*REVIEW* ~ Scrying for Summer (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles #2), by Katherine McIntyre

#paranormalromance #urbanfantasy

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Book Blurb

Jev was looking for an adventure, however she wanted the usual variety of stomping out nasty fae in the city as an enforcer of the Philly Coven. Instead, handsome as sin Liam O’Reilly shows up on her doorstep dropping news of the worst organization of fae they’d dealt with on the rise again. Except, he’s a traitor, an asshole, and the absolute last person she wants to work with.

However, the longer they work together, the more the fire between them burns, turning from rage and irritation into something primal. And as she gets to know the real Liam O’Reilly behind the charming smiles and sexy lines, he becomes so much deadlier. Because the protective, self-sacrificing man underneath his facade is just the sort she could fall for.

My Review

Fast, Furious and Sizzling! 5 stars

Scrying for Summer is the latest instalment in Katherine McIntyre’s Philadelphia Coven Chronicles. It is a smexy read from start to finish, which fans of romance, especially paranormal and urban fantasy will love. Whilst the book works as a standalone, reading the previous book would give more of an insight into the main characters and the world of the Fae.

I hugely enjoyed the pairing of Jev, a gutsy Coven Enforcer with Liam, (the previously turncoat Hunter) both of whom we met in the previous book Hunting For Spring (click on book title for my review). There is an awful lot of sexual tension between the two from the off, although it is not acknowledged. Jev despises Liam on account of his past alliance with the enemy and views him as a traitor. She is upfront and honest in her opinions,  disliking deceit of any kind, in contrast with Liam who guards his true self and traumatic past beneath a bad boy devil-may- care exterior.  Whilst Jev trusts Liam not an inch she is prepared to work with him to rid her beloved city of evil and is careful to both watch her back and guard her heart against the man necessity compels her to work with.

Nevertheless as the two work ever closely together their respective masks come off and they begin to fall hard for each other. Indeed, there are some smoking hot scenes amongst those of blood, magic and gore which typify the battles between Jev and Liam and their arch enemy. Yet will they survive? Once more will they take a chance on love and admit their feelings for one another are more than just lust?

This book, like the previous one, contains some expertly crafted battles between the forces of good and the evil Unseelie, where no quarter is spared and where Jev and Liam must use everything in  their arsenal if they are to survive.

All in all a super addition to the series and I am looking forward to future instalments!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review. 

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon.com

Author Links

Website: http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com

Tumblr: http://www.booksteacoffee.tumblr.com

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kmcintyremt

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kmcintyreauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pixierants

*Cover Reveal* Dark Confluence (The Darkening Book 1) by Rosemary Fryth

Dark Confluence - Banner

 

TITLE: Dark Confluence

SERIES: The Darkening Trilogy, Book

1

AUTHOR: Rosemary Fryth
GENRE: Paranormal Horror Thriller

IMPRINT/PUBLISHER: COVET, Bison

Publishing

RELEASES: MAY 3rd, 2016
Dark Confluence - Rosemary Fryth - BISON PUBLISHING

Dark Confluence – Rosemary Fryth – BISON PUBLISHING

SYNOPSIS

It’s just another ordinary day for Jen McDonald. Until she slams

on her brakes and narrowly misses hitting a shrouded woman. Disoriented and stumbling from

her car, she’s stunned when she discovers the woman has disappeared. Unbeknownst to Jen, the

one event triggers many others in the small Australian town of Emerald Hills.

In another part of town, a witch rises up, determined to gain

more power, influence, and wealth. Through persuasiveness, she sets into motion a series of

catastrophic episodes.

People disappear, only to be later found dead, animals are

mutilated, seedlings and saplings suddenly appear that only Jen can see, children go missing, a

strange group of pale men and women show up, and the town folk appear to be entranced.

Amongst this all, Jen is experiencing strange things happening to her as well. Something dark

and sinister is coming and it’s determined to take over the town.

Jen’s world is turned upside down when she’s told by Fionn, a

handsome Fae she sexually attracted to, that it is only she that can save the town and its

residents. Will Jen be brave enough to accept her destiny, even knowing she may have to

sacrifice herself?

