Crimson Death (Anita Blake,Vampire Hunter #25) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Book Description:

Published: October 11, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder…

Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.

Ireland.

Review –

After I read Serpentine (#26) I realized that I hadn’t read #25, Crimson Death, so I looked on OverDrive and it was available so I borrowed it and drove right in.  Having read Serpentine, I knew that some VERY bad things were going to happen.

In Crimson Death vampires aren’t supposed be living in Ireland, but it seems something strange is going on across the ocean with dead bodies turning up with tiny holes in their necks. Even worse, whatever is going on isn’t good for Anita’s vampire servant, Damian. He’s suffering badly with night terrors and sweating blood, leading Anita to suspect that his old master could be responsible. Determined to learn the truth, she teams up with Edward in Ireland to hunt down those causing trouble before any more bodies turn up.

Ever since book #10 of this series, Narcissus in Chains, which I may have re-read soon, I’ve been getting more and more annoyed by the relationships Anita has with her men. There are just too many for me to handle,(and keep track  of) and quite frankly, I think Ms. Hamilton is beginning to focus too much on Anita’s relationships and not nearly enough on the investigation side of things when it comes to her job in hunting rogue vampires and shape-shifters or raising zombies.

However, in saying that, every time I read one of Ms. Hamilton’s Anita Blake books, I find myself totally captivated by what Anita needs to do to ensure the safety of humans and those supernatural that are doing the right thing. With this book, readers are taken on quite the adventure with Anita heading to Ireland, and although it takes quite a few chapters for her to get there – since those that are already hunting the rogue vampires (besides Edward) seem reluctant to accept her help – I could not stop listening once she starts investigating.

The dialogue was intense due to the investigation; what happens to Anita and her triumvirate in Nathaniel and Damian; what is happening to Damian with his nightmares and blood sweats (which was a little spooky); what Anita needs to do to figure out who is breaking vampire rules and the ever burning questioning of whether her powers as a necromancer will work in Ireland. Moreover, I liked that Anita finally began to find peace with her triumvirate and worked hard to make it work because she needed Damian, if she was ever to survive what she faced.

I really liked the introduction of characters readers have never met until this book. The fae; the vampires and their animal to call that they were up against, and the people Edward was working with. Anita had to prove herself and faces some tough challenges from each of them. Can she work with Edward and the team he’s currently working with in Ireland? Will the Fae give her grief over her abilities or will they accept her help? The tough challenges Anita faces, especially towards the end of this book are hard, yet the way she overcomes them certainly proves she’s still one of the best vampire hunters.

Overall, this was a good (almost great) book with an ending that brought tears to my eyes because of what happens to one of Anita’s men and with her, yet she’s tough and proves it with how she uses her powers to take down her enemy. I would recommend Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton, if you enjoy strong heroines that hunt vampires but doesn’t have an easy time when it comes to relationships.

Loved it!

Blood and Ice by Robert Masello

Book Description:

Published: February 24, 2009

Format: Audio

In this haunting and suspenseful thriller, Robert Masello delivers an adventure that spans continents and centuries—a spellbinding story that ranges from Victorian England to a remote antarctic research station, where an ancient glacier yields a shocking prize it has held captive for nearly two hundred years….

Journalist Michael Wilde—his world recently shattered by tragedy—hopes that a monthlong assignment to the South Pole will give him a new lease on life. Here, in the most inhospitable place on earth, he is simply looking to find solace . . . until, on a routine dive in to the polar sea, he unexpectedly finds something else entirely: a young man and woman, bound with chains and sealed forever in a block of ice. Beside them a chest filled with a strange, and sinister, cargo.

Now, in a bleak but breathtaking world of shimmering icebergs, deep blue crevasses, and never-ending sun, Wilde must unravel the mystery of this doomed couple. Were they the innocent victims of fear and superstition—or were they something far darker? His search will lead from the barracks and battlefields of the Crimean War to the unexplored depths of the Antarctic Ocean, from the ill-fated charge of the Light Brigade to an age-old curse that survives to this day.

As the ice around the murdered lovers begins to melt, Wilde will have to grapple with a miracle—or a nightmare—in the making. For what is dead, it turns out, may not be gone. And here, at the very end of the known world, there’s nowhere to hide and no place left for the living to run.

Review –

In the prologue to this  supernatural thriller from the author, Robert Masello, two lovers—Lt. Sinclair Copley of the 17th Lancers and Eleanor Ames, a nurse from Florence Nightingale’s Harley Street hospital in London—fall into ice-strewn seas from a British sloop foundering near Antarctica in 1856.

