Tag Archives: adult

Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

21 Aug

Series: The Southern Vampire Mysteries, book #1

Published: May 1st 2001 by Ace

Details: Paperback, 292 pages

My rating: 3 / 5

My Summary:

About Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress in Louisiana who meets and falls in love with vampire Bill. With a murder mystery. This is a fun light adult read. Not great but it may become better in the following books. I thought Bill was a bit dull. Eric or Sam on the other hand..let’s just say I am a bit curious to see what direction it will take.

A few chapters in:

Not sure if I’ll like this vampire series. From what I heard it’s not particularly romantic, and it may also have too much of that adult-romance stuff that I tend to avoid. But it’s mentioned just about everywhere and compared to Twilight, so I guess I have to just see for myself!

Ok, I’m 50 pages in and it’s not that bad. I saw the first season of True Blood and so reading this book is like reading the script of the series. I didn’t know it followed the books this closely! It doesn’t bother me though. The book is kind of fun, light guilty pleasures sort of reading. So far, I’m enjoying it…

After finishing the book:

Well, I finished the book last night. While it wasn’t bad it wasn’t great either. It certainly is no Twilight. Yes, it is about a human girl who falls in love with a vampire, but that’s where the similarities end. This book is sort of rawer, and as such contains more sex, violence and blood. I’m not a big fan of neither. I much more prefered the sweeter Twilight world. That being said, I still enjoyed the book, possibly because I didn’t have any high expectations. I saw it for exactly what it was, light fun read.

On a sidenote, I thought Bill the vampire was a bit dull. He never really talked that much so we never get to see any personality. I got a feeling he was interested in two things only: sex with Sookie and protecting Sookie. Not the most romantic literary character out there. But, there are two other male characters, Sam and Eric, that seem very promising. I have a feeling they might play more prominent roles in the books to come. So I will probably read the sequel Living Dead in Dallas, just out of curiosity.

The Bottom Line:

Do I recommend Dead Until Dark?

If you’re looking for fun and shallow literature that won’t require too much thought or investment – possibly something for the beach – then yes. If the other books in the series improve, then the more reason to read this first installment as well.

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Review: Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

5 Aug

Series: Georgina Kincaid, book #1

Published: March 1st 2007 by Kensington

Details:  Paperback, 343 pages

My rating: 3/5

My summary:

Start of a series, by same author as Vampire Academy. About a succubus who seduces and pleasures mortal men (while sapping their life energy), but also longing for what she can’t have, a true love. This was ok, not as bad as Bitten, but not great either. Good writing but a weak plot. I may read another one in the series to see if it gets better.

See my full review here:

Synopsis:

Succubus (n.) An alluring, shape-shifting demon who seduces and pleasures mortal men. Pathetic (adj.)

A succubus with great shoes and no social life. See: Georgina Kincaid.

When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical?

But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid’s life is far less exotic. Her boss is a middle-management demon with a thing for John Cusack movies. Her immortal best friends haven’t stopped teasing her about the time she shape-shifted into the Demon Goddess getup complete with whip and wings. And she can’t have a decent date without sucking away part of the guy’s life. At least there’s her day job at a local bookstore–free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to bestselling, sexy writer, Seth Mortensen, aka He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can’t.

But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle’s demon underground. And for once, all of her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won’t help because Georgina’s about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny…

My thoughts:

This book is written by the same author as The Vampire Academy, which is an highly acclaimed vampire series. I’ve also read a couple of good reviews and so I decided to give it a go, despite the synopsis which sent off a couple of alarm bells.  You see, it revolves around  a succubus, who feeds of sex from mortal men. It felt like this could be one of those adult romance type of novels, which really are porn disguised in a paranormal romance package.

I’m relieved to say that no, it wasn’t that bad. Yes, of course there is some sexual content, as we are dealing with the life of a succubus, but it never felt like it was too much. It was there to move the plot along. So in that aspect, all good.

I like the writing style as well. It wasn’t poetic or anything like that. But it was kind of easy-going. It had a flow which made you get into the story very easily.

Still, despite all this, I wasn’t blown away by the book. And I’ll get to why in a moment.

The main character Georgina is a charming and witty girl who works at a book store in Seattle, living a relatively normal life. She is also a succubus, which means she feeds of sex with mortal men, in which she sucks their life energy.