ADD to your TBR: http://bit.ly/1qnjwYy
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rosemary Fryth lives in a small, quiet Australian country town

in an upland region that is known as ‘Celtic Country’. She is the author of the self-published

‘Riothamus’ and ‘The Darkening’ trilogies, and the poetry anthology ‘Elemental’. Her interests

include medieval and ancient history, paleoanthropology, astrophysics, and sculpting. Rosemary

lives a happy and peaceful life with her beloved husband in an eighty year old cottage. They care

for one and a half cats, four chickens, and a pond full of frogs. Rosemary will this year be

formalising her lifelong love of writing by starting an online Bachelor of Arts, majoring in

Writing, at a local University.

FOLLOW THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER
bison
Bison Publishing
Brooklyn, New York

 

**REVIEW** Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse #13) by Charlaine Harris

After having a clean break from the wrapped-up True Blood tv series, as well as the book series, almost two years on from the release of the book I finally found a moment to read the final Sookie Stackhouse story: Dead Ever After. Read as a one-off book, I found it to be refreshing, with plenty going on in the paranormal world and magic that surrounds Sookie Stackhouse. It’s certainly sad to see the end of the journey we have all shared with Sookie!

Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse)Title: Dead Ever After: A True Blood Novel (Sookie Stackhouse #13)

Author: Charlaine Harris

Genre: Fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy

Release date: May 7th, 2013

Released by: Gollancz

Length: 352 pages

Blurb: Sookie Stackhouse has one last adventure in store.

Life has taken her from a waitress in Merlotte’s Bar, Bon Temps, to part owner; from social outcast to the heart of her community; from a vampire’s girlfriend to the wife of one of the most powerful vampires in the state.

She has survived explosions, revolutions and attempts on her life. Sookie has endured betrayal, heartbreak and grief… and she has emerged a little stronger, and little wiser, every time.

But with life comes new trials…

The question is, in the end: who will love, who will live, and who will be dead ever after?

There are secrets in the town of Bon Temps, ones that threaten those closest to Sookie—and could destroy her heart…

Sookie Stackhouse finds it easy to turn down the request of former barmaid Arlene when she wants her job back at Merlotte’s. After all, Arlene tried to have Sookie killed. But her relationship with Eric Northman is not so clearcut. He and his vampires are keeping their distance…and a cold silence. And when Sookie learns the reason why, she is devastated.

Then a shocking murder rocks Bon Temps, and Sookie is arrested for the crime.

But the evidence against Sookie is weak, and she makes bail. Investigating the killing, she’ll learn that what passes for truth in Bon Temps is only a convenient lie. What passes for justice is more spilled blood. And what passes for love is never enough…

REVIEW

Almost two years has passed since the release of Dead Ever After, but after not being completely bowled over by Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12), I was reluctant to read it. However, I couldn’t read a whole series and then miss out the last book! And, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this final story! Amazingly, I have also been able to avoid reading any other reviews of the book and so have read Dead Ever After with a fresh approach.

Throughout the story Sookie has many worries. To begin with, after raising Sam from the dead, using her magic from the cluviel dor (which could only be used once), she noticed a clear coldness from Eric. Is he annoyed with her for using her magic on Sam and not saving it for him? Well, that’s just tough luck for Eric as there was no way she’d let Sam die! Not only has she to worry about Eric, but Sam seems to have changed after his experience too.

Sam seems really quiet and a little off with her, or maybe he is shaken up from the whole coming-back-to-life episode. Sam has been through a lot and, when Sookie sees Sam next, he has forgotten a great deal. Sookie then reminds him of everything, even the events he probably doesn’t want to remember, as she knows it’s in his best interests for him to face up to them. This is also a great way for Charlaine Harris to recap the last story, and provides the reader with enough detail to understand what has happened, but doesn’t bore the regular reader of the series either.

