2008 Book Reviews

Hell’s Belles – Jackie Kessler “It’s hard to find a fresh voice, but Jezebel’s seems truly original, and flows in a way that seems as though Ms Kessler was wearing her inner demon on the outside when she wrote this ;-) Tezebel wants more Hell ;-)” Buy

Unleashed – Kristopher Reisz “…one of those books that really make you think. This is one trip you should really take.” Buy

Happy Hour of the Damned – Mark Henry “…Mark Henry’s writing is so all-encompassingly engaging…Amanda Feral is the new Stephanie Plum…Mark Henry is the new author you’ll love to hate…Those with low self-esteem be warned: you may feel like your own work sucks (in comparison, at least). But it’s still worth a read; priceless, really. Road Trip of the Living Dead can’t come soon enough.” Buy

Dead to Me – Anton Strout “The author is clever with wordplay…Within these pages is a wonderfully creative idea called Ghostsniffing…” Buy

The Adoration of Jenna Fox – Mary E. Pearson “This will be the author’s breakout novel, no doubt about it…if you only read one young adult novel this year, make it this one. The author has taken the themes of identity, family, friends and bioethics, and has spun them into one unforgettable read. It is simply astounding, brilliant and completely realistic.” Buy

The Reincarnationist – M. J. Rose Buy

Eat the Dark – Joe Schreiber “If you like to read stuff that wouldn’t happen in real life, you’ll find this book much to your liking.” Buy

Blue Is for Nightmares – Laurie Faria Stolarz “I really enjoyed this novel, and hope I can get the next instalments of the series.” Buy

Many Bloody Returns – Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner (eds.) “The best stories were written by Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine and Jeanne C. Stein, and I hope you can read them someday.” Buy

Wicked Game – Jeri Smith-Ready “Threaded through the novel is music cooler than thou, so trendy and classic that it makes me wonder what musical skeletons are in the author’s closet.” Buy

Magic Burns – Ilona Andrews “Ilona Andrews is one of the best world-builders around with some truly new ideas to add to the urban fantasy genre.” Buy

Insurrection – Patrice Michelle “The author has some interesting ideas, and a shift into urban fantasy would make a great career move.” Buy

The Host – Stephenie Meyer “Very much an epic, a heart-wrenching story that will force us humans to have a long hard look at our species… An astounding story that will stay in the minds of readers long after reading. One of the most brilliant books I’ve read all year.” Buy

Even for Me – Taryn Blackthorne “This action-packed tale may be serious but has a sense of humour that’s not forced, cutesy, or sitcom.” Buy

Hidden – Eve Kenin “There’s no doubt that the world-building and science are the novel’s best features… I’d love to read more of this future.” Buy

Ashes to Ashes – Jennifer Armintrout “Plenty of vomit and severed digits to satisfy gore fans, witticisms to appease the humorous and alternate history for those not impressed with the real world.” Buy

You Know Where to Find Me – Rachel Cohn “This is intense, emotional stuff, with characters I wish I’d had in my life…Thought-provoking, emotionally draining and forces (unintentionally or otherwise) readers to undertake personal reflection…Powerful and memorable in a way that very few novels are – put simply: a must-read.” Buy

Witch Fire – Anya Bast “The author has some interesting ideas, and I look forward to learning more about the elements and what they do…The world-building is interesting enough that I’m already reading the sequel.” Buy

Witch Blood – Anya Bast “A step up from its predecessor…Anya Bast is doing what all authors should be doing: improving with each novel. I’m really looking forward to reading The Chosen Sin, future Elemental Witches instalments and whatever else the author has in store for us.” Buy

Once Bitten, Twice Shy – Jennifer Rardin “An urban fantasy featuring the CIA and a sense of humour… Quite interesting. Indeed, Chapter Twenty is memorable, so keep your eye out for that… Jennifer Rardin is an author to watch.” Buy

Another One Bites the Dust – Jennifer Rardin “Ever experience blackouts, and regain consciousness to find yourself holding a gun to your own head? This makes for fascinating reading…” Buy