In the present, Seattle writer Michael Wilde, who’s recovering from a personal tragedy, can’t resist the opportunity to go to Antarctica to write a magazine article about the Point Adélie research station.

Past and present stories alternate until Michael makes an amazing discovery in a submerged block of ice off the Antarctic coast—two frozen bodies, bound in chains. After Sinclair and Eleanor revive, Masello slowly and subtly reveals how they came to transcend death. The thrills and, most decidedly, the chills mount to a believable, sad and hopeful ending. Fans of John Campbell’s “Who Goes There?”—the basis for the movie The Thing —will find much to like. 

Even though the premise of this story was good, I just couldn’t get into the believability of it. It was a stretch, even for me. It was like TWILIGHT meets THE THING and the TITANTIC!

 

The Tale of the Body Thief (The Vampire Chronicles #4) by Anne Rice

Book Description:

Published: October 4, 1992

At the beginning of the story, Lestat grows depressed and becomes remorseful because of his vampiric nature. Although he tries to limit his victims to murderers, serial killers and other criminals, he nonetheless caves into temptation once in a while and kills an “innocent” or someone who he feels does not necessarily deserve to die. Lestat also suffers from constant nightmares concerning his late “daughter,” Claudia, for whose death he blames himself.

The “coven” of vampires formed at the end of The Queen of the Damned has long since broken up, and Lestat has become extremely lonely. Among his only remaining friends is the mortal head of the Talamasca Caste, David Talbot, who is seventy-four years old. Although Lestat has repeatedly offered David the Dark Gift, David has always refused to become a vampire and keep Lestat company through eternity. Lonely and depressed, Lestat goes to the Gobi desert at dawn in a half-hearted suicide attempt. When he does not die, he goes to David’s home in England to heal.

A mysterious figure, Raglan James—the eponymous “Body Thief” of the story—approaches Lestat with what seems to be a cure for his ennui and depression. James sends Lestat several messages hinting that he has the ability to switch bodies. Eventually, he proposes to Lestat that the two of them trade bodies for a day. Against the advice of other vampires and David Talbot, Lestat jumps at the opportunity. Unfortunately, James has no intention of ever switching back, and Lestat is forced to scheme to regain his body.

Lestat nearly dies after becoming human again—his new body is wracked by pneumonia, which he ignores during a tour ofWashington D.C. in the middle of winter. He is saved by the care of a nun named Gretchen. He enjoys a short love affair with Gretchen before she returns to South America, where she works in a convent, and Lestat sets out in search of his body.

Lestat seeks help from other vampires but is completely ostracized by them. Marius is extremely angry at him for leaving such a powerful body to a thief and refuses to help him. Likewise Louis turns him away when he asks Louis to make his new body into a vampire, arguing that Lestat ought to be happy to be human again and also calls him out on his previous writings, accusing him of altering his actual past in favor of one that portrays him heroically. Lestat’s only ally is David Talbot.

Drawing from the Talamasca’s resources on the supernatural, Talbot reveals that James was a gifted psychic who once joined the order, but was kicked out for constant theft. He is a kleptomaniac who enjoys stealing for the thrill of it — it is revealed that every single thing he owns, from his house to his body, was stolen or schemed for. However, he also has major psychological problems, and his life is a series of cycles — he gets rich by theft, then often ends up in prison. Dying of cancer several years before, James tricked the inmate of a mental institution into switching bodies with him, allowing him a type of immortality.

It is James’ lack of imagination and petty thievery that allow Talbot and Lestat to track him down. Despite his newfound wealth and powerful new body, James continues to steal jewelry from people. He also makes a conspicuous show of his wealth, boarding the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, and draining victims of their blood along the ship’s path. The pattern allows his pursuers to easily find him.

On the cruise ship, Lestat manages to regain his body with David’s help, but the sun is rising as he performs the switch and he must immediately flee to a safe place in which to spend the day. When he awakes in the evening he finds that both James and Talbot have disappeared.

Lestat finds David in Florida and is surprised to find that his friend, despite his earlier protestations, now wants to become a vampire. However, while taking his blood, Lestat discovers a final trick — when forced out of Lestat’s body, James took over Talbot’s body instead of returning to his own. Lestat angrily attacks James, crushing his skull. The blow proves fatal—the injury damages James’ brain and prevents him from leaving the dying body or trying to switch bodies before his current one dies.