As the story moves forward Sookie is in for some more surprises. First, Arlene, an ex-friend and colleague, has been released from prison and approaches Sookie at Merlotte’s bar asking for her old job back. Now a part-owner of Merlotte’s, Sookie clearly stands her ground and refuses. She can’t believe the nerve of her after Arlene had tried to have her killed. Shortly after, Arlene’s body is found in the dumpster behind Merlotte’s, and you can just imagine who will be accused. Yes, poor Sookie!

And then, there’s Eric. After everything that has happened, Eric has almost abandoned Sookie for reasons that Sookie and the readers are not sure of. It appears to us that he may be a little irked after the incident with Sam. And yet, there is more going on in the vamp world that he needs to attend to and this will have a definite impact on Sookie. The ever-practical Eric has to do not just what is in his best interests, but also what is expected of him.

Will Sookie be cleared of a murder she didn’t commit? Will her and Sam be able to return to a their comfortable friendship? And, will Eric deal with his vamp problem and return to Sookie? Or, will Sookie rekindle her love with her first love, Bill? This final instalment certainly has many questions to answer. And the reader will find out the answers to all as it all wraps up.

Although fairly well written, with plenty more going on, I found it didn’t grip me with intensity. However, the storyline itself was good. Sookie’s love interests were not present too much in the book and I know many won’t be too happy with the ending. But, I was fairly happy. As long as Sookie ended up with either Bill, Eric or Sam I was going to be happy as I have come to appreciate all three characters over the course of the book series, as well as tv series.

It is very difficult to read this after seeing the tv series, though, as it is hard to differentiate between the, sometimes very different, storylines but with the same characters. In hindsight, I do wish I had read all of the books first, before watching the tv series. That said, I do like how the book series has gone in terms of keeping more with the telepaths and witches. This certainly adds to the magic of the story, as well as remind us that our focus is Sookie, even though we can all get carried away with the strong male characters.

All-in-all, the book series is a great read, and I would encourage anyone, whether read the series before or not, to start at the beginning and read each book in order to remind ourselves of Sookie’s journey, and what Charlaine Harris wanted us to get from the series.

Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13) by Charlaine Harris is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

By Force, Forever Fae # 1, by Sara Hubbard

ByForce_453X534[1]Captor/Captive Romance – Super Start to a New Adult Fantasy Series

By Force is the first book in Sara Hubbard’s new series, Forever Fae. In it the heroine is taken as captive by not one but five hunky male warriors!!! This has got to be one of my top fantasies – assuming there is plenty of romance to compensate for the drama and the angst of being kidnapped. In this Sara Hubbard does not disappoint! There is also non-stop action, adventure and suspense and an introduction to a fascinating medieval type world, which contains magic and strange creatures…….

So here’s the Book Blurb………

Kidnapping Isame would set them free…

Isame wanted freedom: the freedom to travel, the freedom to explore, but most of all, the freedom to choose the life she wanted over the life—and the husband—her parents had chosen for her. But when Isame leaves home to accept another man’s proposal, she happens across five fierce, handsome warriors. She wonders why they’ve travelled so far from home, but she never imagines their purpose might have something to do with her. Not even after they kidnap her.

Remmie is a man of honor and fierce loyalty. So when his king commands him to find a specific young woman on the island of Copaxa, he’s prepared to obey. But he’s not prepared for the woman to change everything. Isame is special. He can see it from the start. But how can one puny woman make him question everything he’s always known, including the rightness of doing what he’s promised?

My Review

By Force is a well written and entertaining fantasy romance, full of believable characters, many of whom I quickly grew to love! It is set in a fascinating world full of surprises and plenty of action as Isame and her captors travel across land, mountains and sea. Her kidnappers, five hunky warriors from Optavia, called ‘Savages’ by her people, due to their size and appearance, not to mention their behaviour, are out to do a job, kidnap Isame and deliver her to their king.

The heroine’s relationship with the warriors is a complex one. At first they want little to do with their captive and her with them and they do treat her rather poorly. However, slowly they begin to interact and get to know, like and respect each other and there is much humour in the banter between Isame and her captors and the other characters they meet on their journey. One of the warriors, James however,  is an outsider and has an agenda of his own which becomes clearer as the plot develops. Isame is particularly drawn to Remmie, one of the warriors, who treats her more kindly than the others and their budding and touching romance is central to this novel.

