Red Blooded (Jessica McClain #4)
Summary From Amazon:
Jessica is going to Hell.
After settling a fragile truce between the vampires, werewolves and witches, the last thing Jessica wants to do is face the demons head on. But when the Prince of Hell kidnapped her brother, he set into motion a chain of events that even Jessica doesn’t have the power to stop.
Now, Jessica must go into battle again. But Hell is a whole new beast — new rules, more dangerous demons, and an entirely foreign realm. And when Jessica is dropped into the Underworld too soon, without protection or the help of her friends, she must figure out just how powerful she can be… or she will never make it out alive.
When I got the invitation to read Red Blooded on NetGalley I jumped on the opportunity. Full Blooded, book one in the series, was the first ARC I ever received, back when I first started blogging, and I’ve been hooked ever since. So to say I was excited to see what Red Blooded had in store would be an understatement. Also, the book came out today (Sep. 9) so if you want to go get a copy you can!
Red Blooded delivered in just about every way, giving me the diverse paranormal group I’ve come to expect, and the wide array of talents and powers displayed, all in a brand new world to explore. One of my favorite things about the Jessica McClain series is that Carlson takes the standard paranormal creatures (werewolves, vampires, witches, etc.) and alters how we think about them by combining some, and giving others new traits and personalities that you might not expect. Red Blooded has all of the paranormal beings you could possibly want, and introduces plenty of new ones as Jessica makes her way through the Underworld/Hell.
Carlson’s version of the Underworld/Hell (I have to use both because she does interchangeably, tad annoying I know) is an intriguing one. She makes it feel at times more alive than you might imagine, with vivid descriptions of ever-changing colors and textures of structures and tunnels, and the vast differences of the world at night and during the day. Alternatively, it is a very structured and clean place, with seemingly identical demons roaming around in vast numbers, and at times it seems regimented and even a bit cold. The combination makes for a really interesting experience on all sensory levels.
The character list remains pretty expansive, as I was alluding to earlier, and the new additions in the book are well worth the read by themselves. I can’t get into too much detail without spoilers, but one of the new creatures Jessica meets when she arrives in Hell has a very interesting personality, and instantly had me gravitating toward them. The supporting cast is really strong as well, from the BF Rourke to the bizarre (and adorable) young oracle Maggie, the quick-witted Ray and the incredibly stubborn Vampire Queen, and all sorts of other compelling characters make it one wild ride.
My complaints for Red Blooded are ones I’ve made consistently throughout the series, so I’ll keep them short. Jessica often seems incredibly dense, the last to pick up on what’s going on, and yet it doesn’t seem like she is intentionally being portrayed as a moron, so that’s frustrating. That leads me to my other issue, which is the repetitious conversations, weird pauses for info dumps, and the amount of info dumps throughout the book that feel awkward because it is so forced, all of which seems to stem from how slow Jessica is, and it is annoying to deal with.
Overall I definitely enjoyed Red Blooded, as I have with the rest of the series. While I do have complaints, they are for things I’ve come to accept come with the better parts of the books in the series, but those issues have kept the last few books from being five stars. I would recommend the series to anyone who enjoys a wide variety of paranormal creatures in different (and usually pretty awesome) worlds. I’m looking forward to book five to see what craziness happens next! Thanks as always for reading.
Cold Blooded Blog Tour
Summary From Goodreads:
Jessica arrives back in town to find her best friend missing and the most powerful witch in the country is blaming her for it. But before they can move to save her, the group is attacked.
On the run, Jessica and Rourke head to the mountains. Several surprises await them, but in order to save her father they are forced to leave for New Orleans early.
Arriving on the Vampire Queen’s doorstep unexpectedly, and bringing trouble on their heels, the Sects are thrown into an all out war. The vicious
skirmish ends up forcing the vamps and Jessica to fight on the same team.
The Vamp Queen ends up owing Jessica, but what Jessica doesn’t realize is just how soon she’ll have to cash it in…
I am so excited to be part of the Cold Blooded blog tour! I’ve been hooked on the Jessica McClain series ever since I was lucky enough to win a copy of Full Blooded when I started blogging. Though I don’t have the giveaway on this post, if you would like to enter to win some awesome swag AND a SIGNED copy of the book you can go here or click one of the pretty pictures above. ^.^ Without further ado, my review!
Favorite line: “You can’t fight the threat in your underwear!”
The line I picked was chosen because it is a great example of the humor Carlson weaves throughout the entire book. You are going to laugh, constantly, sometimes from a witty remark, other times as a form of relief from all the tension surrounding the characters.
Jessica is a fantastic MC. She kicks butt constantly, refuses to let anyone get in her way even when she doubts the choices she makes, and is fiercely loyal to her loved ones, and even to some not-so-loved that she is forced to align with. Her sense of humor is sharp, her devotion to her mate is beautiful, and the bonds that she is able to create with all varieties of supernatural beings has more to do with her character than any magical properties she has. She doesn’t relish killing, or having to constantly exert her will onto people, really she’s a softie underneath, but don’t tell her I said that. Jessica is someone you want to have on your side at all cost, and I love reading from her perspective.
