google-site-verification: google935433b691795853.html KRISTY BERRIDGE: 2013-03-03

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Book Review: The Mystic Wolves by Belinda Boring

The Mystic Wolves  is the first book in the aptly named Mystic Wolves series. It can be classified mostly as paranormal romance as there were enough heated gazes, sordid caresses and looks of longing to make you want to take a cold shower.
Interestingly enough this story has nothing to do with boy meets girl like so many other paranormal romances currently on the market. In fact, the Mystic Wolves are a well established pack, settled in a sleepy town and ruled by a charming and confident alpha known as Mason. Already tethered to his proposed mate, Darcy, it was refreshing to see an established relationship without the need for a lot of back story or those awkward "I'm attracted to you but can't tell you because I want to be ridiculously mysterious" moments. That is not to say that there wasn't a lot of self-doubt between the mated pair.
The novel begins with a tragic event, the death of a beloved pack mate that sets a range of events in motion. What was originally classed as a possible accident soon becomes clear to the alpha as something more. His pack and those that he loves are under threat and with a strong alliance with the local vampire king, Mason believes that he can protect Darcy from the same fate as his sister.
But can all the vampires be trusted? Are Mason and Darcy merely pawns in a game much bigger than are capable of playing?
Truthfully, I struggled with a few sections of this novel - mostly the sweet and sentimental alpha and the overly affectionate relationship he shares with Darcy. I'm all for a bit of sexual teasing but honestly, these two werewolves were at it constantly with absolutely zero follow through. I found that the sexual nature of their interaction was often inappropriate and unnecessary - a derailment from the importance of the actual story, especially after recent deaths and moments of intense despair.
What I did like was the sub-plot when it wasn't focused on Darcy and Mason's foreplay. I enjoyed the moments of action, the shape shifting and the conveyed emotions both in character speech and action. The last few chapters were compelling and an appropriate climax to an otherwise mostly sedate story. Imagery was sufficient and the lead into another novel was a hanging promise but not exactly stirring.
I will happily rate this novel two and half fangs out of five. It was enjoyable but it wasn't as gripping as I might have liked.


What would you do if a simple errand takes a deadly twist, turning you from cautious prey to dangerous predator?
Someone is trying to send a deadly message to Mason, arranging the deaths of those he loves and it puts the entire pack and Alpha on high alert. Darcy understands the primal instincts driving her beloved Mason's commands. With the help of those he sets as protectors, she learns about herself and the things she'll need to help support her Alpha and pack. When events turn dire however, one truth offers her strength - once given, oaths are unbreakable ... even if it means risking it all.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Book Review: Club Dead - Zombie Isle by Dane Hatchell

This could just be one of the shortest stories I've ever read - possibly the grossest. 
Club Dead: Zombie Isle, delves very quickly into a rapid fire plot with no particular protagonist, merely a narrative perspective of vacationers quickly regretting the decision to head to the tropics. Character names are irrelevant as they all soon fall victim to a mysterious illness that quickly sweeps across the island and claims the humanity of everyone present.
In all traditional sense this story is zombified. Flesh is eaten in abundance, people turn rapidly and others are killed for their internals as they are far too good to resist. The typical snowball effect of this horrific disease quickly exemplifys the downfall of those who are still alive. The action is limited to tearing flesh, oozing gore and streaming blood. We don't really see retaliation as the story flows quickly to conclusion, the night's horror chased by the eventuality of certain death.
Overall I enjoyed the short read and the explicit details, but I was never drawn, repulsed or awed by any one moment as there was never pause to develop emotional connections with the characters. As a short story this is to be expected, and if judging on face value, eloquence of writing style or pointed plot then I will rate Club Dead: Zombie Isle two fangs out of five.

A ridiculous undead romp on the beach. Three couples arrive at a Caribbean resort when a plague turns its residents into human flesh eaters. The story is told from multiple points of view. It's the perfect companion to an adult beverage while working on a tan.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Book Review: Rook by Cristyn West

What isn't there to love about this book? With a smart-ass protagonist called, Rook, and a whole host of crazy characters ranging from a transgender arranger named Beauty, to an institutionalized kid named Fanny, this novel takes you on an unexpected journey of epic proportions.
Rook is aptly named for it's leading character - strong, arrogant, mysterious and decidedly sexy despite the obvious lack of romance and intense commitment to action within the story. With a particularly dry sense of humour, the author had me laughing-out-loud with the first few pages of the chapter one.

Rook sat back on his heels. Carefully, he reached a hand out and picked up the rough piece of paper. Grotesque scenes of human suffering bordered the edges.
How delightful ... not.
The inscription was not just in Latin, but an ancient form of the dialect. He translated it rapidly.
"There is nowhere you can hide. We will eat your intestines and feast on your ... yada, yada, yada."
Typical demon smack talk. All it was doing was making Rook hungry.

I found myself continuously amused by the witty dialogue which in effect, captured most of the action in surprising detail. I never felt like I was outside of the unfolding plot but standing within it, embroiled within dire circumstance and seemingly implausible scenarios.
Rook is a play-by-play story unraveling over a twenty-four hour period that follows the motley group likened to CIA operatives tasked with supernatural missions.
Not surprisingly, with this fast paced novel, we jump immediately to the African jungle and uncover an ancient seal masking its brutal secrets of hell-gate potential on the young flesh of the President's nephew. Teamed with slippery demons and cannibalistic natives, Rook soon discovers that the hell gate is merely the beginning. The ever thickening plot also introduces an immaculate conception and a government conspiracy masking the true intent of both good and evil.
Seriously, the action and drama never ends!
With ample descriptive content and enough antagonistic one-liners to keep the pages turning, I will be rating Rook four out five fangs. Absent of romance, but action packed, I didn't feel as if I were missing out on anything.

"Saving the world twice a week is a crappy job, but hey, somebody's got to do it." And yes, Rook would like to be quoted on that. In a world where the earth is the DMZ between Heaven and Hell, Rook and his team try keep the forces of good and evil at bay. But like we said... try.