Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Goodreads, Laurell K Hamilton

Cerulean Sins by Laurell K Hamilton Ponderings

Cerulean Sins
Cerulean Sins by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So! This will be the last Anita Blake book that I will review for a bit (more on that later in my blog!).

“Cerulean Sins continues the adventures of Anita Blake. In this novel, Anita continues to try to bring some order to her personal life, while simultaneously confronting a power play by Jean-Claude’s vampire master, Belle Morte and attempting to solve a series of brutal killings by an unidentified shapeshifter.” – From the Wikipedia

As it says, there are some major plot themes going on here. I’m going to touch on a few of them that I really, really enjoyed!

First off, Dolph! My goodness, it was such a huge character development to see him lose himself like he was. Honestly, we’ve seen his character have very small leaps and bounds of growth… and then suddenly this. I applaud LKH for it!

Secondly, it’s interesting to see the vampire politics once again! I have to say, the more we delve into the world of the vampires and the kind of hierarchy that they have set up, the rules, the stipulations, etc… I can’t help but to love it.

Third, we get to meet the ‘Mother of all Vampires’. That is one big bad that I’m interested in seeing more of, to say the least!

And fourth… oh, Asher. There is some really wonderful plot progression here with Asher that I have been waiting for!

So, there are also some great points in this book with Jason, with Jean-Claude, and with Anita’s were-leopards. I don’t want to spoil any of it, but those are indeed the highlights that you’re looking for. When you read this, and you see them… you shall go ah-ha!

Honestly though, there were some things in this book that I didn’t enjoy as much as I did in the last novels. First of all… Richard. Just… uugh, get him out of here. Honestly. I’m so glad he’s taken a back-burner position at the moment. This novel also marks a bit of a turning point for me – it’s organized differently, and you can tell. The front portion of it is all vampires/erotica with just a tiny, teeny splash of crime thrown in. All of the really good crime solving comes on at the very end of the novel. As for Anita raising the dead? There isn’t really time – we have a meeting in the first chapter, but it’s quickly dismissed… and nothing else is touched. This novel is where Hamilton really turns the switch and makes the books more about the vampires than the crimes. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but it is different than what we’ve come to usually expect.

Still, overall I really enjoyed this book. 4/5 stars for a book that I’d certainly read again!

 

This, though, will be the last LKH book I review for a little while for multiple reasons. One, I next hit Incubus Dreams… where I’m 200 pages in, and all that I’ve seen is sex. Usually not a problem for me, but for some reason I always stall with this one and have to take a small break. I love the series, don’t get me wrong! That’s just a lot of the same author describing the same people over and over again in a row. Secondly, however, I have a few books coming in the mail that I need to review! I’m really excited about getting them! So, expect a 5-6 book delay, and then I’ll be getting back to Hamilton!

 

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Laurell K Hamilton, Uncategorized

Narcissus in Chains by Laurell K Hamilton Ponderings

Narcissus in Chains
Narcissus in Chains by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah, Narcissus in Chains. I’m getting to the point that I haven’t read these books so many times that I can remember what happens, which is a delight for me. However, I’m also hitting the point where the dynamics of these novels take a very drastic shift. I think from Narcissus in Chains onward is when Laurell K Hamilton really starts shifting her novel content to the erotic portion – it’s not as much as it is in later books, but here is where you can really start to notice, because it’s this novel that we really start to have to get a handle on the ardeur.

“Narcissus in Chains continues the adventures of Anita Blake. In this novel, Anita attempts to reconnect with her friends and allies after a lengthy separation, and to undo the damage caused by her absence. Even as Anita attempts to repair the damage and come to terms with her newly developing powers, she is also threatened by a series of attacks and disappearances within the shapeshifter community.” – From the Wikipedia

So, as the little blurb above states, Anita is having to deal with the emotional and metaphysical fall out of her deciding to take a year away from her world to get a handle on her ’emotional shit’, as decided at the end of Blue Moon. While Richard is having his emotional little fits, Jean-Claude, though leery and a bit scathing, welcomes her back with open arms. I won’t delve too deeply into that, lest I run into spoilers. However, let me give a highlight reel.

