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Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton

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So… I have a problem. I have serious troubles in saying no when authors or publishers ask me if I want to review their book. Specially, if said book belongs to a series that has been on my radar for a while.

Serpentine is the latest example of that. See, I have heard a lot of good/bad things about Anita Blake. Enough that once I got the email, I immediately said yes. WITHOUT THINKING. Clearly I should have heard alarm bells, right? Because I basically accepted to read a review a book that is number 26 on a series, without having read any of the previous ones.

So, after a bad decision, a even worse one – to read a book out of order – was made.

After all said and done, do I regret them? Hell no.

Why? Because the book was good. It was darn good. I liked the mystery and the plot, sure some things sounded out of context – because I didn’t have it – but other than that, I enjoyed the book a lot more than I was expected.

See, when I look at Anita Blake’s reviews, I mostly see a lot of complains about how the story focus more on romance than the mystery at hand.  Well, that doesn’t bother me, specially if I’m in a all-smutt-you-can-fit-on-a-page mood. On that regard, the book actually made me curious to read more polygamous stories, because clearly, I have been missing them on my naughty stories.

That been said. I jumped into the series without reading previous Anita’s, and from what I gathered, the series used to be pure UF instead of romance UF. Maybe, when I’m finally caught up – because this book made me want to read the series – I’ll agree. Which I pretty much doubt because as much as I love pure UF, the romance reader in me always enjoy when it branches out. I understand why the UF purists may not like it, I just don’t agree with them.

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Rating: ✪✪✪✪

Book Info: 512 pages Published August 7th 2018 by Berkley Books

Series: Anita Blake #26

Genres: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: 

Vampire hunter Anita Blake has managed to overcome everything she faces. But this time there’s a monster that even she doesn’t know how to fight…

A remote Florida island is the perfect wedding destination for the upcoming nuptials of Anita’s fellow U.S. Marshal and best friend Edward. For Anita, the vacation is a welcome break, as it’s the first trip she gets to take with wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel. But it’s not all fun and games and bachelor parties…

In this tropical paradise Micah discovers a horrific new form of lycanthropy, one that has afflicted a single family for generations. Believed to be the result of an ancient Greek curse, it turns human bodies into a mass of snakes.

When long-simmering resentment leads to a big blowout within the wedding party, the last thing Anita needs is more drama. But it finds her anyway when women start disappearing from the hotel, and worse–her own friends and lovers are considered the prime suspects. There’s a strange power afoot that Anita has never confronted before, a force that’s rendering those around her helpless in its thrall. Unable to face it on her own, Anita is willing to accept help from even the deadliest places. Help that she will most certainly regret–if she survives at all, that is…

 

 

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Release Date Review: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

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Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪

Book Info: 352 pages Published August 28th 2018 by Ace

Series: Kate Daniels #10

Genres: Urban Fantasy

Source: I received a free ARC from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis: 

Mercenary Kate Daniels must risk all to protect everything she holds dear in this epic, can’t-miss entry in the thrilling #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series.

Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She’s made friends and enemies. She’s found love and started a family with Curran Lennart, the former Beast Lord. But her magic is too strong for the power players of the world to let her be.

Kate and her father, Roland, currently have an uneasy truce, but when he starts testing her defenses again, she knows that sooner or later, a confrontation is inevitable. The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate’s doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she knows their time is up.

Kate Daniels sees no other choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies. She knows betrayal is inevitable. She knows she may not survive the coming battle. But she has to try.

For her child.

For Atlanta.

For the world.

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Let me start by saying two things:

1)I *hate* last book in a series installments – because I’ve been disappointed in the past and more times than I can count

and

2)Kate Daniels is my all-time favorite series.

So, combining the two? Is nerve racking and exciting and I was both scared to death and curious to read it. Because let’s face it, no matter how much I don’t want it to end… I also need to see both Curran and Kate having their HEA ride to the sunset.

Every single book in the series, every event, every time I’ve screamed at Curran for not being supportive, or was mad at Jim for being a self-centered egoistic erm…. person.. set the foundation to this book. It doesn’t felt rushed, or forced. There were not “where the hell did that came from?” moments here.

It all made sense.

It even made me a bit mad at the authors because how can we complain about a series ending, when the ending is done THAT way?

It is done.

Done.

And it was glorious.

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The only question that reminds is: my favorite series just ended… how… how do we move on? How can I continue on living when there is not Kate #11 on the horizon?

There’s a few stages:

You refuse to let it go. You set up a series read in preparation for it and a book of the month discussion. You refuse to let it go. You reread your favorite parts over and over. You cry again when you are supposed to, and laugh when you’re supposed to, and feel the pain and fear over and over again.