I particularly liked the heroine, Isame and her transformation from a young woman about to acquiesce to an arranged marriage to one who is thrust into the adventure she has always craved, finding that she prefers this life to the one that was mapped out for her in her village. Although at first she vows to escape her captors, she starts to befriend them and falls hard for the warrior Remmie, who in turn is attracted to her. Their sweet romance is a delight to read and the  scenes between them are full of sexual tension and hidden desire. However, there are many obstacles in the way of a happy future, not least the oath of Remmie and the other warriors to their king to deliver Isame to him and the fact that Remmie is a Savage, a race feared and held in contempt by her own people. He has also been responsible for abducting her and along with the other warriors represents a threat to her family should she try to escape. Remmie, despite his fearsome appearance and initial behaviour, is a sweetie at heart however and I could not stop myself rooting for their HEA!

Also what does the king want with her? There is also the prophecy of a mysterious gypsy, linking Isame, who has always believed herself to be a regular girl with Faemell, the Fairy Isle. Isame begins to question this and wants to find out the truth.

By Force is a super, well-paced, romantic read, full of sexy warrior types (what more can a girl want?), containing action and adventure, mystery and suspense. It is a great start to a new series and the next instalment, By Choice, is in the pipeline. I recommend it to those who enjoy fantasy romance with a feisty heroine and an alpha male with a heart.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this novel was given to me free by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Publisher:

http://etopiapressblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/new-releases-for-1032014/

Connect with Sara Hubbard:

http://www.sara-hubbard.com

https://twitter.com/SaraLouHubbard

https://www.facebook.com/sarahubbardauthor

Purchase Links

Amazon US     Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
All Romance Ebooks

Enchanted Immortals 4: The Vixen by C.J. Pinard

Enchanted Immortals 4: The Vixen (Enchanted Immortals, #4)Sexiness, sassiness and sophistication are what you can expect from Kathryn Jones in C.J. Pinard’s fourth instalment in this brilliant urban paranormal Enchanted Immortals series, The Vixen. The Vixen takes the reader on a journey through Kathryn’s past, from the death of her parents and her sleazy, rough life in Chicago, right on through to Kathryn becoming an Immortal.

After leaving Chicago Kathryn settled in LA, but after having a tragic experience and then focusing completely on policing the vampires and shapeshifters, does she then meet the man of her dreams? Although The Vixen concentrates on Kathryn’s character and her story I do love how the various groups, i.e. shapeshifters, vampires, sylphs and Immortals, have their own agendas/stories – but it is the Treaty that all of these species have all made with the Zie Council which bring them all together.

We begin The Vixen with a dramatic and effective prologue which engages the reader from the off. Poor little Kathryn as a youngster, desperate cold and hungry, being led by her mother to a shelter to escape her father. The reader already has a sense that Kathryn’s father is violent and abusive and can therefore understand why her mother is running. However, Kathryn is a scared little girl; scared of her father and scared of running to the unknown.  The Vixen has it’s fair share of action and horror and the prologue is no exception to the latter! From this short piece of writing alone, the reader is connected to Kathryn and you have to continue on the journey of this desolate soul.

As with all of the Enchanted Immortals books, The Vixen switched from past to present. C.J. writes in such a way to make the story easy to follow and keeps the excitement flowing as one moment we’re reading about the 1920’s and then present day, back to the 1930’s. The story is constantly keeping pace and going back and forth between the vamps, shifters, immortals, etc, keeping the reader informed on the different events taking place. The reader is reminded of how Kathryn met up with Jonathan, how Thomas became an Immortal and also Tony Bianchi – an investigator with the BSI (Bureau of Supernatural Investigation).

