Monday, November 18, 2013

Hell Bent: By Devon Monk



Instead of the deadly force it once was, magic is now a useless novelty. But not for Shame Flynn and Terric Conley, “breakers” who have the gift for reverting magic back to its full-throttle power. In the magic-dense city of Portland, Oregon, keeping a low profile means keeping their gifts quiet. After three years of dealing with disgruntled magic users, Shame and Terric have had enough of politics, petty magic, and, frankly, each other. It’s time to call it quits.

When the government discovers the breakers’ secret—and its potential as a weapon—Shame and Terric suddenly become wanted men, the only ones who can stop the deadly gift from landing in the wrong hands. If only a pair of those wrong hands didn’t belong to a drop-dead-gorgeous assassin Shame is falling for as if it were the end of the world. And if he gets too close to her, it very well could be.... 


I really liked Hell Bent.

I had heard good things about Devon Monk but had never read any of her previous books. So when I saw that she was writing a new series I thought why not give it a shot.

I’m glad I did.

I learned pretty early on that Hell Bent is a spin off from Monk’s previous Allie Beckstrom series. As a reader who has never read the Allie Beckstom series I was able to follow and enjoy Hell Bent, so new readers shouldn’t worry about jumping into a series midway through. That said, after having finished Hell Bent, I want to go back and read the Allie Beckstrom series to see the set up the awesomeness that is Shame and Terric.

Speaking of Shame and Terric, they were fantastic. Each of these great characters are the reason why readers should read this book. Yes, there was awesome magic and there’s a very interesting twist on the effects of life magic, but it’s Monk’s dark humor through Terric and Shame’s dialog and their struggle with retaining their humanity that bring this book to the next level.

All in all, I really liked Hell Bent. It had an interesting system and backlash to using magic, the characters were dark but filled with enough snark and sarcasm to keep the story from getting dreary, and there’s enough action to keep even the most easily bored from losing interest. Because of all of this I’m going to pick up the books in Allie Beckstrom series and can’t wait for Stone Cold, the next in the series.


Publisher: Roc

Published: November 5, 2013

Price: $7.99

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Two Serpents Rise: By Max Gladstone



In Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone, shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc—casual gambler and professional risk manager—to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex. At the scene of the crime, Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, Crazy Mal, who easily outpaces him. 

But Caleb has more than the demon infestation, Mal, or job security to worry about when he discovers that his father—the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists—has broken into his home and is wanted in connection to the attacks on the water supply.

From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, Craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire...and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring, and they are hungry.


Not only is the Craft Sequence a well written and unique series, but it’s also brilliantly creative. Humans have gained the power to overthrow the gods, but now these same humans have to run the world, and so these series focuses on the craftsmen (lawyers and middle managers with the powers of the gods).

Two Serpents Rise is a fantastic second book in the series. It does not fall into the typical sophomore slump, of course, nor does it read as if it’s a second book in the series. Because of this readers who have not read the first book in the series, Three Parts Dead, will be able to pick up Two Serpents Rise with no problem. That said, fans of the previous book in the series will still enjoy this well crafted novel. It has all of the excitement and strong pacing of Three Parts Dead, just with new characters in a different part of the world (somewhat an Aztec sense). In fact between these two books, Gladstone sets readers up for an imaginative and fascinating series that seems to expand throughout the entire the world, allowing for more creativity and surprises in the series.

All in all, I really liked Two Serpents Rise. It had strong characters, it had a very unique voice, and there was enough action and originality that it kept me on the edge of my seat. Because of all these things I can’t wait for the next book in the series.


Publisher: Tor Books

Published: October 29, 2013

Price: $25.99

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Vicious: By V.E. Schwab



Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

“But these words people threw around—humans, monsters, heroes, villains—to Victor it was all just a matter of semantics. Someone could call themselves a hero and still walk around killing dozens. Someone else could be labeled a villain for trying to stop them. Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play be being human.”

In my opinion this small excerpt from the Vicious is the core of the book. If this intrigues you then continue on, if not then this will not be your cup of tea (but to be honest if you like amazing books then you should continue on.)

Vicious is utterly fantastic. V.E. Schwab not only has written a captivating story that will entrance readers to the last page of the book (at which point they will be distraught to learn the book is over), but she has written a book that has the readers questioning the basics of the superhero/super villain classic situation. Often readers are presented with a clear cut hero who does right, or a hero who does right even when he appears to be doing wrong, in either situation you know who you should be cheering for. In Vicious we are presented with a murderer and a man out for revenge. One believes he is a hero, destined from above to eliminate EOs, and the other just wants revenge and sees the ends justifying the means, he’d prefer not to kill innocents, but if he has to then he will.

This may not sound like a lot, but to be honest Vicious is amazing. The action is fun, the pacing exhilarating, and the story intriguing. But it is the characters that take this book to the next level. I loved reading about Victor and Eli and thought that Schwab did an outstanding job creating such dynamic characters. I highly recommend this book, and if you’re looking for something to help stem the loss from Braking Bad ending then look no further.


Publisher: Tor Books

Published: September 24, 2013

Price: $24.99

Link to Buy: