The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

The Calling Kelley Armstrong

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Book Stats:
Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins US / Random House Canada
Release date: April 10, 2012

Series: Darkest Rising #2

Source: Random House Canada

Reviewed by: Tynga

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

On the heels of the wildly popular The Gathering comes the second in the "Darkness Rising" YA trilogy from NYT bestselling author Kelley Armstrong.

Maya Delaney’s paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is–a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now, Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they’re kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

Maya’s life was turned upside-down in The Gathering and things aren’t getting better in The Calling. Maya and her friends were shipped off their island to escape a forest fire, but the pilot isn’t heading to main land as he should. When the teens realizes the mayor was drugged they freak out and cause an helicopter crash. Something is wrong – really wrong- and so the teens flee the site and try to reach their parents, pursued by who knows who…

Finally some answers! The Gathering was all about questions, and The Calling finally brings some answers to the table. In the mist of a very traumatic event, the teens realizes someone is hunting them and they start to put one and one together. Daniel has always been able to rally people to his opinions, but what if there is more behind it? Sam gets weird vibes from some people, what is it about? And what of Corey’s migraines? Well, The Calling will give you the answers to almost all of those questions.

My favourite aspect of this second instalment was the fact that the teens took matters in their own ends. They are isolated in the forest, it’s freezing cold and they have to get back to civilization to get help.  Easier said than done and Maya’s and Daniel’s leadership was the only thing keeping them together. Maya is having a very hard time mentally though. Rafe fell off the helicopter minutes before it crashed, so she has to deal with this loss on top of everything. I was really proud of her for holding on and Daniel was simply amazing supporting her along the way.

Happening over the course of 3-4 short days (which seemed like a small eternity for our heroes), the plot really flew by. It was all about survival and finding answers in the process so the pace was fast and furious. I was really engrossed in the story and the different ambushes our young protagonists faced seemed very plausible in the midst of everything happening.

Kelley Armstrong included some reference to the events happening in the first trilogy (Darkest Powers) which makes me think we might re-visit some of those characters in the third and final book. It was nice to have a link to this first series and maybe Chloe and friends can help Maya and hers shed light on their remaining interrogations.

By the end of the novel I was totally breathless and I’m really anxious for The Rising. The teens aren’t out of trouble yet – far from it- and I must know what happens next. Some of them were captured, will we see them again? And what’s up with Nicole? I need to know!

The Darkest Rising trilogy is a great fit for younger teens, but adults will enjoy it too. Fans of the Darkest Powers trilogy will love this spin-off and if you haven’t read the first series, worry not, there’s no need to read it first. I strongly suggest you give Kelley Armstrong’s young adult books a try!

Read an Excerpt

tynsig

Bullet by Laurell K. Hamilton

hamilton - bulletBullet by Laurell K. Hamilton

Books Stats:

Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Mass Market Paperback: 405 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release date: June 1st, 2010

Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #19

Source: Personal Shelf

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Anita Blake is back in St. Louis and trying to live a normal life-as normal as possible for someone who is a legal vampire executioner and a U. S. Marshal. There are lovers, friends and their children, school programs to attend. In the midst of all the ordinary happiness a vampire from Anita’s past reaches out. She was supposed to be dead, killed in an explosion, but the Mother of All Darkness is the first vampire, their dark creator. It’s hard to kill a god. This dark goddess has reached out to her here-in St. Louis, home of everyone Anita loves most. The Mother of All Darkness has decided she has to act now or never, to control Anita, and all the vampires in America.

The Mother of All Darkness believes that the triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude with Anita and the werewolf Richard Zeeman has enough power for her to regain a body and to immigrate to the New World. But the body she wants to possess is already taken. Anita is about to learn a whole new meaning to sharing her body, one that has nothing to do with the bedroom. And if the Mother of All Darkness can’t succeed in taking over Anita’s body for herself, she means to see that no one else has the use of it, ever again. Even Belle Morte, not always a friend to Anita, has sent word: "Run if you can…"

The last time I read a book from this series was in February 2010. I didn’t realize it was that long ago! I actually had to double check my goodreads account to confirm it. Also, I didn’t realize that I had fallen a couple of books behind. So, I decided to catch up for the the release of Kiss the Dead, book 21 of the series, which will be published June 5th, 2012.