-Things have been happening in the werewolf pack since Anita has been gone, and Richard is obviously digging himself into quite a bit of trouble.
-Damian, without Anita as his Master, has gone insane, and she has to handle that.
-There are some new leopards in town, and Anita has to deal with the fallout of developing a new power, the ardeur, which allows her (and forces her) to feed through lust.

I love that introduction of Micha in this novel. He is a breath of fresh air in relation to Richard. That is all I will say on that matter.

I also love the idea of the main villain. I can’t go into it much, but I find his character some emotionally deep and complex that he floors me. Good job, Hamilton. Good job!

Also, I actually really like the character of Narcissus, and I’m glad he was introduced into this novel.

I think that overall, this novel does good setup for what is to come, including the ending which introduces the plotline for the next novel! It includes some of my favorite characters, and development on their personalities… and though it veers into a new direction, it really sets into motion the tone for a lot of the later novels!

Overall, 4/5. I do like this novel! Check please, and next on the list!

Until next time, Keep reading and Writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Laurell K Hamilton

Review: Obsidian Butterfly

Obsidian Butterfly
Obsidian Butterfly by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hey there, another Anita Blake book review!

Okay, so… I honestly know that a lot of people actually do not like this book. Something about the fact that it doesn’t include Jean-Claude or Richard*gagmewithaspoon*, or any of Anita’s other regular boys. Hell, it doesn’t even involve her normal police outfit. However, I really found this book to be refreshing! Maybe it was because it was centralized on the crime aspect of Anita’s life. Maybe it’s because it has a huge, huge, huge featuring of one of my all time favorite characters, Edward. Or maybe it’s because this book does such amazing character development that I honestly can’t stand myself.

“Obsidian Butterfly continues the adventures of Anita Blake. In this novel, Anita travels to New Mexico to investigate a series of supernatural attacks as a favor to her long-time friend, the assassin Edward. In the course of that investigation, Anita picks up many clues as to the enigmatic Edward’s life and past, comes in contact with an alleged Aztec god, and attempts, as always, to sort out her own relationship with Jean-Claude and Richard. As with the other novels in the series, Obsidian Butterfly blends elements of supernatural and hardboiled detective fiction.” – From the Wikipedia.

Honestly, let me just say that I completely adored the crime aspect of it. It was amazing, enthralling, and really, really interesting. I won’t spoil even a minute of it – it’s bloody, gruesome, and something that I actually didn’t guess at all!

However, what I really love about this book is the development of Edward’s character. We find that Edward leads a life in new Mexico as ‘Ted Forrester’ his alternate identity. We also find out that he’s engaged to a middle aged mother with two children… and when the lives of the people who his alter ego loves are threatened… we get to see exactly how cold and unfeeling Edward really is. Knock on the Tinman’s chest… I think he has a heart.

Just amazing, honestly.

I really don’t want to give too many spoilers, because so much of this book is amazing to discover. We still get our fill of the preternatural creepy crawlies, which is wonderful. And in the end, Anita actually comes to a conclusion about her relationships with Richard and Jean-Claude.

A total must-read. Five out of Five stars!

 

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Laurell K Hamilton

Blue Moon by Laurell K Hamilton Ponderings

Blue Moon
Blue Moon by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Onward with my reviewing of the Laurell K Hamilton series.

Okay, first of all… this is actually one of my least favorite books. It may simply be the fact that it features a LOT of Richard. I don’t like Richard. I don’t like him as a person, I don’t like his personality, his attitudes. (Maybe that was what Hamilton meant – he’s beautifully designed as a very flawed, self-loathing character). So… not really my favorite of the series.

