Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bloodlines by Skyla Dawn Cameron

Bloodlines by Skyla Dawn Cameron
Urban Fantasy

Back-of-the-book Blurb

After three hundred years of unlife, vampire Zara Lain has seemingly done it all, and she's now making a living as a successful thief-turned-assassin. Her newest assignment seems simple enough--kill the aging leader of the O'Connor Coven and his only heir, and she'll have another ten million in the bank.

But in the dangerous world of the supernatural, few things are ever "simple."

When a massive assault decimates the continent's population of powerful witches and warlocks, and its orchestrator has vampires being hunted down and captured, Zara realizes the tables have turned and now she'll be playing the hero. Forced to join with a smart-mouthed fellow vampire, a demonologist who's also a fan of hers, a recently widowed--and frequently brooding--warlock, and her best friend's mom, Zara's grudgingly willing to do what she can to save the day.

If only people would stop ruining all her outfits...

Vampires behaving like vampires. Now there's a thought.

BLOODLINES is a snarky and bloody trip into the life of Zara the crazy, emotionally damaged, and way too snarky for her own good (my name for her). God, I loved her. Think Buffy as a vampire. Have teeth, will kick ass.

If blood, swearing, and snark offends you, pass on this book. There's plenty of all three. Yet, I never felt that any was out of place. It was always honest. And perhaps that's what set this book apart from most urban fantasies featuring a female main character: it was honest to a fault. There was no going easy on the readers; everything was to character for Zara. Everything. It's rare for a book to be that honest.

It's so honest that I finished the book at 1am and swore curses of eternal rashes on the author. Rare does a book bring out such a reaction in me.

Read it and rediscover both vampires and urban fantasy.

100% Full disclosure here, folks. Skyla is the COO of Mundania Press, who recently contracted an epic fantasy of mine. Skyla is also running a contest where there's some awesome prize-winning potential for folks who review Bloodlines. I'm reviewing the book because a) I liked it and b) I want to win goodies. I am not doing it to suck up to her, since she's already picked up my book ;)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Highsong by Laura Jennings

HIGHSONG by Laura Jennings

About 60 pages (according to my eReader)
Science Fiction/Adventure (though I'd class it as YA SF)
Back of the book blurb:

A young dolphin and her human ward discover they are the only defense against a massive alien onslaught.

I've put off writing this review because I'm rather torn about the book. Finally, I decided that my issue was not with the book; rather I am not the kind of reader that this book should attract.

First things first. This is well-written, organized, and a stellar showing of Jennings' talent. No doubt we'll see a lot more from her in the future and I sincerely look forward to her future work. 

For me, I was expecting more of a harder science fiction than a young adult toned novella. So, in that case, I was disappointed. Though, to be fair to the author, that's my fault and not the fault of her work. My interest in the book faded a couple of times, mostly because I struggled to connect with Harp (the human boy) and Sia (the dolphin). 

In the end, if the combination of dolphins and space travel interests you in the least, this is definitely the book for you. I'd also recommend this as a "gateway book" for anyone who hasn't read any science fiction. It has enough imagination to be different and interesting, without reading like a technical journal or assuming a base knowledge of common science fiction terms and plotlines.

It's worth picking up and giving a try.