I think the main reason I’ve fallen behind is because the series went from “Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter” to “Anita Blake and her Multiple Vampire and Shapeshifter Lovers” (my new name for the series), around book 10 or 11. I loved reading about Anita’s hunts and fights but everything turned overly sexual when Anita started sleeping with more than one guy. Don’t get me wrong, she’s allowed to love more than one guy and be confused over who’s right for her, but now that she’s sleeping with so many people that I can’t even count them all, it’s feels like it’s getting repetitive.

I have to hand it to Laurell—she does know how to write a good love scene. Her attention to detail is perfect and the emotions she gives her characters brings them to life. Every character has his or her little quirks that makes them realistic and memorable. Her writing in general has you coming back for more. There’s a reason why she’s about to publish her 21st book in the series. Readers love her Anita Blake series.

In this installment, there are lots of metaphysical things happening, including fights with The Mother of All Darkness. The dark and powerful vampire, whom everyone believed dead, is back and her spirit has taken possession of the members of the vampire council, some of the most powerful vampires in existence. But that doesn’t seem to be enough power for The Mother, so she now has set her sights on Anita and her powerful group of paranormal allies.

“How? How do you fight something with no body of it’s own? How do you fight something that can jump from body to body?” That’s the question everyone wants answered. They all thought The Mother of All Darkness had been defeated, so now they have to find another way to get rid of her spirit for good.

Jean-Claude (the vampire from one of Anita’s Triumvirate of power and one of her main lovers) has decided that gaining more power and metaphysical strength is the only way to help them survive The Mother. A search for new allies might be difficult but many believe the weretigers are the answer to this search.

As we meet yet again more supernatural characters, we also see Richard, one of the original character, come back in all his werewolf glory. Despite his many issues about being a werewolf, he is still one of my favorite characters. He only has a minor role in this book but the werewolf lover in me is glad that he’s back.

Fans of the series will be satisfied with this book but will be left wanting more. For those who have given up on the series because of all the sex, I completely understand. However, those of you who enjoy it and haven’t gotten this far, I urge you to keep reading. This book is a great addition to the series, and I think, with this ending, only greater things are about to unfold.

Read an excerpt

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Bullet by Laurell K. Hamilton

hamilton - bulletBullet by Laurell K. Hamilton

Books Stats:

Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Mass Market Paperback: 405 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release date: June 1st, 2010

Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #19

Source: Personal Shelf

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Anita Blake is back in St. Louis and trying to live a normal life-as normal as possible for someone who is a legal vampire executioner and a U. S. Marshal. There are lovers, friends and their children, school programs to attend. In the midst of all the ordinary happiness a vampire from Anita’s past reaches out. She was supposed to be dead, killed in an explosion, but the Mother of All Darkness is the first vampire, their dark creator. It’s hard to kill a god. This dark goddess has reached out to her here-in St. Louis, home of everyone Anita loves most. The Mother of All Darkness has decided she has to act now or never, to control Anita, and all the vampires in America.

The Mother of All Darkness believes that the triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude with Anita and the werewolf Richard Zeeman has enough power for her to regain a body and to immigrate to the New World. But the body she wants to possess is already taken. Anita is about to learn a whole new meaning to sharing her body, one that has nothing to do with the bedroom. And if the Mother of All Darkness can’t succeed in taking over Anita’s body for herself, she means to see that no one else has the use of it, ever again. Even Belle Morte, not always a friend to Anita, has sent word: "Run if you can…"

The last time I read a book from this series was in February 2010. I didn’t realize it was that long ago! I actually had to double check my goodreads account to confirm it. Also, I didn’t realize that I had fallen a couple of books behind. So, I decided to catch up for the the release of Kiss the Dead, book 21 of the series, which will be published June 5th, 2012.

I think the main reason I’ve fallen behind is because the series went from “Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter” to “Anita Blake and her Multiple Vampire and Shapeshifter Lovers” (my new name for the series), around book 10 or 11. I loved reading about Anita’s hunts and fights but everything turned overly sexual when Anita started sleeping with more than one guy. Don’t get me wrong, she’s allowed to love more than one guy and be confused over who’s right for her, but now that she’s sleeping with so many people that I can’t even count them all, it’s feels like it’s getting repetitive.

I have to hand it to Laurell—she does know how to write a good love scene. Her attention to detail is perfect and the emotions she gives her characters brings them to life. Every character has his or her little quirks that makes them realistic and memorable. Her writing in general has you coming back for more. There’s a reason why she’s about to publish her 21st book in the series. Readers love her Anita Blake series.