However, the storyline of this is actually pretty entertaining. I am once more faced with the preternatural politics that I actually enjoy – Anita has to travel to another area in order to get Richard out of jail. Of course, doing so raises the brows of the local werewolves as well as the local vampire (who is refusing to allow them entry.) The book features quite a bit of Asher (who I absolutely adore), as well as Nathaniel ❤ I have some love for him because of his character and the development that he has throughout the series.

This book is more sexually charged than some of the others, once more touching on the subject of the muniun (the dead spirits of the wolves who have been eaten by their pack). No spoilers, yet again, but it sets a huge plotline into play.

This book also touches down on the subject of religion, and whether what Anita is doing casts her out of the eye of God. I won’t spoil too much, but it does a really, really good job of it.

There is a bit of tougher content in this story – rape, abuse, etc. I realize that’s been touched on before, but it’s always good to have a warning.

Overall, I do adore what’s happened in this book. There’s more good character development, which culminates in a decision by Anita that will set the stage for the next book. There was more good development of world, of story, of characters. The writing, as usual, is spot on.

I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 star rating, because I’m not fond of Richard. I know, it’s a terrible reason, but still. Still a great read!

 

Until Next Time, Keep Reading and Writing!

Author Amanda McCormick!

Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Laurell K Hamilton

Burnt Offerings by Laurell K Hamilton Book Ponderings

Burnt Offerings
Burnt Offerings by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Onward with my review of the Laruell K Hamilton novels.

“Burnt Offerings continues the adventures of Anita Blake, as she attempts to solve a series of arsons and other crimes, and deal with a threat to her lover, the vampire Jean-Claude, as he fends off a political challenge from the Vampire Council. As with the other later novels in the series, Burnt Offerings blends elements of supernatural, police procedural, and erotic fiction.” – From the Wikipedia Page

I really enjoyed Burnt Offerings, though there was a distinctly different reason. This novel expanded into the world of the vampires more – something that I really love in these novels is the social structure that the vampire world has… and we get to see it in this novel as the council comes to visit Jean-Claude after the death of the Earth Mover. We are introduced to some of the major players of later novels, such as Asher!

Asher. ❤ I have never had such a wonderfully adoring relationship with a character before. I think that I love his character because he DOES have such a flawed personality, he does have hangups, he does have issues. It makes him so much more real than so many other characters… and it’s something that I adore. from this novel, i was so excited to just see more of what happened with this particular character, how he developed, how his story changed!

Also, I adore the character Warwick – I think that they did a fantastic job with him; I feel for him the same that I did for Asher. There’s something so human about his character, as opposed to the shining vampiric perfection that we’re so used to. I really, really adored him, and I think that he was a wonderful addition to the book.

I think that it was fun to have to deal with the fallout of what happened in the last novel as well. I won’t spoil much in case you haven’t read it yet… but it’s tasty, to say the least. 

Overall, I think that Hamilton once again did an amazing job. Her language is amazing – Anita is quippy, sarcastic, defensive and kick-ass… as usual! I think that this novel was amazing for world building, and opened us up to so many new plots to be discovered in later books! I adored the character development that happened. I just really, really liked this novel… not to mention that the romance between Anita and Jean-Claude is very established, and I can’t help but to squeal for it.

Overall, 4/5 stars. I think it was wonderful, and I very, very happily re-read it!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!!

 

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Creative WRiting, Laurell K Hamilton, Lost books, Paranormal Romance, Pep Talk, Vampires, Werewolves, Writer, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Challenge, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

Blogging with my Sis, 2000 Words Word Goal, and Bout of Books

 

education-books

 

Allow me a moment to lift my eyes up to the title to make sure that I got everything covered. I think so. Anyway, so, this is a little update (I’m going to try to at least have a regular blog every Monday, if I can’t handle it for any other day.)