At this point, Tale of the Body Thief reaches a false ending. Raglan James is dead. David has begun to enjoy life in his new, young body. Lestat returns to New Orleans, reunites with Louis, and begins to renovate his old house in the French Quarter. Above all, Lestat claims that he has finally come to accept his vampiric nature. However, Lestat then warns readers not to continue if they are happy with this ending.

Lestat then resumes the narrative, claiming that he has regained his “evil” nature. A few weeks later after reuniting with Louis, Lestat decides to make Talbot into a vampire against his wishes, and despite the role Talbot played in saving his life when everyone else abandoned him. Before engaging in the transformation, Lestat asks David if he’s ever had any luck with having physical affairs. David admits that he’s had a few, but not with much luck. Lestat then tells David what he’s about to do to him and tells him that he’s going to bring him over to him. Thus, indicating that Lestat is not playing around this time and that he really is going to do it. Lestat tells David that he won’t let him die and that he’s the only real friend that David has in this world. During the first part of David’s transformation, he at first he strongly resists Lestat’s domineering, assaultive and verbal advances despite Lestat’s warning not to fight him, but after a while he succumbs. Secretly though, Lestat really loves David fighting him. As this is happening, Lestat lets the readers in on his real emotions for David by thinking of David as having this scrumptious body with a very beautiful mind for ‘his’ beautiful friend and as ‘his’ beloved David. Also during the first part Lestat asks David if he loves him. Soon after David admits his love for Lestat and Lestat says that he feels the same way for David. After having immortality forced upon him, David disappears again. Lestat looks for him for a while, but upon having no luck he gives up and returns to New Orleans where to his surprise he finds that David has already contacted Louis.

David explains to Lestat that, in secret, this is what he always truly wanted. He tells Lestat that he is no longer angry with him, although he does usurp Lestat’s position of leadership, despite the latters’ protests. Having gotten rid of his old age, and now being immortal, David plans to visit Rio de Janeiro with Louis, and asks Lestat to join him. At the end, Lestat also realizes that, despite all that happened, he is still alone, has failed to regain his “humanity,” and has thrown away his only chance to make amends for his past misdeeds. (from Wikipedia)

Review –

Loved it but at times it seems to bog down in details, but I think that’s pretty common for the author. Very lengthy but if you like the vampire genre I recommend you add this to your “to be read” list.

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Vanquished (The Blood Trail Chronicles #2) by Tara Brown

Book Description

March 21, 2015
In the port city of a neighbouring kingdom, an assassin moves through the streets, killing people of importance.
He is said to wear a red cloak and fight with skills only ever seen in the Southern Isles.
But unbeknownst to the whispers in the alleys, he is a she, and she is on a path headed for home.
She used to dream of freedom.
She used to dream of a simple life.
Now all she dreams about is the blood trail she has carved, leading back to her burnt out castle.
Revenge is the business of hate, and where it is taking Amillia Morgentstein is a dark place where even love can’t save her.
Because love is a thing of the past for her and vengeance is all she can see.
How far would you let yourself go to save everyone but yourself?Mature Readers Recommended

Review –
 First of all, I really don’t understand the need for the “Mature Readers” warning.  I haven’t found anything that would warrant that. If any one else reads this series let me know what you think.
Millia is fated to be the queen of the seven kingdoms and unite all the peoples, but she really does want to do that.  Grayson is the one she loves and can not have. Neither can she have Maddox.  
If you thought she killed  a lot of people in Vengeance, it was nothing to the killing spree she goes on in this installment of The Blood Trail Chronicles.
I thought this was the end of the series but when I got to the end I discovered there is another book which hasn’t been published yet, so that means it will be a years or so before I read it.
While this book was good, i enjoyed the first one better.
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The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black

Book Description

September 3, 2013
Tana lives in a world where walled cities calledColdtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in adecadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass throughColdtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.
Review –
Even though this book was written as a stand-alone, I wish the author, Holly Black, would consider writing a sequel. (It is sooo good)
Though this is “another” vampire story, it is unlike any you may have read so far. There are Coldtowns across the country to keep vampires and those infected with vampirism separate from the rest of the population. Sounds simple, but those aren’t the only people drawn to a Coldtown. Those who, for no other reason than they just want to be a vampire, arrive daily with the hopes of being turned into a vampire and live forever. They soon find out that it’s not that simple and Coldtown is not as it is depicted in the media.
My favorite character is Gavriel, who is a very old vampire and is saved by Tana in the beginning  and together(plus others) go to a Coldtown.  Besides being blood thirty he is a romantic and has a wonderful accent.(I had the audio version).
If you’re looking forward an unusual vampire story – this is the one for you.
I rated it 5 stars *****
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Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #21) by Laurell K Hamilton

Book Description:

Published: June 5, 2012

When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people—kids, grandparents, soccer moms—all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there’s one martyr, there will be more…

But even vampires have monsters that they’re afraid of. And Anita is one of them…

Review –

This was a second reading for me and this time I choose the audio version and enjoyed more. I find that I always enjoy a book more the second time around.  This is a great series with great characters and impossible happenings but those impossibilities are what make the story so wonderful.  If you’ve never read an Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter you need to add one to your “to be read” list.

