Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost – Bout-of-Books October Review

Her deadly dreams leave her in grave danger

Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they’ve fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it’s time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She’s having visions of a vampire named Gregor who’s more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn’t know about.

Gregor believes Cat is his and he won’t stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor’s hold over her. She’ll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she’s ever faced . . . even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

Cat and Bones just keep getting better and better. I can say that even though through most of this book I was either so furious with them I wanted to shake them and lock them in a room together until they straightened everything out or I was crying right along with them through their broken hearts. This one was an emotional roller coaster! Let me just say, I love roller coasters!

There was a lot going on beyond the Cat and Bones turmoil in Destined for an Early Grave. Cat learned a lot about herself and made some important decisions. We saw a lot more of Vlad, which is a very good thing. 😉 Spade was as witty as ever and had some snarky dialogue that was just dry enough to be beyond funny. (Evidently he’s not a big country music fan 😉 Mencheres proved to have even more secrets (is anyone really surprised by that?) Finally Gregor was one of the scariest bad guys we’ve been introduced to yet. There wasn’t a lot of breathing time in Destined for an Early Grave – there also wasn’t a lot of Cat and Bones time either. It was sad, but necessary to get them where they needed to be.

Even though it was gut wrenching, I don’t think I would have changed a thing. The turmoil made the good parts just that much better. Even though I can’t wait to see where Cat and Bones end up next, I’m going to take a side trip with the first book in the Night Huntress World series, First Drop of Crimson. A side trip with Spade will probably be well worth the ride.

Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa – Bout-of-Books October Review

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan’s own fey powers have been cut off. She’s stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can’t help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

Iron Daughter starts about where Iron King left off. There is a short story in between Iron King and Iron Daughter (Winter’s Passage) which covers some of the travel time between Meghan’s home and the Winter Prince’s. It is a very short story and worth the read, but you won’t be totally lost if you go straight to Iron Daughter.

The world created by Kagawa in the Iron Fey series is so easy to get lost in. I love her descriptions of not only the characters but everything about Nevernever. Her detail even makes you look at the “real world” differently when the characters pass through it. It really makes you wonder what you don’t see lurking in the shadows and hiding under the bed. 🙂

Meghan spent a lot of time in Iron Daughter emotionally crushed, but it didn’t defeat her. I think that’s what I like about her. She wants to crumble and not fight the pain, but she gets past all of it because of her sense of responsibility. Even given the option of taking the easy way out, she turns it down to do what is right. She fought for what she believed in and the people she loved. The reader had no choice but to be thrown into the emotional turmoil right along with Meghan. Yes, there were tears. ;( (I know a lot of you must think I’m a wimp after the past few books I reviewed, but I get caught up in these stories, what can I say?)

Beyond Meghan, there are a lot of strong characters in this series. Some new faces, strange allies and familiar characters round out the story nicely. There were times that I wanted to smack the grin off Grim’s face – when he decided to show it. I love Puck and his sense of humor. One of the things that I really like about his character is the distinction in his voice. Ash and the rest of the Fey have an almost formal voice. Puck’s voice is more modern, like Meghan’s. It makes it obvious how much time he spent away from the Nevernever to be with Meghan. To me it is a detail that adds a lot to the story. Ash practically broke my heart in this one. So much was out of his control. I spent a lot of time being both angry with him and wanting to hug him at the same time.

Iron Daughter has just as much mystery and action as Iron King. Meghan learns a lot about herself and the Fey world, but thankfully, she has a lot more to experience and learn. I’ll be picking up Iron Queen soon and because I’m a smart procrastinator, I don’t have to wait to read Iron Knight. I might take my time though. 😉

Bout-of-Books October Wrap-Up Challenge Winners!

Wow! That went by fast. Another Bout-of-Books is finished and we all survived! I hope everyone had a successful reading week and at least came close to their goals and expectations. As for my goals? I didn’t get to my 6th book, but I’m still pretty happy with the amount that I read. The books that I picked were amazingly good, I had fun and I met a lot of new book bloggers and reading buddies, so I’d call that a successful week, wouldn’t you? I got all but two of my reviews done but I will have them up this afternoon, so I don’t feel too bad about that goal either. I’m just going to have to resign myself to the fact that I can’t read more than 5 books in a week. For some reason on Wednesday and around my 3rd book I start stalling. Not sure why. It has nothing to do with what I’m reading because I was totally engrossed in every book I read. My family still thinks 5 books in a week is pretty amazing (or crazy, depending on which member you ask) so I’ll take it. Below is the list of books that I completed and the page count of each one.

  • Suspense by Jason Letts (226 pages)
  • The House on Hundred Hill (The Nephilim) by Jemima Valentino (118 pages)
  • Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa (359 pages)
  • Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready (367 pages)
  • Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost (355 pages)

Including the few pages of Clockwork Angel I managed to sneak in, I read a total of 1544 pages this week.

I was also pretty happy with the response to my Love Triangle Challenge. However, I need to take some of my own advice it seems (cue embarrassing “Definition of ‘Proof’ or ‘Proofreading’ post here.) Two of my challenge participants noticed that I didn’t give the right names for the 30th Love Triangle. (Just a tad embarrassing 😦 ) I went back and changed it for this answer post and I checked to make sure that it didn’t make a difference in the results for anyone who didn’t answer it correctly. Thankfully, whoever missed #30 also missed one or more of the others, so I breathed a sigh of relief! For those who pointed out my little blunder, thank you! For those who chose to ignore it and just quietly answer the question and not point out my little blunder, thank you, too. I deserved to be called out on it, but your politeness is appreciated. 🙂 Next time I will let someone look over my contest posts before I post them. Lesson learned! Now, here are the answers to my challenge.

I was amazed at how many people answered all 30 correctly. Some of you even gave me the correct book that the actual Love Triangle appeared in when it was part of a series of books. I even got answers that included authors and correct series names. You guys are amazing information mongers! I hope everyone had as much fun playing as I had putting it together. Now, who were my winners? I chose them through this morning and they have already been contacted via email.

Bout-of-Books                           Love Triangle Winners!

                  1st Place

Louisa from Words I Write Crazy

                   2nd Place

Nimue from Endlessly Bookish

Louisa chose The Cloud Profit Trilogy by Megg Jensen and Nimue chose Don’t Fear the Reaper Michelle Muto. Both are excellent prizes so enjoy!

Plans are already under way for the next Bout-of-Books, so stay tuned. Make sure you stop by Amanda’s page and give her a virtual pat on the back for all her hard work and organizational skills. She’ll have her wrap-up info up today too and I’m sure it will be full of all kinds of fun and interesting info.

By creativedeeds