The rest of the cast are just as engaging and Carlson makes sure that there are no throwaways. The baddies, though at times it is hard to tell if some of them are truly bad or not, are fun to root against and each have their own twisted motive for wanting to harm Jessica and her friends and family. The vampire queen is my favorite of the bunch. She’s a bit off her rocker, and conniving as heck, but I loved her tirades, the brilliance of her schemes, and the way she maintains an authoritative figure at all times. Oh, and the friends and family I mentioned? Well I can’t go into all of them as the cast is actually quite large in Cold Blooded.
For supernatural lovers there is everything you could want in this book and more. Vampires? We’ve got them in spades. Werewolves? Packs on packs on packs. Fae? Check. Demons? Oh you betcha. Witches? Hilarious, crazy, one a bit irritating (in a good way), and even a special surprise in this group. There are even spellcasters! There are a few surprises too, one I won’t mention by name and the other, Rourke, well he’s got something he’d like to show you. I think you’ll like it as much as Jessica did…well maybe not that much. ^.^
The story is a whirlwind of an adventure. Action junkies I found a book for you too! We have epic battles, daring escapes, rescues, fun car chases, and a bit of everything else you can think of. There is a TON of stuff going on in Cold Blooded, but it is so much fun to go along for the ride! Jessica has to save just about everybody, but is she up to the task? Oh and for you romance lovers out there, the one between Jessica and Rourke is so sweet, but steamy as well. 😉
If you couldn’t tell I really enjoyed Cold Blooded. It was so nice getting to experience these characters again, as well as meeting a few new faces, and learning sooo much more about all of them. The story is great as Carlson’s writing shines, the book is impossible to put down with all the craziness going on, and I’d recommend it to anyone. It is an adult book, but I’d say teenagers would be fine reading it as well, and would love it just as much. There is something in Cold Blooded for everyone. Thanks as always for reading, don’t forget to enter the giveaway I linked above, and if you want to check out what other people on the tour are saying about Cold Blooded click right here! ^.^
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #166/200
“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by the fantastic people over at Breaking The Spine that highlights upcoming releases that we are excited about.
For this week my pre-publication selection that I can’t wait for is:
Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid
Summary From Goodreads:
It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.
This one caught my eye with the gloomy/creepy cover that they went with. A nice mix of the paranormal with some good creepy vibes is right up my alley. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together. ^.^
Does Pretty Dark Nothing sound appealing to you? What book are you “Waiting On”? Let me know in the comments and/or leave a link to your own WoW post and I will make sure to stop by! Thanks for checking out my Waiting On Wednesday! 🙂
Review: Dark Light of Day
I won a 10$ Amazon giftcard in a giveaway and used it to buy Dark Light of Day which I had been desperate to read after reading the first three chapters in an Ace/Roc Sampler that I had won previously.
Dark Light of Day by Jill Archer is about a world where the apocalypse has already occurred and the demons actually won. Despite this change in power the way of life has barely been altered. In fact, it has been so long since Armageddon that the truth about much that happened in that war has been lost or forgotten. Enter Nouiomo Onyx, or Noon as she is better known, who has waning magic, something that no female was ever supposed to have. Some would shun her, or possibly much worse, if they knew of her unique power so she is forced to hide it until she is accepted and forced to enroll in St. Lucifer’s, a demon law school. There she must declare her special powers or risk death. Will she hide her powers and risk everything, and could there be a way for Noon to reverse them?
I was so excited to dive into Dark Light of Day after being teased with the sampler of the first three chapters so when the book arrived it took all my restraint not to immerse myself in it immediately! I loved that the author chose to have the demons win the war as it was a perspective I had never seen before, at least not where the world was intact and mostly unchanged afterward. I was easily able to connect with Noon and her plight as she dealt with being an oddity at best, an abomination at worst. As those of you who read my blog know, if the character development is excellent I can forgive anything, and though there wasn’t much to forgive with Dark Light of Day the characters were superb for the most part and allowed me to dive into this new reality.
There was one thing that kept Dark Light of Day from reaching its full potential, at least as I see it, and that was the lead male character Ari. I’m not a fan of the controlling, do-as-I-say type of male characters, especially when they are supposed to be appealing. It is that “appeal” he supposedly had that made the situation worse, he was practically irresistible and that included when he was putting on his dominant male act which I despised. Let me clarify, I don’t have an issue with a strong male character whatsoever, but when it comes to them ordering people around, forbidding them to do certain things and on top of that it supposedly is a sexy thing for the female character? That’s where I have a problem. Ari exhibited signs of uncontrolled jealousy, stalker-like tendencies and all before he really even knew Noon. Not cool.
Outside of Ari and his domineering I did enjoy the book. The plot had plenty of well executed twists and turns and even when it slowed down to cover some of the details in the classes at St. Lucifer’s I never felt like I needed the pace to quicken. The scenery on the campus and the atmosphere that the author created was vivid and breathtaking, which I don’t find is easily done. Having been on a beautiful college campus myself I could envision the different places that were depicted and never felt as if they were contrived. Oh, and without giving too much away, the battle scenes, oh how I loved them! They were exquisitely done. ^.^
I really enjoyed reading Dark Light of Day, and if it weren’t for Ari’s chauvinistic tendencies I easily would have given this an enthusiastic five smiling frodo rating. With that nagging annoyance throughout the book, however, I will give it a very satisfied four. =) I hope you enjoyed reading my review, make sure to comment and let me know what you think about chauvinistic characters, or if you have read it what you thought about Dark Light of Day! Thanks for reading!