Sunday, March 3, 2013

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of The Last Grave

Debbie Viguie is the New York Times Bestselling author of over a dozen novels including the Wicked series and the new Crusade series co-authored with Nancy Holder. Much of Debbie’s writing has a dark edge to it, including her retold fairy tales, her latest being Violet Eyes, a retelling of The Princess and the Pea. In addition to her epic dark fantasy work Debbie also writes thrillers including The Psalm 23 Mysteries and the upcoming Kiss trilogy. When Debbie isn’t busy writing she enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott, visiting theme parks. They live in Florida with their cat, Shrödinger.

The Last Grave, Book #2 of the WITCH HUNT Series
Author:  Debbie Viguie

Synopsis:Samantha Ryan—homicide detective by choice, witch hunter by necessity—has left Salem for San Francisco, hoping a move will help her forget the horrors of her past. But she’s about to discover that witches tempted by the dark side are everywhere....

Samantha is doing whatever she can to forget her terrible childhood in a coven destroyed by its members’ greed and lust for power. Now she’s a San Francisco detective struggling to fight her own desire to turn to magic. But as she discovers, escaping who you are isn’t easy.

Her latest case seems straightforward enough—the murder of a local historian named Winona Lightfoot. But strange clues take Samantha to the Santa Cruz Mountains, a place teeming with witches and black magic. As she works to uncover the connection between Winona and this coven, an earthquake rocks the Bay Area. That’s when Samantha has a premonition: Something is coming. Something evil.

To survive—and save everyone around her—she will have to tackle her greatest fear, and hope she isn’t the next one put into a deep, dark grave....

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:

*ARC received from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review

I unexpectedly received the first book of this series (The Thirteenth Sacrifice) from the Publisher back before it was released in 2012. After reading (and loving!) it, I immediately reached out to Penguin to see if I could possibly do a promotional Event for book 2 as soon as the release date was announced. In true 'happy dance' fashion, I was told that a copy was already on its way...

As soon as the book arrived in the mail I settled in. Later that night, I wrote this on GoodReads: "O.M.G! 5 Skulls is not enough for this intensely insane thrill ride! Book #1 was amazing, but this installment was so gripping I couldn't put it down & stayed up most of the night reading. I cannot wait for Circle of Blood!"

The Last Grave starts a short time in the future following the Events of The Thirteenth Sacrifice, wherein Samantha has moved to California to start fresh following the catastrophic battle between herself and her old coven back in her old hometown that basically left her the last witch standing. She's once again attempting to leave her old life behind and live the life she has earned as a homicide detective, instead of the life she was born into as a dark witch. Unfortunately, the new murder that she and her partner are investigating has an undeniable magickal signature, and Samantha quickly learns that her attempt at a 'normal' life just isn't going to happen. At least not yet.

There is just SO much that happens in this book, and so many twists and turns that this review is incredibly difficult to write; especially given that I don't write spoilery reviews...

I can tell you this much: I lost count at how many times I changed my mind regarding what I thought was going on, & every time I had another "huh?" moment, Debbie would introduce one more action-packed sequence and have me shaking my head with wonder. There were twists, turns and surprises around every corner, & it was jam packed with action. Book #1 was quite dark, but The Last Grave was even darker (something I THOROUGHLY enjoy in my books), and the storyline was incredibly unique and undoubtedly mysterious & intriguing.

I personally loved the book and would recommend it to anyone!! If you've read some of the other pre-release reviews out there are are confused at the discrepancy in ratings, here are my 2 cents - While I'm sure Debbie intended The Last Grave to be a stand-alone novel, it would be much better enjoyed and understood by readers who have read Book #1. In addition, this isn't a quick and lighthearted read. It's dark, it's deep, and I would highly suggest that if you'd like to take the plunge (and I would recommend that you do), that you do it when you have time to utterly devote to a book without outside distractions or too much on your mind. The storyline weaved throughout The Last Grave requires a decent amount of thought to follow along with and navigate all of the twists, and in my opinion, would be much better received as an uninterrupted read.

With all of that said, LITERAL ADDICTION gives The Last Grave 5 Skulls and is incredibly excited for book #3.

The Last Grave

Saturday, March 2, 2013

[Archive] LTERAL ADDICTION's Review of Frost Burned

Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a natural choice. Patricia graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German and she worked for a while as a substitute teacher. Currently, she lives in Montana with her husband, children and six horses and writes full-time, much to the delight of her fans.

Frost Burned, Book #7 of the MERCY THOMPSON series
Author:  Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more…

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They’ve all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Associate Reviewer - Shawnie:
*ARC was given to do an honest review of the book. This will be a spoiler free review (sorry to disappoint).

It's finally here, Mercy Thompson is back and better than ever.

I have to admit I was just a tad bit nervous to start this book. I had previously read an excerpt Briggs had posted and it had me scared for Adam and his wolves. But temptation's name is "books", and before I knew it, I was was turning to page one and then finishing the book immediately thereafter. My first words upon completion were "Holly fires, Batman. She did it again."

Briggs brings us back to the Tri-Cities, with Mercy all better after her last adventure during her honeymoon with her sexy Alpha husband Adam. In this installment, our wonderful author queen takes us back and then delves into the issues that had began to arise in Mercy's surrounding world - and if you hadn't noticed, she pieces her other series in so that you understand and follow along evenly with her.

Briggs weaves an interesting story around what has happened with the fae, the government, and the humans Mercy interacts with. She craftily expands and blends a melting pot of emotions, back stories, and 'oh crap batman, did that just happen?' together to produce an (in my opinion) award winning novel for her readers.

Action has been a standing theme of all Briggs books, but with this one, she slows it down and gives us a deeper, more 'thought than deed' Mercy, who still has no issues kicking butt and taking names for her husband and Pack. Mercy has to think her way out of almost every situation, and enlist the help of friends and allies — some more grudgingly than others. But the action is there regardless, because hello, you can't think your way out of everything, sometimes you are forced to fight!

The Pack and Adam are in serious danger and Mercy has to figure out a way to not only help them, but get to the bottom of what is really going on. Emotions run high and just when you think things can't get better, a very "special" something pokes his head in to give his two cents. But alas , just because it's better, doesn't mean things are fixed. No, there are always twists, bumps and some scrape a longs to keep you twitching on the edge of your seat.

Frost Burned is packed to the brim with surprises, humor and emotional tear jerking moments. There are good guys, bad guys, and the really bad guys. There are "Oh My God, noooooooo" moments and "Yeah, that's right take them down", moments. Because hey.... That's what you get when you have a pissed off Alpha, loose government loyalties and a feud that spreads to neighboring parties and causes this whole messed up situation.

I happily enjoyed this installment and cannot wait for the seventh book to be announced, soon I hope (fingers crossed).

I know I shouldn't do this, but damn this is quote worthy...
"Are you not my daughter, whispered another voice, Coyote's voice, so quiet I almost missed it. Had I not been caught in that first moment of shock when everything goes quiet before the pain begins, I would not have heard it.
Coyote never loses, Coyote told me. Because i change the rules of the games my enemies play. What are the rules of your game."

Yeah awesome, is it not?

LITERAL ADDICTION's Associate Reviewer gives Frost burned a deserved 5 Skulls.

Frost Burned