2019 releases

Demon's Dance
Truth Unveiled: A New Adult Urban Fantasy
Path Unchosen: A New Adult Urban Fantasy
Nothing to Lose
Hood and the Highwaymen
fate uncertain

Monday, 16 May 2011

What We Are Reading

Welcome to this month's What We Are Reading Column. Today, we have regular reviewer, C.T Green, Mel Teshco, Nicole Murphy, and Gemma Kettley.

C.T. Green
~ The Darkest Secret ~ Gena Showalter

I’ve been waiting for Gena Showalter to produce the next instalment in her Lords of the Underworld Series.After being pushed back a few months The Darkest Secret finally hit the shelves (and my hot little hands) in late March.

This story features Amun, who has been a rather silent and peripheral character until now. Given that he is possessed by the demon of secrets, it’s not really surprising he doesn’t have much to say, as every time he opens his mouth, he spills everyone’s deepest secrets.

In the previous book in the series Amun is possessed by a legion of demons which means he’s chained to his bed and guarded by a matching set of a dozen or so hot angels (‘cause this is Gena we’re talking about).There’s not a harp in sight, but the very definite threat of instant decapitation should Amun’s new little friends try to make a bid for freedom.

Enter the heroine who’s here to help.

Haidee who we met in the previous books is a Hunter, which equals enemy of the Lords.If that weren’t enough she also killed their best friend, Baden.Though it’s been a couple of millennia, the Lords are still a wee bit annoyed.

It initially appears Haidee is destined for Strider, keeper of the demon of defeat.This leads to a great deal of tension between Amun and Strider, as suspicion about Haidee’s motives (did I mention her status as public enemy number one?) rises, as do, ahem, other things.

Threats abound from all sides and Showalter weaves a complex plot that manages to exonerate everyone except the bad guy – which is just as we like it!Lots of sexual tension and a few unexpected twists, The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse as well as action and angels aplenty make this a great read.If you like the other Lords of the Underworld books then this will keep you very happily entertained.

Mel Teshco

I bought Hush Hush and Marked—both YA books, for my thirteen year olds birthday (amongst other things, teenagers ARE expensive sods *g*) – I think deep down I was being a little selfish, knowing I too would eventually get my mitts on them and spend some time absorbing someone else’s paranormal world *happy sigh*

The first: Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. (My daughter thought I might enjoy this one more than another book I was about to grab out of her bookshelf—Raised by Wolves) and I really did enjoy this fallen angel book—despite its very mixed reviews.

We see the world through Nora Grey’s eyes, her school, her big old house in the country she lives at with her mother, with its rather spooky long dark road she drives every day in her little bug. Though I found some of the plot a little too contrived—the teacher ensuring she sits with the dark and brooding Patch, the roller coaster ride that is funnily enough called Archangel—I still ate this story up and really enjoyed the simplistic and elegant writing style Becca weaves. (Yes, I am a little over the complex worlds and plots of some adult books).

I won’t reveal too much of the plot, but I have to say the pacing was spot on, with enough mild action to keep me interested. My biggest gripe—the hero’s name, Patch. It pulled me up far too many times. I kept imagining him breaking out with “ahoy me maties!”

I would give this novel 4.5 stars (5 stars on Goodreads).

The second: Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast. I’ve just finished this book and thought it was great reading—again, despite the mixed reviews. We are in 16 year old Zoey Redbird’s world now. Her life is on track, well...aside from her jock boyfriend who imbibes a little too much liquor and her best friend who turns out to be...not so best.

The author drags the reader into a story where vampires (vampyres) not only exist, but live alongside the human population. Of course, there is nothing much more horrific than suddenly being ‘marked’ by a creature and becoming an outcast from the human world. Unfortunately Zoey’s mum is ruled by Zoey’s stepdad and abides by his demands that her own daughter be locked in her room until the religious fanatics sort her out. Zoey escapes to her Cherokee grandmother’s house. One thing leads to another, and Zoey finds herself in Vampyre school where the usual pecking order exists and jealousy abounds as the cool guy shows interest and Zoey very quickly jumps through the ranks with her special powers.

I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Nicole Murphy

On the weekend, I polished off More Scary Kisses from Ticonderoga Press. This is the follow-up to last year's fabulous Scary Kisses. The two are anthologies of paranormal romance (although the stories are not always romance in the genre sense - more romantic elements). And here's the disclaimer - I have a story in both the anthologies.

More Scary Kisses does some interesting things. I think it really showcases what people are finding hot in paranormal at the moment - particularly taking vampires and werewolves into different time frames. It also showcases a real range of the writing - there's lighter and darker, some very action focussed, others with sumptuous language and exquisite touches.