Biting the Bullet – Jennifer Rardin “I have much respect for the author featuring some creatures not usually found in current fiction. Top marks for originality…” Buy

Blood Noir – Laurell K. Hamilton “The relationships between Jason, Anita, the Schuylers and the Summerlands’ various guards and spin doctors is really quite interesting – sometimes it’s understandable why the author is a bestseller.” Buy

Personal Demon – Kelley Armstrong “…gobsmacked me with its brilliance and sheer originality…It really justifies the author as my favourite.” Buy

Ill Wind – Rachel Caine “…fresh ideas no one else seems to be writing about…melding physics with metaphysics to create the ultimate urban fantasy read.” Buy

Countdown – Michelle Maddox “…that very rare kind of book: a thriller that is genuinely thrilling. This is action-packed, non-stop adventure, combining the physiological, psychological and technological in a story that grabbed me immediately and didn’t let go.” Buy

Third Degree – Greg Iles “Greg Iles is a fantastic thriller writer, with complex characterisations, interesting information, and thought-provoking scenarios…An engrossing read set in the timeframe of just one day, Third Degree should not disappointment fans, and will hopefully bring in new readers.” Buy

Bound to Love Her – Esri Rose “…social commentary involving the environment and real estate…this novel has something to say – which a lot of stories don’t…Fans of Tate Hallaway’s novels should enjoy this.” Buy

Midnight Brunch at Casa Dracula – Marta Acosta “Mil is sparky, with a sense of adventure, humour and – most importantly – an affable personality…the Casa Dracula series is more than just another vampire tale…plenty of social commentary, with a smart but not toffy intelligence.” Buy

Blood Price – Tanya Huff “Originally published in 1991, Blood Price holds up well 17 years later…the novel has an important role in the history of urban fantasy in fiction.” Buy

Oh My Goth – Gena Showalter “…interesting enough to read it in basically one sitting.” Buy

Red Handed – Gena Showalter “…focuses on what’s dearly missing in teen fiction…and showcases fabulous world-building that I can’t wait to read more about.” Buy

Blacklisted – Gena Showalter “For fabulous world-building, how power corrupts, and thoughtful issues, look no further than Blacklisted for a novel with surprising depth.” Buy

Blood Trail – Tanya Huff “Vicki’s a wily, likable character…the world-building is original…” Buy

Boys that Bite – Mari Mancusi “…a teen vampire tale with an Arthurian twist…” Buy

Blood Lines – Tanya Huff “…well worth applauding…unusual subject matter that will appeal to readers who are bored with vampires…” Buy

Seaborn – Chris Howard “Chris Howard takes urban fantasy where it doesn’t usually tread…” Buy

The Scent of Shadows – Vicki Pettersson “Vicki Pettersson brings fresh ideas, deep psychology and Las Vegas’s underbelly…science enforces the magic, there’s deep character development, and it all comes together in a ripping yarn…This is one series thriller fans should not miss.” Buy

LifeMate Connections: Eryn – Keri Arthur “…the mystery itself is actually quite interesting…” Buy

The Taste of Night – Vicki Pettersson “The Neon Boneyard is a brilliant setting as always, and Joaquin’s underground lair is genuinely creepy. The melding of science and magic is a big part of what makes this series a winner…” Buy

Already Dead – Charlie Huston “…like me you’ll be hoping to encounter the second Joe Pitt novel, No Dominion, in the near future.” Buy

Silver is for Secrets – Laurie Faria Stolarz “…compulsively readable…Upon finishing I immediately wanted to read the next in the series…Laurie Faria Stolarz is my kind of writer.” Buy

Moon Called – Patricia Briggs “This series has its fans, and there’s reasonable enough evidence in the world-building and class structure.” Buy

Wifey – Judy Blume “That something published in 1978 seems more believable, realistic and relatable than most books on the market today says a lot.” Buy

Darkling – Yasmine Galenorn “Everything fits together well, the characters seem well formed, and the plot’s intriguing.” Buy