In this installment, there are lots of metaphysical things happening, including fights with The Mother of All Darkness. The dark and powerful vampire, whom everyone believed dead, is back and her spirit has taken possession of the members of the vampire council, some of the most powerful vampires in existence. But that doesn’t seem to be enough power for The Mother, so she now has set her sights on Anita and her powerful group of paranormal allies.

“How? How do you fight something with no body of it’s own? How do you fight something that can jump from body to body?” That’s the question everyone wants answered. They all thought The Mother of All Darkness had been defeated, so now they have to find another way to get rid of her spirit for good.

Jean-Claude (the vampire from one of Anita’s Triumvirate of power and one of her main lovers) has decided that gaining more power and metaphysical strength is the only way to help them survive The Mother. A search for new allies might be difficult but many believe the weretigers are the answer to this search.

As we meet yet again more supernatural characters, we also see Richard, one of the original character, come back in all his werewolf glory. Despite his many issues about being a werewolf, he is still one of my favorite characters. He only has a minor role in this book but the werewolf lover in me is glad that he’s back.

Fans of the series will be satisfied with this book but will be left wanting more. For those who have given up on the series because of all the sex, I completely understand. However, those of you who enjoy it and haven’t gotten this far, I urge you to keep reading. This book is a great addition to the series, and I think, with this ending, only greater things are about to unfold.

Read an excerpt

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When I’m not writing… with Rachel Vincent!

IMG_1891

 

 

I don’t know if you guys realized by now, but I’m a HUGE FAN of Rachel Vincent. Read all of her published books, love ‘em all and I crave for the next releases! So I am very happy to have Rachel on the blog today to share with us what her “non-writing life” is like! Her next release, Alpha, is right around the corner, only 5 more days to wait (!!!) and we have an exclusive teaser to share with you, so make sure you read until the end =)

 

 

 

bookshelfWhat do I do when I’m not writing? I watch DVDs, read, or play Rock Band with #1. Honestly, though, I don’t get a lot of not-writing time anymore. Good thing I love my job!

Here’s a glimpse of what I do when I do get a break. 😉

This is a shot of one of the bookshelves in my office. The top two are mostly YA, which is what I’ve been reading and writing since I finished Alpha, and the books I’ve enjoyed most recently include an ARC of Matched, by Ally Condie (the blindingly white one, second from the left, top shelf), an ARC of The Duff, by Kody Kepplinger (bright yellow, on top), and White Cat, by Holly Black (second shelf).

This other picture shows the DVDs and Bluerays we watch most often (or love the most, but rarely get a chance to re-watch). DvdsSeries of note include Buffy (of course!), Angel (not as good as Buffy), True Blood (IMO, season 1 was the best by far), Veronica Mars (love!), Carnivale (I really wish that one hadn’t ended after only 2 seasons), and Big Love (my can’t-look-away- from-the-train-wreck guilty pleasure).

Oh, and Weeds. Though I liked the first 2 seasons of that one best.

I also watch and love Dexter, but I don’t own the whole thing. Though I do own (and love) the color-change mug!

As for movies, I love a good horror, but I rarely re-watch them, so we don’t buy them. But we re-watch comedy. We have nearly every Kevin Smith movie, and they all merit multiple viewings. We also love 40 Year Old Virgin, Accepted, Tropic Thunder, Wedding Crashers, and Office Space. And Ghostbusters. And Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which is evidently in the Playstation right now, or it would be in this stack. 😉

Alpha Blog Tou Buttonr

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Thank you so much Rachel for taking a moment in your busy schedule to share with us =) It’s greatly appreciated!

Before We get to the Alpha teaser let me show you Rachel’s other books, in case she’s a new to you author =)

The Soul Screamers series (click picture to purchase)

My soul to Take Cover

(Jan 2011)                      

Shifters Series

About Alpha:

YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE FAYTHE…

The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc, and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder, and treason. Yeah, we’ve been busy. But now it’s time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother’s death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.

It’s not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I’m heading for a final showdown that can—that will—change everything forever.

And now that exclusive excerpt I talked to you about?

"Yeah, he’s good at maintaining the illusion of integrity. It’s like an evil superpower." From Alpha, pg 108

Can you guess who said that?

