17.59
Paperback $7.19, $5.78
Hardback
Kindle $4.99
Associated ISBNs 9.780061245091
9.780061736490
9780061649165 – e-book

Rating (VOYA)

3Q, 4P

Readers Annotation

Sexy heroine meets sexy ex-boyfriend and teams up to defeat evil undead.

Summary

Half-vampire Cat Crawford now leads a secret government SWAT team that takes out evil undead. She has just lead a semi-successful raid that has left one of her own dead. She has also just let the maker of her ex-boyfriend live instead of killing him like her boss wanted.

She has started dating again, but still thinks about her ex, the sexy vampire Bones. Her best friend has just gone through a whirlwind romance and gotten engaged. Between thinking about breaking up with her boyfriend, her job hunting vamps, and her best friends upcoming nuptials, she barely has time to think about the hit taken out on her.

At the rehearsal dinner she runs into Bones, he is one of the groomsmen, and they have a tiff. She’s still extremely attracted to him, and he to her. He says he’s been looking for her since she left him 4 years ago, and that she’s in trouble. She naturally takes him back.

Bones clashes with Tate, Cat’s friend and co-worker (because Tate’s in love with Cat). It’s discovered that the man who took out a hit on Cat is Bones’ maker, so Bones amasses his forces (the vampires and ghouls that he’s made) and sets a plan in motion. This brings Annette (one of Bones’ former client/girlfriend) back into the picture, and she and Cat bitch fight it out.

The conclusion has Bones, and Cat taking on Bones’ maker in what amounts to vampire court.

Evaluation

This was a really fun romp. I may have made the mistake of starting on the 2nd book (oops), but I didn’t think I really needed the first to get into it. This is sarcastic, sexy, and full of action.

The characters are pretty well fleshed out. They all fit into a lot of the old tropes, but they work well with them. Sexy, badass heroine. British, sexy vampire. Anti-vampire mom. Secret government agency. Evil vampires. Stakings. This one at least has a heroine whose reputation is actually deserved, unlike some other series (Anita Blake). The interactions between the characters is really where the action’s at. The relationship between Bones and pretty much every character who is not Cat is worth the price of admission alone.

This is a pretty well written book, considering. There aren’t a lot of gaping flaws and errors. Its a fun ride all the way.

I think this book is just perfect for its audience. Its sexy, its fun, and its got some great action. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea Paranormal Romance-wise, but its a pretty great example.

Genre

Urban Fantasy

Paranormal Romance

Readalikes

Darkness Unmasked by Keri Arthur

First Grave On the Right by Darynda Jones

Significance

An interesting take on some old classics, blending sarcasm and sex to make an enjoyable ride all the way through.

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

Is it believable that Cat is so attractive that everyone wants her?

What do you think about this interpretation of vampire?

Let’s talk about Cat’s wardrobe.

Author’s website

Jeaniene Frost

Awards

None

Reviews

Amazon

Reviews

Why I Chose It

It sounded like a ridiculous paranormal romance, and I wanted to try that out.

Other Information

The Fifth Season

5th-season

Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook  $23.60
Paperback $9.97
Hardback  x
Kindle $9.99
Associated ISBNs 9.78032E+12
9.78032E+12

Rating (VOYA)

5Q, 4P

This was a really well written and fleshed out book. The very highest quality.

A very interesting and compelling fantasy that could be popular with a more mainstream audience.

Readers Annotation

The world is ending.

Summary

There are three distinct characters: Essun, Syenite, and Damaya.

Essun discovers the body of her son, murdered by her husband. She must escape her village and track him down because he has her daughter. She starts to track him as the world is ending and people are scrambling to find safety. Essun picks up a companion in the boy Hoa (a stone eater) and then another in the scientist Tonkee. They discover a hidden orogene colony.

Damaya’s parents have sold her off the the orogene school. She quickly learns that they will kill her if she steps out of line. The other children bully her for her studiousness. She keeps her head down until she must retaliate. She discovers a room full of stone eaters.

Syenite is a four ring orogene. She is assigned a task with Alabaster, with whom she is supposed to conceive a child. Along the journey she discovers that orogenes that cannot be controled are tied to the earth and used to mindlessly control tremors. She unearths an obelisk in a harbor and draws the interest of a Guardian. Alabaster and Syen are transported to an island far away. She becomes a pirate until she draws attention from the Guardians and ends up having to sacrifice her son.

Evaluation

This book is a little dense, but very interesting. I was really intrigued, even if it took a bit to get through it all. It approaches a lot of subjects like: fear, oppression, and racism. Its also very non-European. I thought the plot was very well worked, and that the three concurrent storylines kept the reader in suspense and hid the big twist at the end of the book really well.

I think fans of Fantasy will really enjoy this one. Its a really interesting, well flushed out world with intriguing powers and social injustice. It may be a bit hard to get into, and the glossary is really appreciated. The flaw might just be that it is a really dense book, even though its pretty amazing its a little hard to read.

Genre

Apocalyptic fiction, Epic fantasy

Readalikes

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley

Significance

This is book earned N.K. Jemisin a Hugo, she is the first African Amercian to get one.

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

Why do you think Jija took Nassun?

Discuss the reasons the orogenes are controlled by the Folcrum.

Author’s website

N.K. Jemisin

Awards

Hugo Awards: Best Novel

Library Journal Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

New York Times Notable Books – Fiction and Poetry: 2015

Reviews

Kirkus

PW

Why I Chose It

Required Read. Sounded like an intriguing Fantasy novel with big concepts overlain.

Other Information