Blood Bound – Patricia Briggs “…a decent read.” Buy

Night Child – Jes BattisNight Child stands above most…Definitely one of my favourite books of the year…” Buy

Netherwood – Michele Lang “…outstanding, a true example of fabulous world-building…if you’re looking for an ace setting with vivid detail, you’ve come to the right book.” Buy

The Bride of Casa Dracula – Marta Acosta “Highly quotable, this third book is the best in the series…” Buy

Blood Lite – Kevin J. Anderson (ed.) Buy

Night Shift – Lilith Saintcrow “…enjoy the ride…a good, different read.” Buy

Awaken Me Darkly – Gena Showalter “Fascinating world-building and a unique serial killer make Gena Showalter’s Awaken Me Darkly an engrossing read.” Buy

Enslave Me Sweetly – Gena Showalter “…the world-building, and the different alien races, and futuristic life, are what make this series worth reading.” Buy

The Electric Church – Jeff Somers “…snappy…apt social commentary for contemporary society.” Buy

The Digital Plague – Jeff Somers “Science and technology combine for another intriguing cyber-noir read…interesting concepts and characters…” Buy

The Chosen Sin – Anya Bast “Keep an eye out for the show-stopping, devastatingly heartbreaking scene that alerts this is not just an escapist read…It’s memorable, emotional, and I don’t remember ever having a scene in any book remain with me so long after the book’s over.” Buy

Tripping to Somewhere – Kristopher Reisz “The writing is breezy and pretty…” Buy

Savor Me Slowly – Gena Showalter “…the world-building is outstanding and the Schön case is intriguing…” Buy

Martin Misunderstood – Karin Slaughter “…strange but enjoyable…This is not your standard tale of romance, yet these tragic characters do make a realistic couple.” Buy

Swung – Ewan Morrison “I believed it, that this situation and these characters are very real. This novel is truthful…David and Alice’s thoughts and feelings will probably ring familiar.” Buy

Platinum – Jennifer Lynn Barnes “…a fun read…if only the author’s The Squad books were published in Australia…” Buy

Swallowing Darkness – Laurell K. Hamilton “One can’t deny that the author has quite the imagination…” Buy

Living with the Dead – Kelley Armstrong “But what’s most disturbing and intriguing about the kumpania is who’s living underground – and why. It truly makes you step back and look on in awe of the author’s ideas. Wow.” Buy

I Can Has Cheezburger? – Professor Happycat & ICanHasCheezburger.com “…you’re sure to find a LOLcat to show how you’re feeling…” Buy

Ravenous – Sharon Ashwood “Sharon Ashwood gives good haunted house…Ravenous should go down a treat for paranormal romance fans…” Buy

Embraced by Darkness – Keri Arthur “The narrative flows easily, and the final hunt is particularly engrossing – Keri Arthur improves with each novel.” Buy

The Darkest Kiss – Keri Arthur “…this one’s a cracker…A vampire that’s invisible in daylight? Well, it sure beats sparkling ;-)…definitely addictive.” Buy

Working for the Devil – Lilith Saintcrow “…Nuevo Rio and science set this book apart from others, lifting it clearly above. Chapter 36 is an absolute ripper, a cracker of a read…” Buy

Dead Man Rising – Lilith Saintcrow “Lilith Saintcrow doesn’t shy away from writing true darkness…expect to read something of great merit.” Buy

Undead on Arrival – L. A. Banks “…the syn-DNA stuff is intriguing…” Buy

The Sweet Scent of Blood – Suzanne McLeod “London is a welcome change from the mostly American settings populating urban fantasy, 3V is an interesting concept, and Genny’s cat-like eyes are unique.” Buy

Lockdown – Alexander Gordon Smith “The author has created an astounding and outstanding novel. Alexander Gordon Smith has one sick imagination, but it makes for riveting reading, combining realistic and relatable protags with the scariest, creepiest antags I’ve ever read. The blood watches are tense, eerie and utterly unforgettable…this futuristic horror YA series is set to be an absolute cracker.” Buy

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