She hates it though and refuses to destroy good mortal men, and as such, prefers feeding of scums, guys with low moral values. Her friends include, apart from the mortals working in the book store, a vampire, a demon and an angel.

When we are introduced into the story, Georginas favorite author has just arrived to town. A charming guy called Seth. And here begins her struggles with liking him but not wanting to give him too much encouragement, because obviously any sort of physical contact would be impossible, seeing as that would destroy Seth.

Seth is not the only love interest though. There are several other guys around in this book, all utterly charmed by Georgina of course seeing as she is a very attractive woman, due to her shape-shifting abilities (as part of her being a succubus).

While Georgina is running around not wanting to get too close with any of the guys that she likes, yet doing exactly that, a murder mystery is going in Seattle. Someone is killing immortals, i.e. vampires, demons etc. And somehow all this is linked to Georgina. She’s getting these mysterious notes from someone who appears to be the killer.

So yes, you might have guessed it already.. I thought the plot was pretty weak. I didn’t believe in the murder mystery – it seemed to have only been thrown in there in order to create some suspense. It also got a bit tiring with Georgina’s all love interests. I mean, if she had such an issue with guys being attracted to her, why not just turn of the charm or shape shift into a less attractive woman? Problem solved! Also, the love interest Seth felt quite bland. Yes, he was a nice guy but he lacked charisma.

I did however root for one side character. I won’t say who, but if you read the book you might guess who I’m talking about. I am kind of curious to see if he will play a bigger part in the books to come. So even though I wasn’t too impressed by the start of this series, I think I might read another to see if it gets better.

Review: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

5 Aug

Series: Women of the Otherworld, book #1

Published: September 7th 2004 by Plume

Details: Paperback, 436 pages

My rating: 1/5

My Summary:

Book written in Sidney Sheldon style but involving werewolves. Flat characters and a stupid plot that had me alternating between frowning and cringing while reading it. I could not get through the book. And I’m still baffled by all the good reviews it got.

My Review:

I have been navigating for a while in the paranormal jungle, generally avoiding the adult paranormal romance section – especially those with cheesy covers. But then, after having read a great deal of “best debut of the year!” type of reviews of Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten, I decided to give it a try (cheesy book cover or not).

I should not have bothered. It was so bad, I couldn’t finish it. And this is coming from someone who always – I mean always – finish books I’ve started. Sometimes I wonder why I need to finish books, it’s almost like a compulsive order, like I have to. Or I suppose it’s because I stay optimistic until the very end, thinking that maybe the book will redeem itself. You never know, right? Well, I’m getting sidetracked I know. Point is, me not finishing a book is an extremely bad rating.

That being said, the first chapter wasn’t that terrible. We get to know Elena, a young woman and journalist in Toronto, Canada who lives together with her wonderful boyfriend Phillip. All good there, except for the fact that Elena is a werewolf. She keeps this a secret, and tries to live a normal life as much as she can. Sometimes though, she can’t hide her werewolf instincts and shapeshifts to go for a run in the outskirts of Toronto. It’s on one of these runs that we are introduced to the story, and in that first chapter I thought the descriptions of her transformation as a werewolf  were quite well drawn.

After that chapter though it goes downhill, in terms of everything – plot, characterization, descriptions. Her werewolf pack, where she used to live contact her as they are having problems with a rough mutt (a stranger werewolf killing humans). She flies to New York to meet up with them, shaking up memories at the same time seeing as this is the first time she meets her ex-lover, the werewolf Clay. Clay was the love of her life, yet he was also the one biting her, fully knowing that she may not survive the transition. Not surprisingly, Elena views this as a betrayal. Yet, not many chapters in, she goes and have sex with him, without having second thoughts about her loving boyfriend in Toronto.

I don’t know, the whole thing just oozed stupidity. Elena’s inner monologues, and there are many of them, don’t make much sense, or are just plain boring and whiny. The werewolf world-building with only 35 male werewolves and one female wolf didn’t make much sense either – I mean 35 wolves in  the whole world – really? The dialogues seemed contrived, as if taken from a soap-opera series, and I couldn’t relate to Elena. She was trying to be all tough and witty but it just came out false sounding.

To me, this book wasn’t much better than any of the lesser Harlequin novels out there, and I honestly for my life can’t understand all the great reviews it has received. But I’ve learnt one thing and that is to be more careful regarding rave reviews, and not to forget that we all have different tastes.