Anyway! What is going on in my life. I am continuing my binge read of the Laurell K Hamilton Series (reviews of the books can be found Here (books Five and Six)Here (Books Three and Four)Here (Book Two), and Here (book One). I am actually up to Book Nine in the series, but I’m a little behind on my book reviews. I will be getting those caught up this week! Talking about those leads me to the first little snippit on my blog title.

My sister-in-law and I are going to start a joint blog where we post our book reviews/book discussions etc. We’re even thinking about having an accompanying blog! We thought that, since we read a lot in the same genre, and since we’re both interested in blogging and letting our opinions out to the world, it would be fun to have a joint blog. It would give us a way to hang out more (since we live on opposite sides of the US now), and something to do in common! Also, I’ve spoken before about how important it is to have someone to hold you accountable for the goals you set out… so to have someone blogging with you? I think that would certainly help out!

Second on my little list of ‘to do’ in my title is my goal count of 2,000 words per day. It seems like a small amount when you look at it, but I know it’s going to be a challenge. I will be giving you all weekly updates of how I did, how I did it, when I fail… so, every Monday be expecting an update, and hopefully some advice on how you can achieve a word goal count as well!

And last, but certainly not least… I’ve been thinking about doing Bout of Books! I actually read about it on a blog that I follow, and I thought that it would be really fun to enter into a read-a-thon, since I never have before. If anyone has any thoughts on that, whether it would be good for me or not, let me know!

Anyway, I think that’s all that I have for this update! I have some work to get done so I can get that 2,000 word goal hit! 

Until next time, guys! Keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Laurell K Hamilton, Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Werewolves

Bloody Bones and The Killing Dance by LKH ponderings.

Bloody Bones
Bloody Bones by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Going for a non-spoilerish note in this one)

Yet another review on the Anita Blake series – I love it when I can marathon a series this large and find myself not bored with the characters or story. Bloody Bones finds us in a different location – facing down a different Master of the City… with all new problems at hand.

We go to a new location (Branson) because Anita has been asked to raise several corpses for a law firm who wishes to purchase the land, but needs to know if it belongs to the Bouviers. We also encounter another crime solving issue – murders have been happening in the area, and Anita is called in for her expert opinion.

Honestly though, what interested me the most in this novel would be the vampire portion of the book. We meet the Master of the City Seraphina… and we finally find someone who nearly gets Anita Blake – all because she can give Anita the illusion that she is her dead mother. I found this to be such an important thing in the development of Anita’s character… it’s nice to see that she isn’t invincible, that she isn’t infallibly, that some things can get her goat, so to speak. Of course, as with all vampire issues, they’re generally up to no good.

I also love the introduction of Faeries as a species in this novel. Magnus and Dorcus are both of the fae, and being able to see their power, as well has simply having the vampire world expanded is a wonderful thing. The more that Hamilton gets into all of the facets of her world, the more that I want to read.

Overall, the plot was amazing – the story was wonderful, and there was quite a bit of character development between both Anita and Jean-Claude. It’s yet another advancement in the series that makes me happy to be re-reading!

—-

The Killing Dance
The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ah, the Killing Dance. On my little venture of re-reading the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series, this was probably one of my favorite books. Not only did it have quite a few of my favorite characters in it, but it had some of my favorite character/plot development in it… and I’m not even sorry that this particular arc was one of my favorites.

Anita Blake, vampire hunter, is now herself a hunted woman. Who put the $500,000 price on her head–a man or a monster? It’s not just her own skin she needs to save; the rivalry between her werewolf boyfriend, Richard, and Marcus, the other alpha werewolf in his pack, has come to full boil. And there’s always Jean-Claude, the vampire who’s been waiting for just the right moment to slip inside Anita’s head and heart. Don’t assume anything, though–Hamilton’s probably got a few more surprises in store. (Taken from Amazon)

There is you a good little snippit of what the book is about. This book has so many elements in it that I love. First of all… Jean-Claude. I have been a softie for him since the beginning of the series. Secondly… Edward. It’s wonderful to see Edward in this, because I think it gives him a bit of character development – Anita is wanted, someone puts a hit on her… and they contact Edward to take the job. Instead of sating his curiosity for which of them is better, and taking the rather lucrative payoff… he tells Anita what is going on and chooses to protect her, as opposed to killing her. Even though Anita plays it off as Edward simply wanting to kill more things, I think it’s a bit of show that Edward does care about Anita.

