It’s my last book of the year, and I’m feeling a bit worn out after a LOT of blogging, so I’m taking the liberty of letting the authors themselves summarise the book (it’s self published), because Ilona writes way better than I:
On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problems should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is…different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, “normal” is a bit of a stretch for Dina. And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night… Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor Sean Evans – an alpha-strain werewolf – and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her Inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she is facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.
Harry Dresden is now one of the wardens of the White Council of wizards, and he’s about as thrilled about it as many of the wizards on the council are about him being recruited. Harry’s asked to look into rumours of black magic in the Chicago area, and his mentor, Ebenezer McCoy, also requests that he enquire with his faerie contacts about why the Fey Courts are refusing to involve themselves in the conflict with the Red Court of vampires, even after the vampires broke into faerie territories in the Nevernever.
Harry still owes Mab, the Winter Queen, two favours, and his dealings with the Fey never really turn out in his favour. Lily, the new Summer Lady (youngest of the three Summer Queens) owes him a favour, but neither she nor Fix, the Summer Knight, can directly answer Harry’s questions, or aid him, due to a compulsion laid on them by Titania, the Summer Queen, who’s not exactly one of Dresden’s biggest fans. Getting the answers McCoy wants isn’t going to be easy.
The possible black magic use he’s been asked to investigate seems connected with mysterious attacks at a horror movie convention. Molly Carpenter, the teenage daughter of Harry’s friend Michael, comes to him for help. Her boyfriend is the chief suspect after a man was viciously attacked in a bathroom, but claims he’s innocent. Shortly after Harry arrives at the convention to investigate, a number of people are attacked by a seven foot tall assailant who looks just like the killer in the slasher flick recently screened.
It’s nearly Halloween (Harry’s birthday) and Harry Dresden is less than thrilled to discover that his friend Police Lieutenant Karrin Murphy is going off to Hawaii with another man. He’s even less thrilled when Mavra, an extremely powerful vampire of the Black Court, who he hoped they’d managed to kill in Blood Rites, turns out not to be dead and is blackmailing him with Murphy’s involvement in the case unless he helps her. If Harry doesn’t find something called the Word of Kemmler in three days, Mavra will make sure Murphy’s career is ruined, and that she may very well face criminal charges because of aid she gave Harry on a mission against the Black Court vampires. Harry obviously can’t let that happen, and so he has no choice but to agree to the vampire’s demands.
Turns out the Word of Kemmler is a book, the last writings of a very powerful and very dangerous, now dead, necromancer and whoever possesses the book will gain access to terrible powers. Harry’s not the only one looking for the Word. Three of Kemmler’s former apprentices are in Chicago, wanting the to be the first to find the book and become the most powerful necromancer of them all.
Bored of the same old paranormal/urban fantasy with hunky were-creatures/vampires/fallen angels/demons/elves or whatever, where there’s a girl with a tramp stamp, leather trousers and a crossbow and/or sword on the cover. Where the heroine has to choose between the brooding vampire and the burly were-creature, and work diligently to save the world, or at least the people she loves from disaster?
Then you must read Written in Red, which isn’t even vaguely like any of that. Read my review (which is quite long, but I’ve tried not to spoil anything too major) and see if you don’t agree that this is a book you have to experience for yourself.
Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only consulting wizard, is asked by his White Court vampire friend, and sometime ally, Thomas Raith to help a movie producer who seems to be the target of a death curse. As Thomas has aided Harry in the past, and even saved his life, Harry can’t really refuse, but he demands payment both from the client and Thomas, in the form of information about why the vampire has been helping him, sometimes even at the risk of Thomas’ own life. But how will Harry react to the truths that Thomas is so reluctant to share?
It turns out that the movie Harry is supposed to act as supernatural security on, and pretend to be an production assistant on, is a porn flick, which everyone of his acquaintances seems to find hilarious. The job quickly turns a lot more dangerous than Harry had expected, with the vicious death curse striking twice a day, affecting anyone close to Genosa, the director. It quickly becomes apparent that Thomas and the rest of the Raith family are more closely connected to the imperilled movie production that Thomas let on, and because Harry’s life never seems to be complete unless multiple parties are trying to kill him, the powerful and vengeful Black Court vampire Mavra is determined to end him, one way or another. Full review on my blog.
Daisy Johanssen grew up in the town of Pemkowet in the Midwest. Her mother lives in a trailer and works as a seamstress, her father is an incubus accidentally summoned during an ill-advised Ouija board session when her mother was a teenager. Of course, you’d think being half-demon would make Daisy unusual in town, but there’s all manner of supernatural beings in Pemkowet, and tourists travel from all over the country to see fairies and trolls and naiads and the like. Hel, the Norse goddess of the underworld keeps the supernatural element in check, and Daisy is her agent in the mortal world, as well as acting as supernatural liaison with the local police department.