The reader is also reminded of the shifter, Sheena, and what happened to her. For those that do not know and have not read the previous books of the series – this is a revelation and as well as a great recap, making The Vixen well written and informative enough to read as a stand alone. However, I would recommend that all books of the series should be read as they are all fantastic and each book focuses on a different character (please click on the links below to read our reviews):-

Enchanted Immortals – Thomas’ story

Enchanted Immortals 2: The Vortex – Jonathan’s story

Enchanted Immortals 3: The Vampyre – Pascal’s story

Having each book focus on a different character enables the reader to come up close and personal with each one and thus helping to empathise and connect with each character as well as providing a full background for the whole series.

Before reading The Vixen I viewed Kathryn as a more supportive character as Jonathan and Thomas, espeically Jonathan, were seen to be the heroes. In the Vixen Kathryn comes to the fore and I now see her as an equal, especially as she is so bold. The Immortals also have their own superpower: Jonathan is extremely strong; Thomas is very fast; and Kathryn can read minds. This makes all of them individually capable of surviving well on their own. As a team they are extremely  powerful.

Poor Thomas is left waiting for news of pregnant Malina as she has left their apartment for a short while to contemplate what to do about her future. Being a sylph, after giving birth she will become a mortal, leaving Thomas and her child to carry on without her once she dies. Malina has experimented with the Enchantment in the hope that she would keep her immortality, however thus far no experiment has worked. Thomas is prepared to become a mortal with her, however this would leave their child, not to mention his best friend, Jonathan, without him. Sylph Serina is put into a difficult situation as Malina stays with her but would rather Serina not mention it until she has had time to think.

Shapeshifters Seth and Malachi are desperate to be released from the Island’s prison. Being cooped up is not doing them all that good, especially when they need to turn and their instinct urges them to hunt. However, after asking for Melina on several occasions, will she finally allow for their release? Not only are Seth and Malachi seeking their release, there is also a discovery that they make. How will this affect them? Has prison helped them learn their lesson, or are they still up to no good? I must admit there was a part of me that felt sorry for Seth. Meanwhile, a new bar, The Polecat, is opening up in town and is run by shapeshifters. The Immortals and BSI go quietly to check it out.

Since the demise of vampire Pascal, Angel is looking for a more suitable leader for the remaining vamps. Brandon has taken it upon himself to lead but it seems to have all gone to his head and the others are quite young to lead. Angel visits an elderly human/ex-vamp, Darius, to discuss her plans. The reader is instantly given the impression that Darius is similar to Samuel L. Jackson in both looks and personality. After I thought this, I smiled to myself when it was mentioned in the book which is an example of how clear C.J. Pinard writes.

Although the end of the story does wrap up quite nicely, the epilogue leaves the reader hoping for more. What becomes of Angel? Will Seth and Malachi revert to their old ways after the revelation they have learnt? The Vixen, unfortunately is meant to be the concluding book of the series and in all honesty the series could be left as it is. However, there are so many characters that could go on to do more that I cannot help but try to persuade C.J. to write another.

There is the novella, BSI: Bureau of Supernatural Investigation, that will be released at a later date. I cannot wait for this as the reader experiences an ‘X-files’ feel when reading about these guys. It is absolutely fantastic stuff – C.J is one of my favourite authors as her work is so full of life, full of different characters, so exciting and action-packed. If you haven’t had a C.J. Pinard experience yet then you have to buy these books. You won’t be disappointed!

At the time of writing this post you can purchase the Kindle Editions of the first two books of the series for only 77p at Amazon UK or for $1.17 at Amazon US!

I received Enchanted Immortals 4: The Vixen from the author, C.J. Pinard, gratefully. In return for her kindness and because I absolutely love this series I have written an honest and fair review.

If you would like to contact C.J. Pinard you can reach her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CJPinardAuthor or you can e-mail her at cjpinardauthor@gmail.com.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Enchanted Immortals 3: The Vampyre by C.J. Pinard

Enchanted Immortals 3: The Vampyre

For those of you that love a great fantasy/paranormal novel to read,  ‘Enchanted Immortals 3: The Vampyre’ is a must-read! It is absolutely full, from beginning to end, of great characters with meaningful stories, action and adventure, romance, horror and flashbacks. I love the different types of species here; the Immortals, the vampires, the shapeshifters, the sylphs and the humans. The chemistry between the Immortals and the sylphs is beautiful, whilst the vampires and the shapeshifters are troublesome and dark.