You tell yourself it isn’t over yet. After all, there are Hugh’s books and maybe Julie’s

You stalk reach for the beta readers and start talking non-stop about the book, the theories, the correlation to Iron and Magic, mix up the two stories and so on.

You check the author’s blog for news and be completely giddy with excitement with them. If you haven’t checked their Hey, Don’t Be Sad  post, here are the highlights:

  • Is not a permanent goodbye
  • They want to do a Roman’s series
  • There will be 2 more Hugh books
  • More stuff is coming

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So… that’s how I go on. How about you?

 

 

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10 Reading Challenges Using Words from Book Titles

Oh TTT, How Do I Love Thee? List addiction? Check! Grab topic and twist in order to match your mood? Check! Have a reason to post? Also check!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by the That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Frequently Used Words In [Insert Genre/Age Group] Titles.

Which of course is a too good topic to apply to reading challenges to let it go to waste – Yes, I do realize a topic that cannot be turned into a reading challenge is like having too much chocolate.. there is not such thing… but I’m getting off topic, which is:

10 Reading Challenges Using Words from Book Titles

1. One Word Book Titles
Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) by Rachel Hartman Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, #1) by Kelley Armstrong Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1) by Richelle Mead
Seraphina
Bitten
Bloodlines

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2. Book Titles Chain
Lake Silence (The Others, #6) by Anne Bishop Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10) by Patricia Briggs Fallen Too Far (Rosemary Beach, #1; Too Far, #1) by Abbi Glines
Lake Silence
Silence Fallen
Fallen Too Far

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3. Book Title Alliteration 
Tangled Threads (Elemental Assassin, #4) by Jennifer Estep Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #6) by Charlaine Harris
Tangled Threads
Definitely Dead

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4. Book Titles with common word
Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4) by Richelle Mead Half-Blood (Covenant, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5) by Rick Riordan
Blood Promise
Half-Blood
The Blood of Olympus

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5. Book Titles Word Hunt 
Words to hunt: Bites | Burns | Strikes | Bleeds | Slays

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) by Ilona Andrews Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2) by Ilona Andrews Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3) by Ilona Andrews Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4) by Ilona Andrews Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5) by Ilona Andrews

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6. Word Pairing Book Titles
Match a book to a book using antonyms in the title

Pair 1: Girls/Boys
A.Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs
B.The Raven Boys

Pair 2: Frost/Heat
A. Frost Burned
B. Dead Heat

Pair 3: Night/Day
A. Night Myst
B. Days of Blood & Starlight

Pair 4: Dark/Light
A. Dark Descendant
B. Midnight Blue-Light Special

Pair 5: Hunger/Feed
A. The Hunger Games
B. Feed

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7. Use Book Titles to Spell a Word
M – Moon Called
A – All the Little Liars
G – Gameboard of the Gods
I – I Hunt Killers
C – Curse on the Land

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8. Number Or Name in Title
One for the Money (Stephanie Plum, #1) by Janet Evanovich Eve & Adam (Eve & Adam, #1) by Michael Grant
One for the Money
Eve & Adam

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9. Book Titles with punctuation
Infected: Prey
Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet

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10. Use words from book titles to make a story
Eve, the voice said, you must enter the Carnival of Souls and Warm Bodies and give your Lover Eternal The Wicked Kiss so he can see through the Web of Lies and together you will save The Kingdom from being Frost Burned. Only then you can wish for the end of the Shadowfever and have your Lover Awakened.

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The Harpie Wants To Know

Do you participate Reading Challenges?
Want some tips and tricks to make your own?

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Wreaking Havoc #1: Draco Malfoy

There is this  Portuguese saying, very common among those born from the 70s on, that can be roughly translated as “loving to watch the circus burning”. Not  literally, of course, it means wreaking havoc with general opinion. Or the innate tendency of causing discord among peers. When you’re a teaser at heart, sometimes is hard to restrain yourself to push and push, to the point when you basically sit back with some popcorn and watch the results of you doing. Basically, some of us have a powerful inner Loki and know how to use it.

So, let’s wreak some havoc, shall we?

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Draco Malfoy: Lack of choice or born that way?

From his first appearance, we are led to hate the kid. He is a rude spoiled brat that turns into a despised and pitied lacking moral fiber young man. Hermione Granger punching him on the mouth had me cheering out loud (and envying her a bit too). But, was it really his fault? Did he had any choice?

He was basically brainwashed by his death eater father and knew nothing else. Maybe he felt that he had no choice, his only future was the continuity of the family heritage.

Sure, we can argue that Sirius was born into a purist and dark family too but chose the light path instead. However, Sirius and Draco did have some differences that changed the outcome. First, Sirius was not an only child. He was not the main and sole target of his family vitriol feeding. Second, he was put in Griffyndor, and more important, in James’s and Remus’s gang. Honestly, between Draco and Peter Pettigrew, Draco I can understand, Peter just deserves to burn in hell fires for all eternity.