You can also read my Spoilers Free Review HERE =)

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Enjoyed this post? There will be more “When I’m not writing…” post in the future!

Please visit This Page to find out who my future guests are, and a chance to suggest authors you would like to see featured!

Authors, you would like to visit and share with us?

Please email me at TyngaUF(a)gmail.com

Alpha by Rachel Vincent

alpha

YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE FAYTHE…
The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc, and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder, and treason. Yeah, we’ve been busy. But now it’s time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother’s death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.
It’s not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I’m heading for a final showdown that can–that will–change everything forever. A showdown I’m not sure I’m ready for.
But life never waits until you’re ready.

First off, this review contains spoilers from the previous books only, it’s Alpha spoilers free.

Alpha is the final book in the shifters series and the expectations are higher than ever before, and let me tell you right away, Rachel Vincent delivered.

Faythe and her pride are meeting with the entire council trying to stop Malone from becoming councilman, if they fail, they are in for a world of oppression and injustices and the South-Central Pride and their allies are not ready to let that happen. Expecting war, but hoping it won’t come to that, each men, and women, are ready to put their life on the line for the cause, and not everyone of them will still be there to see the outcome.

Alpha is powerful, heart-pounding, action-packed and oh so full of surprises! I’m glad I actually read it on my computer because my bound copy would’ve been socked wet from all the tears I cried. Seriously. Both happy tears and sad tears, I’ve been weeping most of the book while reading, so make sure you have tissues at your disposition. And if you are as emotional as I am, I recommend reading in privacy lol

Faythe will face conflicts, defeat, loss and Marc will throw her an ultimatum. She will fight for her own life, but mostly for the life of her loved ones. And even thought she hits the bottom, I admired her determination and selflessness. She has grown so much from the big-mouthed, short-tempered (not that she still doesn’t have that in her) girl from Stray. And I can’t help but being proud of her, even thought she’s just a fictional character.

Here’s an excerpt of a “Faythe moment” that really got to me:

Pain is part of who I am. It’s the defining characteristic of a Shifter’s transformation. Pain is what I suffer from my enemies. It is what I deal out to those who break our laws. It is what I protect my charges from. Pain is what I inherited from fate, that fickle bitch who gave me a mouth and fists, then put me in a world that wanted only my womb and my cradled arms.

Pain is what I feed from when nothing else will nourish the noxious fury in my heart. It’s what I cling to when everything else – everyone else – slips right between my grasping fingers. 

Marc & Jace are still there, torn between love and jealousy but both committed a 100% to Faythe and the Pride. Faythe will choose between the two of them in this adventure, but I’m not gonna give you any hints ^^

The plot for that book was awesome, the strongest in the series. I honestly didn’t see any of the major events coming. When I thought I knew what would happen next, Rachel proved me wrong and I greatly appreciated it. The end was powerful and brings some kind of closure, but Rachel chose an open end so we can all imagine what’s next. While it’s thoughtful, I would love to know what Rachel thinks will happen next! I actually find it hard to let go of this world and these characters I love so much.

The final book in the series was a blast and I’m sure it will be a huge success and even thought the loop is closed I can’t help but wanting more, makes me sad to know there will me no more Faythe =(

Read an excerpt

 

Shifters series:

Stray

Rogue

Pride

Prey

Shift

Alpha

Book Stats:

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English The Book Depository
  • ISBN-10: 077832818X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778328186

     

    Book Source: e-ARC provided by NetGalley & Harlequin

  • Trailer: Alpha by Rachel Vincent

    This meme was inspired both by Dark Fairie Tales and Stop, Drop and Read.

     

    This week I’m glad I can finally share with you the trailer of Alpha by Rachel Vincent. It’s been available for a few days on her forum but she now made it public!

     I really like the trailer, so kudos to Rachel’s hubby! 

    Also, I was very lucky to get an early galley of the book and I LOVED it! You will be able to read my review on September 20th, the same day Rachel will stop by for a “When I’m not writing…” post!

    Hairy Friends news!

    I have some news from my favorite shifters!

    First stop is the cover reveal of River Marked by Patricia Briggs, the sixth book in the Mercy Thompson series. I don’t think it’s the final version yet, but it’s already super kool!

    rivermarked_

    What do you think?

     

    Also, Rachel Vincent with the help of her husband, release a map of the American territory, werecat style!