In the first book of the series, ‘Enchanted Immortals’, we are introduced to Thomas O’Malley – a human until turned into an Immortal. In the sequel, ‘Enchanted Immortals 2: The Vortex’, we follow the story of Jonathan Murphy, also an Immortal, partner and close friend to Thomas. In book 3, ‘The Vampyre’, we follow the history of vampire Pascal Theroux, how he was as a human, how he became a vampire and his life since. The reader also has little insights into Angel’s mind –  Angel being Pascal’s mate for the past thirty years.

I was amazed at how I found Pascal’s story to be quite touching in parts and there were times when I really liked him. C.J. Pinard has a way of allowing the reader to take in all aspects of the character and the reader can connect to Pascal as we follow him from his human form right through to when he becomes a vampire. However, there was a turning point in which the reader meets a different side to Pascal – the cold, evil side. I felt that it was a shame for someone likeable to have such a bad streak in him.

Throughout his vampire life, Pascal has tried to find a mate. He is charming and generous and over time he does turn several women into a vampire, thinking they could be his long term mate. However, these women soon realised the other side to Pascal and left. Until Angel came along, he probably felt that no woman would be the one.

Pascal also wanted to find a way to walk in the sun and over time he found a way to make sun-resistant vampires. He would then use these as his ‘foot-soldiers’ during the day to carry out the tasks that he wanted doing. But with Pascal’s attention focusing on his bigger plans, does he lose touch with his new vampires and his mate, Angel?

I feel for Angel in many ways. She has had quite a lonely life as a human, with little family, and Pascal did change that. He provides for her, he is her mate and the one she has belonged to for so long. She remains by his side after all this time, however there are moments, quite understandably when Pascal’s cold side is showing, when she needs out. I am looking forward to reading more on Angel as the series progresses.

Meanwhile, romance is in the air with Thomas and Malina about to marry and some lust (or is it love?) igniting again between Jonathan and Kathryn. There are some really nice sexy and romantic scenes in this novel and we realise how deeply these characters really care about each other. I find it fascinating as regardless of their physical relationship they are always so close in all other aspects of their life.

Shapeshifters, Seth and Malachi, are still imprisoned on The Island, awaiting trial for the crimes they committed in abducting the sylph, Serina, and extortion. And although they are not the focus of this novel they do bring up a shocking and powerful revelation!

Also, the BSI are back. Jason Swift from the Bureau of Supernatural Investigations turns up to speak to Jonathan and Thomas with some news and throughout the novel they work very closely together. I absolutely love the BSI, as you may know from reading my previous reviews of the series. They are like the X-File section of the FBI in ‘The X-Files’ and there is even a reference to this in ‘Enchanted Immortals 3: The Vampire’. This is excellent stuff!

I am a big fan of supporting characters and this novel does not disappoint. I love the character of Aiden, a boss and friend to Sebastian. Without revealing too much, he cares for Sebastian, taking him in and providing for him, with his lovely wife, Elaine. In my minds eye, I imagine Aiden to be a larger than life character, burly and funny with plenty of charisma but also a heart of gold. I really have no idea where C.J. finds all of these great characters.

All characters have been cleverly incorporated into this series in such a way that they all have their own tale to tell – linked to the past as well as the present day. (This is when the flashbacks take place. It is a fun read and quick-paced as it never loses momentum. The series weaves through the different characters’ past and present and yet it is written in such a way that it is easy to follow the story. Each book is a great stand-alone read, however for the details of each characters’ story I would read the series as a whole, beginning with ‘Enchanted Immortals‘ which is now available at Amazon UK for 77p or Amazon US for $1.15.

Enchanted Immortals 4: The Vixen‘ is due out in May 2013 so not too long to wait for another enchanting read!!!