And then, the moment when everything could change, Harry Potter, the boy who lived refused to shake his hand. Refused him, Draco, who had never been denied, how dare he? Clearly the fame got into his head. Or maybe is the company he’s keeping. He felt humiliated and denied. And, at 11 y.o. the sole reason of his life became to squish the bug.

It makes us wonder. What if Harry had shaken Draco’s hand?

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Three More Hidden Legacy Books: Happy Harpie!!!

First thing I do when I arrive at work is to check for tickets assigned to me. Second thing is to check email.

*Reads mail notification from Ilona Andrew’s blog post*

“Three more novels in Ilona Andrews‘ Hidden Legacy series, focusing on the emerging powers and personalities of previously-introduced House Baylor family members, for publication starting in fall 2019, plus a novella to bridge the gap, published by Avon Impulse in November 2018”

*starts hyperventilating*

THREE MORE NOVELS

*Squeals and starts running around like deranged woman before realizing that is actually at work and both boss and front-office’s co-worker are looking*

Ahem… I was expecting another book…. but three and Rogan and Nevada’s wedding THIS YEAR (**).

I am the excited.

(**)I’ve pre-ordered mine. Have you?

 

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Release Date Review: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs

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Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪

Book Info:
336 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Ace
Available on hardcover, audio, paperback and kindle

Series: Alpha & Omega #5

Genres: Urban Fantasy

Source: I received a free ARC from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis: 

Mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham face a threat like no other–one that lurks too close to home…

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…

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I’ve noticed a pattern lately with my ARC reviews. Is not that I don’t read the books on time – I mean, not always, anyway – I do read them, but writing a timely review? that’s another matter. Not that the book is hard to review or I don’t like it. Because that isn’t the reason. If you follow my goodreads updates, you’ll see that they usually are 4.5 and 5 stars. So, what is the problem? I’ll tell you what the problem is. The book is so good, and means so much to me that I want for the review to be outstanding. A perfect and flawless word combination that translates every feeling, every twist, and every thing that shares to the world the awesomeness of what I have just read.
Patricia Briggs’ books, are usually part of that group. And let me tell you a little secret, no matter how much I stall, there is no way to translate all. So, the only right thing to do would be stop procrastinating. After all, Done is Better than Perfect, right? At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Maybe one of these days I’ll start listening.

 

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Anyway, back to Burn Bright. I guess the only way to do the book the deserved justice is to tease people enough that they will stop whatever they are doing right now and rush to get the book, IMMEDIATELY!
Ready?
  • It makes you rethink the Mercy Thompsom books – that’s right. There is this tiny tiny detail, that had me WHAT?! Sure, I’m a bit plot naive, since there’s a lot of stuff I never see it coming, but WHAT?! That.. that makes me want to re-read all Mercy books in a different light and try to see things in the right framework.
  • It shows you Leah as you never seen her before. Does it make you like her? Is she really mean at heart or did she turn that way by lack at choice? Do she thinks about the pack about everything else or has her own reasons? I guess you’ll have to read to find it out.
  • It focus on Mates. Mate Bonds. Mate Connections. Death of a Mate. You want to see your heart shattered into pieces? This is the book for you.
  • Wildlings are as interesting as scary and getting to know more about them is something you don’t want to miss out.
  • Charles and Anna are amazing. I keep saying I prefer this series to Mercy, and as much as it pains me saying it, this book solidifies that preference.
  • Bran. We learn a few more Bran layers. And the jury is still out about them.
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5 fiery stars. I said it before, and will say it again. This is Patricia Briggs’s world and I’m just visiting. I will continue visiting. Will you?
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Real Life Organizing(…) by Cassandra Aarssen – Yes, I’m reading non-fiction

Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a DayReal Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day by Cassandra Aarssen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I stumbled with Cass’s YT channel by accident, and was totally hooked. Her funny and irreverent style and her positive attitude actually makes me to go home and *glup* clean.

So, buying and reading her books was a matter of time. I basically read it in two sittings. It stays true to her channel, and basically is a written manual of all the things and tips she posts there, with lots of templates and cute resources.

Is it extensive and detailed how-to-guide? No, it isn’t. And it totally makes sense. Clean, purging and tidying up is a very personal thing, and you need to find your own way. It gives you a direction to go, a overall guideline. How to make it work for you, it’s your decision. It has to be. Otherwise the process will not stick and fail.

It makes us start purging? It does. It makes us want to do it? Yes. Which is the purpose of the book, IMO.

It also helped me realize that sometimes, is our perspective on things that has to change for a more efficient and happy us.