Particularly, I'd recommend the stories by two of Australia's best dark fantasy/horror writers - Jason Nahrung and Kirstyn McDermott (who also happen to be husband and wife). Beautifully written, poignant and at times confronting - wonderful stories.

Also, I have to give a shout-out to a fellow Darksider - I recently finished Death's Sweet Embrace by Tracey O'Hara, the follow-up to her fabulous Night's Cold Kiss. Tracey's world is so rich and full of intrigue that it feels incredibly real. I loved that in this book, we had slightly older characters featured in the romance - parents of university-aged girls. She did a wonderful job of the backstory of why these two hadn't been together until now and why it was questionable that they could make it work this time.

Well recommended.

Gemma Kettley

Rachel Caine - Unknown

As a fan of Rachel Caine's other series "The Morganville Vampires" and "Weather Warden" I had high hopes for this series and I was not disappointed. The first book in this series was Undone and is a must read before reading Unknown due the cliffhanger ending of the first book. As with her other series this is a not stop edge of your seat ride. Cassiel was a Djinn until she had a disagreement with Ashan, the leader of the True Djinn, Now she can only sustain her life through the charity of the Wardens — humans who control aspects of the powers that surround us, such as wind and fire. She is partnered with Luis Rocha, commands the powers of the living Earth. To Living among mortals, the djinn Cassiel has developed a reluctant affection for them-especially for Warden Luis Rocha. As the mystery deepens around the kidnapping of innocent Warden children, Cassiel and Luis are the only ones who can investigate both the human and djinn realms. But the trail will lead them to a traitor who may be more powerful than they can handle. Since reading this book I have found out that Unknown takes place concurrently with Cape Storm which is Book 8 of the Weather Warden Series. Also look at the back of the book of a list of songs that Caine listened to while writing. The only problem I have with any of the Rachel Caine series is the long wait between books.

Jennifer Estep - Spider's Bite

If you are looking for a book that is more about magic and the elements then Vampire or Shapeshifter then give this book a try. Estep combines magic, mystery and murder with a strong heroine who in the eyes of Detective Donovan Caine "is nothing but a cold hearted killer". But as the story progresses you will find out that there are many times when it is she that is the good guy. Gin (aka the Spider) is a feared assassin who also works as a Cook at the Pork Pit which is owned by her handler. When Gin's lastest client decides to tie up any looses end Gin, her handler and his son become the targets. Then when Detective Caine starts to ask to many question his name is added to the list and it is up to Gin to save him then team up to find out the truth. And where would we be with out the many forms of tension between Gin and Caine. Although I am not sure about some of her sandwich combinations I did enjoy this book. With the cliffhanger ending all I can say is it will be interesting to see what is installed for the characters in book two.

Peter V Brett - The Desert Spear

This is the second book in the Demon Series. While the first book "The Painted Man" (also know as The Warded Man) was the story of Arlen (aka The Painted Man or Deliver of the North) whose life is shattered by the demon plague and he is forced to see that it is fear, rather than the demons, which truly cripples humanity. Believing that there is more to his world than to live in constant fear, he leaves the safety of his home to discover a different path. Leesha, a proud and beautiful healer whose skill in warding surpasses that of the Warded Man himself; and Rojer, a traveling fiddler whose uncanny music can soothe the demons - or stir them into such frenzy that they attack one another. "The Desert Spear" starts with the background story of Ahmann Jardir who has proclaimed himself Shar'Dama Ka, the Deliverer, and he carries ancient weapons - a spear and a crown - that give credence to his claim. Sworn to follow the path of the first Deliverer, he has come north to bring the scattered city-states of the green lands together in a war against demonkind - whether they like it or not. Once Arlen and Jardir were friends and brothers is arms but now they are adversaries. I found that this book didn't seem to flow the same as the first book but it may have been due to the writer putting the pieces in place for the final book. But I am looking forward to seeing how this series ends. If you like David Eddings, Robert Jordan or Raymond E Feist then give this series a try.


Great reviews, everyone. Thank you.

As of next month, we have the talented Shona Husk bringing you

the What We Are Reading posts. Thank you, Shona.


  1. Mel, having read both HUSH, HUSH and RAISED BY WOLVES, I can tell you that RAISED BY WOLVES is much, much better. Why would your daughter think you'd enjoy HUSH, HUSH more?

  2. yay - I can get back on finally - Thanks Nicole for the shout out :).

  3. hi Tez!

    I think it was just her own personal taste, I've just started reading Raised by Wolves so it will be interesting to see which one I like better =)