Please note that ‘Enchanted Immortals 3: The Vampyre’ was received gratefully from the author, C.J. Pinard, in return for an honest and fair review.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse Book 12) by Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse, #12)Slow and frustrating to intense and dramatic – the reader truly goes through their paces with this twelfth instalment of the Sookie Stackhouse series in ‘Deadlocked’.

There is no doubt that Charlaine Harris has created a brilliant series with these novels. We are introduced to very different characters from all corners of the supernatural world from vampires, werewolves and shapeshifters to fairies, witches and demons. And throughout these novels the audience has a great dose of romance, mystery, action and adventure. But throughout the series I have felt mixed emotions as some novels have exceeded expectation whereas others have left me disappointed.

Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed at ‘Deadlocked’. Until the latter stages of the story I found myself feeling bored, frustrated and easily distracted. When reading a Sookie Stackhouse book I believe the reader expects a fairly quick-paced adventure with mystery, romance and action along the way. However, these expectations were not met as there was very little action and where was the romance?

I found the story to be slow during the first couple of chapters. Sookie is having a catch-up with her girlfriends at a Ladies Night only event. I feel that the conversations are far too detailed concerning the lives of some characters that are not fundamental to the story, whilst there are other characters that the reader would rather be hearing about. Although this idea of the catch-up is good in terms of re-capping the reader or introducing the new reader of the series, I felt that it was too long. At the same time I remember thinking to myself that new readers of the series probably hadn’t been given enough information on past events and characters, making this novel difficult to read as a stand alone.

Chapter 3 really begins the story for me, when Sookie attends a vampire party at Eric’s house and finds him drinking blood from a young girl. Minutes later the girl is found dead in Eric’s yard and this is where the mystery begins. Eric is a main suspect for killing the girl and Sookie cannot be sure that he is innocent. The scenes at the party are dramatic. As the novel is written from Sookie’s point of view, as is the whole series, the reader can understand her emotions and reactions to Eric and what has happened. After the party scenes, I felt that the investigation into the girl’s death was left, in the story,  for the police to look into, whilst Bill was carrying out his own digging. However, Sookie did not seem to have much to do with this at all.

As main characters of the series I was surprised to find that Eric, Bill and Alcide (among others) did not have as much mention as expected. I found this novel concentrated mostly on Sookie, her Fae family and the cluviel dor, left from her grandmother, which would allow her one wish. While other characters appeared busy working out what was happening with the vampires, werewolves and fairies Sookie seemed to be waiting around for news. During this time Sookie seems helpless, with not much to do other than keep the cluviel dor secret and safe.

To fill in these gaps the reader is subjected to Sookie’s chores and errands. We find out who she serves at Merlottes, what they have to eat and hear more chit-chat while she’s carrying out her daytime job as a waitress. Sookie will also go to the convenience store and cook for her friends, etc. For me, this is not information I need to know – a sentence or two would have been adequate. But even though this is tedious it does give the reader a contrast between Sookie’s daily life and the ordeals she faces with the supernaturals. This also provides the reader with the knowledge that Sookie is almost an ordinary gal in which we can relate to.

Although I found this novel disappointing in many areas that is not to say that it is not worth a read. I would recommend fans of the series to still read this, whilst readers new to the series would be best to start from the beginning of the series with ‘Dead Until Dark’. Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1)I say this because the latter chapters really opened up the story and many loose ends were wrapped up in quite a dramatic way. At this point in the book nothing distracted me and I felt quite tense reading these scenes as we found out who killed the young girl and why. These intense and dramatic scenes really made the book. Sookie does end up in a spot of bother, needing help herself and then needing to help a friend. I cannot really say more without spoiling the end but it is worth the wait!

There are still some areas that need wrapping up such as who will Sookie give her heart to, will Felipe ever leave and allow Eric to remain Sheriff of Area 5 or will Eric marry Freyda? What lies in store for Bill, Sam and Alcide? All of these questions make me want to read the following novel ‘Dead Ever After’ hopefully being released in May 2013!

 

Reviewed by Caroline Barker