This book also has the huge development of the Triumvirate. It’s something that joins Anita, Jean-Claude, and Richard very, very close… all those marks that Anita was trying to avoid, and she takes them willingly. (Albeit to save the boys lives… but still.)

Also, this book features Gabriel and Raina yet again, which is always a bit of fun. Don’t let anyone know I said it, but I really enjoyed their characters quite a bit.

Anyway, the main plotline of this book revolves in a few different ways. First, Anita dealing with the fact that someone has put a hit out on her. Secondly, Anita trying to heal a vampire named Sabin who is rotting due to the fact that he chose not to feed for the love of a woman.

There is also a HUGE relationship development that I simply will not spoil, but Anita finally chooses between her two men, and might I say it is a tasty, amazing choice moment.

Honestly, this is my favorite Anita Blake book overall… if I could give it more than five stars, I would. Go, pick it up. Read it. It’s amazing. *Shooos you off*

View all my reviews

Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Laurell K Hamilton, Uncategorized, Vampires, Werewolves

Circus of the Damned and The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K Hamilton Ponderings

Circus of the Damned
Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Spoilers Ahoy!

Another twist in the Anita Blake series. For me, I feel like the third book is where Laurell K Hamtilton really starts to hit her stride. We have been introduced to the characters enough so that we’re really fond of Anita, of Jean Claude – we know all of the character enough to be emotionally invested in them.

And then we’re introduced to Richard! While I’m not a huge fan of Richard as a character, I’m a fan of the writing of his character. He’s such a goody goody, a prat, annoying… and so well written that I could just eat him up. Honestly, I love the development of Anita’s character in this novel, I love the fact that we get to see that she WOULD turn on Jean-Claude if pressed into a corner… and then just as quickly we see that she’d want to save him. I love that we dive deeper into the vampire world with the introduction of Alejandro and Mr. Oliver. Seeing the vast expanse of vampiric powers is amazing… and, of course, the crime always ties in to the characters and what is going on with them. I honestly find it to be such a wonderful thing, how Hamilton manages to make the novel that we read both a paranormal romance (edging that way, finally!) and a crime novel all in one.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the book – I love that I feel like we’re really progressing, that Hamilton is setting up for some of the big points in the rest of the series… and I love that we’re diving deeper into the world of Anita Blake!

I’d give this book 5 stars, because I really feel like it’s progressing the story a lot!

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

 

The Lunatic Cafe
The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ah, and now we’re getting into the Lunatic Cafe. I completely and utterly adore this book for a lot of reasons… one of the main things being that we really get to dive into the world of the shapeshifters in this novel. We’re pulled more into Richard’ world since discovering that he was a werewolf at the end of Circus of the Damned – because of this, we get to see the structure of his pack. The characters of Marcus and especially Raina come in to play – Hamilton has an amazing way of setting us up for future story arcs very smoothly as she writes her novels. The entire story revolves around a group of missing shapeshifters, and some shapeshifter attacks as the crime… and then for the preterunatural, there are two storylines.

One, Anita is dating Richard, and Jean-Claude can’t simply allow that to happen. He persuades (see blackmail) Anita into dating him as well. This sets up the love triangle that will be so important in future novels.

Two, we follow Anita as she searches for the missing lycanthropes. I won’t get too into it, since that would spoil the book completely!

Honestly, I adore the way that this novel went, yet again. I think that Hamilton does such a good job, especially in her early books, of incorporating the detective work and the paranormal. Also… Edward.

Edward, Edward, Edward ❤

Yet again, a 5/5 star book for me!