    Here’s a preview, please click on it to access to real map with all the mouse over information

    mappreview

    Shift by Rachel Vincent

    Shift

    “ Being the first female werecat enforcer isn’t easy. Scars accumulate, but I’m stronger in so many ways.

    As for my personal life? It’s complicated. Choices worth making always are. Ever since my brother’s death and my father’s impeachment, it’s all I can do to prevent more blood from spilling. Now our Pride is under attack by a flight of vicious thunderbirds. And making peace with our new enemies may be the only way to get the best of our old foe.

    With the body count rising and treachery everywhere, my instincts tell me to look before I leap. But sometimes a leap of faith is the only real option….”

    ** this review contains spoilers from the previous books, but not from Shift **

    Shift is the fifth installment in the Shifters series. I had high expectations for this book, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed! Rachel wrote an amazing book once more and got me hooked from the first page!

    Prey was a really hard book, with the disappearance of Marc, and the epic battle to get him back, the death of my lovely Ethan and some X-rated action with Jace, the table was set for a tide of emotions in Shift. 

    Faythe’s Pride is trying to deal with the aftermath of Ethan’s death and the upcoming war. Several Alpha’s are united but no one saw the next boulder crashing on them: Thunderbirds. They attempt kidnapping on Kacy and kill two enforcers. Outnumbered and defenseless against an attack from the sky, the Pride is facing something they never felt before: Vulnerability. But they are not ready to give up.  In a desperate tentative to protect ladies and kids, Faythe and Kacy will end up at the mercy of a Flight of fifty or so full grown thunderbirds, and the future of the south-central Pride weighting on their shoulders.

    I am completely nuts for this series and Shift was no exception to my excitement. Vincent stepped-up the game once more when she introduced a completely foreign specie in the series with blazing success. You will get to find out the consequences of Ethan’s death, Jace and Faythe’s little adventure, you will find how low Malone and his crew can hit and how mentally strong Faythe is.

    The characters weren’t spared in this book, at page 120 or so there was already two dead Toms and an injured one, at some point I was wondering if there would be any characters left alive for Rachel to write Alpha. 

    Faythe is between a rock and a hard place in this book, both physically and emotionally.  She is dealing with a broken arm from the final battle in Prey and will indeed suffer some more injuries along the way, but she is not ready to give up. She is ready for all the pain in the world to save her family and I respect her for that. The psychological aspect is much harder, she is filled with guilt toward both Marc and Jace and even though she wants to confess to Marc, war and impending doom isn’t really a good time. She keeps thinking she isn’t good enough for M&J, not good enough to protect Kacy and that her Pride deserves better, but she will keep her head high and keep fighting.  Her growth is incredible since Stray and she will have to take some life changing decisions in this round.

    Poor Marc is completely oblivious to Faythe’s cheating and loves her unconditionally. He is aware Jace is acting weird but he thinks it’s because of his regretted best friend.  Jace on the other hand is more determinate than ever  to win over Faythe’s heart and is pushing her to confess to Marc, he is also constantly pushing Marc’s limits and it might not end up well.

    I LOVE every aspects of this book, the characters, the fantastic story, the rollercoaster of emotions you feel while reading this book. It’s all awesome. I truly don’t know how I’m gonna wait until October to read Alpha, and I don’t want it to end.

    Shift is fabulous, surprising, action-packed and just BEYOND! If you haven’t started this series yet, please run to the closest bookstore and buy Stray the first book in the series. You will love it and you will crave for more!

     

    Read an Excerpt

     

     

    Shifters Series:

    Stray

    Rogue

    Pride

    Prey

    Shift

    Alpha (Oct 2010)

     

    Book Stats:

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Original edition (Mar 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778327604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778327608

     

    Book Source: Personal Shelf

  • Cover Art – Alpha by Rachel Vincent

    I don’t post cover arts very often, but I love LOVE LOVE Rachel’s Shifters series and Alpha’s cover is totally awesome!
    I mean seriously, can it be anymore gorgeous? I think NOT.
    I love the feel of it, love the purple and the loepard thights, it’s beyond!
    I pre-ordered my Shift copy weeks ago but it’s not here yet, I’m about to pull my hair out ’cause I want to read it so badly!
    I saw the trailer for Shift last night in Rachel’s newsletter so you can expect me to post it here on thursday for my Trailer Thursday meme.
    If you haven’t picked this series yet you really should, it’s definately a must read, and it’s in my top 4 favorite ever =D