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The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness

Book Description:

Published: July 15, 2014

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

Review –

This is the final book in the All Souls Trilogy and I hated to see it come to an end because of the magical intertwining of reality with witches, vampires, time travel, romance,hatred, America, Europe, wars, marriage, births, deaths, and wonderful characters with such energy and chemistry. Truly a work of art.  I rate it 5 stars *****

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The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12) by Kim Harrison

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Book Description

February 25, 2014
Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering.Rachel must stop the occurrences before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war. However, the only way to do so is through the ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils.

Review –
As I have said before, I am a huge Kim Harrison fan, but I must say this book was confusing for me.
There were so many factions to contend with, such Inderlanders, which are non-human races. These include Elves,Demons,Witches, Pixies and others not dealt with in this book. There are Vampires, living and undead. Living vampires are normal humans who have been infected by the vampire virus. The undead Vampires were born already infected by the virus and are the superior of the two. Another group are the Weres, which are lycanthropes.  In this book all of these factions or groups were being influenced by some wild magic and not in a good way.  I was hard for me to keep everything straight so I finally gave up and just concentrated on the growing relationship between Rachel Morgan and Trent Kalamack.
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Pale Demon (Rachel Morgan-The Hollows #9) by Kim Harrison

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Book Description

February 22, 2011

“I wouldn’t miss a Kim Harrison book for anything.”—Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels

New York Times bestselling urban fantasy superstar Kim Harrison is back with Pale Demon—her ninth electrifying adventure featuring contemporary witch Rachel Morgan. This time Rachel’s leaving the Hollows, on a cross-country road trip with a pixy, an elf, and a vampire, as she races to clear her blackened name at a California witches’ convention in order to avoid an eternity of torment at the claws of a soul-devouring demon. Pale Demon is Kim Harrison at her gothic best—combining mystery, action, intrigue, paranormal romance, and breathtaking dark fantasy in a delicious witches’ brew that fans of Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Stephenie Meyer, and Jim Butcher simply will not be able to resist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review –

I was looking for book 12 in The Hollow Series when I ran across this one, which is number 9 and believe it or not I hadn’t read it.  I don’t know how it slipped by me but I checked it out at the local library and quickly devoured it.

I love the character of Rachel Morgan.  She can be tough when she needs to be but also she always seems a bit off-balance all the time.

I always hope that she a Trent will be paired up because Rachel deserves a love life if anyone does, but so far the author hasn’t come through for me.

In this installment Rachel and Trent, plus Ivy and Jenks travel across country by car which took two or three days and the tension between them became comical at times and at other times I held my breath thinking Trent might make a move on Rachel, but it didn’t happen,

I am now ready for book 12 and will still keep my fingers crossed by a love life for Rachel.

 

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Haven (Winterhaven Series #1) by Kristi Cook

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Book Description

Publication Date:February 22, 2011
Violet McKenna isn’t a normal girl with normal teenage issues; she has more to contend with than most people could handle. Violet thought she was just crazy when she had a vivid vision of her dad’s murder. Her life started falling apart when her premonition came true. She’s had flashes of other events too. The problem was nobody believed her until she found a new school: Winterhaven. At Winterhaven, Violet finally feels like she belongs. She quickly finds a close group of friends and discovers that they too have psychic ‘gifts’–as do all the students at Winterhaven. But as soon as she feels settled she discovers the most intriguing and alluring boy she has ever met, and things quickly go awry. As the attraction between them grows, intense visions of the boy’s death start to haunt her. In her premonitions the secret he is unwilling to share begins to reveal itself. And to Violet’s horror, she learns that their destinies are intertwined in a critical–and deadly–way.
Review –
This book reminds me a bit of RAVEN BOYS, TWILIGHT and DEAD BEAUTIFUL but it has plenty of its own original qualities that make it a worthwhile read.  Star crossed lovers,school for paranormals, vampires, and mystery. Can’t get much better for a young adult book.  I really enjoyed it and will read the others in the series. Can’t wait.
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