Until next time, Keep Reading and Writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

 

Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Creative WRiting, Laurell K Hamilton, Paranormal Romance, Pep Talk, Werewolves, Writer, Writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips, Writing Tricks

The Truth about Writers and Caffeine (And Anita Blake Novel Reviews)

caffeine

At least for this writer, I know it’s a necessary thing. Call it a bit of an addiction, but I think that when we push ourselves to write so much, so early, so late into the night, we need it. I know that I, for one, feel completely energized after I’ve downed my can of Redbull, or my morning cup of coffee. 

I think it’s honestly the need that we have to pamper ourselves in some way or another, and since we’re writers and the best we can do is a comfy chair or a new workspace… coffee, caffeine (and chocolate :3) is our way to pamper. I certainly would never take it for granted, and I know that I’ve seen dozens upon dozens of pictures of writers with that happy, beautiful coffee cup in hand. What about you guys? What do you do to pamper and reward yourself for writing hard?

 

As a side note, I’m going to be reviewing the Anita Blake novels in groups – I figured it would be more interesting and less monotonous that way. So, expect a review for those books… just not anytime soon. I’ll be reviewing them individually on my Goodreads, so feel free to check that out if you want to. I’ll be getting back to my writing challenge, as well as giving you guys a bit of an updated word count/work space tour! 

 

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

Posted in Book Ponderings, Book Review, Book Thoughts, Books, Creative WRiting, Laurell K Hamilton, Uncategorized

The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton Ponderings

The Laughing Corpse
The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

Heh, so I’ve gotten to where I post my reviews to Goodreads first, because it gives me a nice picture and tags >_> who, me? Too lazy to keep uploading pictures before I post these things… never! So, here’s my review for the Laughing Corpse, book two of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series.

Another great development in the Anita Blake series. Honestly, I have a distinct and utter love for the first books in this series. I find that Anita’s witty banter, the way that she interacts… and moreover the crime/solving the case element of the story make for something action packed as well as suspenseful.

I haven’t read this series in over four years, so going back and doing my re-read, review is already a real pleasure. I remember why I adored the series so much – Anita is such a brilliantly colored up character. She’s not perfect, she certainly has flaws. She’s independent as hell to an almost fault, she’s a bit on the hateful side towards the undead (for now!), and she’s an all around bad ass that you can’t help but to love.

So, let’s see… to get into this book a little bit… I love the story. I love the element of Dominiga as well as Harold Ganor. I adore it when there is more than one villain to focus on in a series. I love the fact that they’re both their own version of the big bad in different ways: Dominiga because she knows she’s extremely powerful, she knows she can do evil… she’s certainly done it and will admit it as long as there’s no one around to tell her otherwise. Ganor is a completely different kind of evil – he’s evil in the sense that he has the money to be, he has the power to be through that money. It’s two primarily different people… but they come together as the same kind of evil because both the corruption of power and the corruption of money have taken them down the same road.

Again, the crime element of this story was an intense read. A rampaging, flesh eating zombie? Shudder just a little bit – there were some pretty graphic descriptions, so I’d be careful reading this if you had a weak stomach. Still… it was amazing, and it made it even more satisfying to catch the bad guy in the end. Also, props to LKH for giving me a moment of actually feeling PITY for the monster at the end of the novel – I won’t spoil anything. Read it yourself.

A moment for me to fangirl here over Jean-Claude. I love him. He’s a great character. He’s cocky, he knows he is sexy… but especially here in these first novels you see he’s hungry for power… but that there’s a part of him that already really cares about Anita.

Just… I love it. I love this series, I think it’s great. I know it’s a bit of a stray from my usual YA reviews, but still. :3 5/5 stars, and onward to Circus of the Damned!

(this review will also be posted to my blog – https://authoramandamccormick.wordpress.com – that offers reviews, honest opinions, and writing advice!)

Until next time, keep reading and writing!

 

Author Amanda McCormick