When a young, wealthy college kid drowns and everything suggests supernatural involvement, the tourist trade could be seriously affected. The local police are under a lot of pressure, and Hel isn’t all that happy with the situation either. Daisy has to work the case with Cody Fairfax, trying to hide the massive crush on him she’s nurtured since high school. She also has to keep a lid on her volatile temper, as giving into the temptations from her demonic dad could set in motion Armageddon.
This is the second book in The Raven Cycle, which according to Stiefvater’s homepage is going to be four books in total. This is not a series where the books stand alone, so if you haven’t already read The Raven Boys, you should probably start there. My review of it is nice and non-spoilery, if you want to read why you should really give it a chance. If you haven’t yet read it, you may want to give this review a miss, as I can’t actually review The Dream Thieves without referring to some pretty spoilery things that happen during the course of the first book. So somewhere else – say a library, to find a copy of book one.
Still here? Then I’m not to blame if you get stuff spoiled. Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle has a bit of an ensemble cast, really, and given the way this book was structured, I suspect that each book in the series is going to focus more on one or a couple of the characters, with the rest taking a backseat for a while. Let’s recap – in The Raven Boys we were introduced to Blue Sargent, an independent teenager raised in a household full of psychic women, yet her only ability is to amplify their visions. She’s known since she was little that if she kisses her true love, he will die. Not that she had anything to worry about, until she met the four boys from the preppy Aglionby Academy who have now become her good friends.
This is the fifth book in The Dresden Files, the books about professional wizard Harry Dresden. This review may therefore contain some spoilers for books that came earlier in the series and also for this one, and you may want to skip it until you’ve read the books up to this point.
Harry has a number of difficulties facing him – his ex-girlfriend Susan (who Harry’s been moping over since she left him a few books ago) is back in town, getting ready to pack up her stuff to move to South America, and Harry is worried she may have found a new guy. A powerful Red Court vampire is also in town, challenging Harry to a duel, to settle once and for all the bad blood (pun intended) and warfare between the wizards and the Red Court once and for all. If Harry refuses to duel, the vampire will hunt down and kill anyone Harry cares for or has worked with, so he’s not really got much choice in the matter. Thirdly, a priest wants to hire Harry to look for the stolen Shroud of Turin, and it seems like there are demonic entities who’d like nothing better than to find the artifact first, so they can unleash a devastating plague on humanity. The rest on my blog.
Do you like/love Robin McKinley’s Sunshine? Then you should read this book.
Tana wakes up after a high school party to find that while she was passed out in the bathtub, the other party-goers in the house were brutally slaughtered by vampires. As she’s dealing with the shock and trying to find her things (you don’t want to escape a house of carnage in your bare feet if you don’t have to), she discovers that there are survivors – her douchy ex-boyfriend Aidan, and a dark haired boy she’s never seen before. Both are tied up in a back bedroom where the windows have been covered, most likely left as a snack for later. When trying to untie Aidan, he lunges for her, and Tana has to face the fact that Aidan is turning Cold.
In this world, there were always vampires, but they were few and kept themselves hidden. Until one day, a single individual decided to just feed a little off his victims instead of killing them, starting an epidemic that soon spread world wide. When bitten, but not killed, by a vampire, the victim turns Cold. They start to hunger for human blood, and once they drink it, they transform fully into vampires. If they manage to lock themselves away and avoid the temptation to drink the blood for 88 days, they’re cured of the infection, but barely anyone ever has the strength to manage it. As a result, to stop the spread of vampirism, there are walled off cities around America, where vampires and the ones who are turning Cold are confined. In the Coldtowns there are celebrity vampires, and live streams of their glamorous parties and all over America there are people who worship and dream of becoming just like them.
This is the seventh book about October Daye and as such, not the best place to start the series. If you like a paranormal series focused more on mysteries and adventure than on romance (not that there isn’t romance too, once you get a few books in), then this is a good one. Go check out Rosemary and Rue if you haven’t already.
As the only changeling (half human, half fey) knight in existence, October “Toby” Daye concerns herself with a lot of quests and issues that others don’t bother with. Changelings are dying all over San Francisco from their addiction to goblin fruit. A fruit that’s only pleasant and harmless to full-blood faeries, the goblin fruit is extremely addictive to changelings and humans, and the addiction gets so strong that they die from eating nothing else. Toby wants it off the streets and goes to the Queen of the Mists to have the problem dealt with, only to discover that the Queen is the one peddling the fruit, as she sees nothing wrong with changelings and humans dying. She also banishes Toby for her insubordination, giving her three days to remove herself from the kingdom.
Having started out a loner, with no recourse but to dive into danger by herself, Toby now has a squire and a boyfriend and a growing band of allies who can help her in situations such as these. When they discover that the Queen’s claim to the throne isn’t in fact valid, and that the children to the last King are still alive, but in hiding, Toby and her friends realise that they’re going to have to stage a full scale rebellion. They just need to keep Toby alive long enough to succeed.