Hello, all! We’re at the crunch time our our semester (darn those evil finals) so we will not be posting until after December 18th. This should give us time to finish our tests and get home for the holidays! Thank you so much for reading! Happy Holidays and to all fellow college students, Happy Testing! ^_^
Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Novels #1-5
Titles: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Novels #1-5
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Ratings: (overall) 3/5
Hello again fellow fantasy connoisseurs. This week’s review is over the Anita Blake Series by the ever writing Laurell K. Hamilton. An interesting read that I would advise to a mature audience.
That being said, this series centers around the well known vampire executioner and animator, Anita Blake. In her parallel world, vampires, shape shifters and many others delightful and dangerous creatures exist and have a habit of raising hell in pour St. Louis, Blake’s home. She works as an animator (one who raises zombies) under her annoying boss, while hunting rogue vampire (alone with other super natural nasties) on the side. Between her day job, her time assisting the police and the complicated love life, she’s got her hands full (and is always armed and ready). Now because of this series’ length and content I’ve decided to break it into a Pro and Con review.
Beyond these small flaws, though, I would definitely recommend picking up this series. As I’m sure you’ve seen in the book store, it pretty much is it’s own section and continues to grow. I frankly doubt I’ll get through all of the books before “divorcing the series” but of late I’ve yet to be disappointed in these books overall. They’re nice little occasional reads that get your heart pumping and remind you of how much you love action and suspense. The first book is Guilty Pleasures and there is a list in order on Wikipedia.
“Only bad books have good endings. If a book is any good, it’s ending is always bad - because you don’t want the book to end.”
- Pseudonymous Bosch (from The Name of this Book Is Secret)
The Strange Neighbor Series
Titles: Strange Neighbors, The Werewolf Upstairs, The Vampire Next Door.
Author: Ashlyn Chase
Pages: 384, 352, and 384, respecctively.
Ratings: (overall) 3/5
Let us get one thing straight, right off the bat. This entire series is pure, unadulterated, borderline ridiculous fluff. These books are so fluffy that you can use them to dry off with after a shower, and for that reason they are utterly delightful. They are wonderful light reads that are great for unwinding after a long day.
All three are comic paranormal romance novels that follow the romantic shenanigans of the residents of an apartment building in Baltimore. The first, Strange Neighbors, details the romance of Merry and Jason, a part-vampire nurse and a shape-shifting professional baseball player. Merry has finally moved out of her parent’s home in Rhode Island to an apartment in Baltimore. Turns out, her neighbors are all a little left of normal, including her hunky live-in landlord. The Werewolf Upstairs, is all about the howling good times had by Roz and Konrad. Roz is a discontented public defender and Merry’s best friend, and Konrad is a bad-boy werewolf with a good-guy past. The Vampire Next Door is all about the magical relationship between witch, medium, and phone-sex actress Morgaine and the apartment’s unofficial protector and unwilling vampire Sly. Morgaine, despite her acquaintance with the darker sides of life, is scared of the dark and can hardly stand to leave her apartment. Sly is still mourning his dead wife. Nevertheless, the pair of them manage to make it through.
As I said, this series is quite delightful. The cast of characters is well rounded and have truly hilarious dynamics between them.
So why only a three? A few reasons.
The first big one is a personal pet peeve of mine and I just couldn’t take it. There is a character from the rural south in these books, a delightful lady all in all, but it is apparent that Madame Chase is not Southern. I am. Hence the annoyance. Any way, the sin committed was the persistent misuse of “y’all.” “Y’all” is a plural. You can say to two or more people, “Y’all have no concept of the Southern vernacular.” You cannot refer to one person as “y’all.” It makes the accent sound affected rather than genuine, if y’all readers know what I mean? The next issue was that while it was good romantic comedy, Chase sometimes overdid it. Funny in a sex scene is okay, but you have to be careful not to make it awkward. Shall we say that scat jokes can really ruin the mood for both the characters and the readers. The last issue was that the plot lines meandered and drug on in a truly bizarre way. The conflict was very seldom in the relationship but in some other aspect of the storyline. It becomes apparent to both characters followed that they love each other early on. And then it’s twisty progress to a proposal. I’d rather see progress through the relationship. The development of love rather than being hit in the face with the character’s life long devotion for each other and then watch as the poor schmucks take their own sweet time in deciding to get married.
Still, these are fun, not-much-thought-required reads. I highly recommend them if you can get them used or on the kindle for cheaper than what they’ll cost as new paper backs.
Elemental Gelade (#1-10)
Yay, manga week. This lovely piece of art published in English by Tokyopop, was a delight in my early manga years. (Oh, the years when I had so much more time to read!)
The first thing that forced my, any likely most people’s attention was the art. As a high school artist, I must make this clear that it is absolutely lovely and even without the plot might have kept me reading most to the way. It has both the detailed gloss of shojo with the hard and brash beauty of shonen action and battles. If it was just a critique on art this would be a 5 hands down, if not more.
Moving on, this story is set in the fantastic world of Guardia where there exists being called Eld Raid who exist alongside humans with the ability to partner with humans and become dazzling weapons. This story follows the adventures of Coud (Cou) Van Giruet who finds Reverie Metherlance (Ren) after his people go on a sudden raid. Don’t you just love airship pirates? He agrees to take Ren to Edel Garden and are joined by a funny crew of Eld Raid Guardians. But of course it’s never that easy and in their travels Coud begins to learn that there’s more about Ren that he’s not told and even more people who would do anything to have her.
The plot is surprisingly well done and if you’ve watched the anime realize it is much more…graphic in manga form. Pay attention to ratings people! Though there are quite a few characters introduced every volume there is literally never any confusion. (This author is like original character creation on steroids). No two are much alike and their interactions will have you laughing, crying, and just staring dumbfounded sometimes in sheer interest.
If your looking for somethings with action, beautiful art, character variety, twists and humor, than you’ve come to the right airship!