Tag Archives: urban fantasy

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Book Review: The Stalking Dead, by Eva Chase

I purchased a copy of Eva Chase‘s The Stalking Dead.
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Kinda dead. Straight-up psycho. Totally obsessed with her.

I did a bad, bad thing.

Thanks to a blank in my memory, I’m not sure what that thing was, but it was horrible enough to get me locked up in the mental ward for seven years. Horrible enough that my little sister won’t even speak to me.

But when I’m released back into a town determined to rub my unknown sins in my face, the past isn’t the only thing that’s haunting me. The four “imaginary” friends who made my childhood bearable barge into my life in a very real way.

They’re crude, criminally inclined, and more than a little unstable after ages trapped in afterlife limbo. All they want is to protect me. Worship me. Avenge me.

So they’ll bludgeon, maim, eviscerate—tear a strip of havoc right through this sleepy town.

Even rise from the dead.

Maybe I’m still not all that sane either, because part of me finds them strangely appealing. In ways very different from how I felt as a kid. And that’s not the only strangeness stirring inside me…

I promised myself I’d stick to the straight and narrow from here on. But what if the only way to set things right is to get a little ghoulish?

my review

The writing and editing are perfectly competent. The book is easily readable. But…’Meh.’ I thought this was entertaining enough but ultimately disappointing.

First off, the blurb set my expectation of the ‘Gang of Ghouls’ high. Sure, the blurb says afterlife, but the title says ghouls. So, I expected something at least a little monster-like. Instead, the ghosts just possess the main character’s bullies. So, they are fully phenotypically human. Then, the blurb tells us they “bludgeon, maim, eviscerate—tear a strip of havoc right through this sleepy town.” They do no such thing. They’re violently inclined, sure, but she is constantly telling them not to be and stopping them. They do very little in the grand scheme of things, honestly.

And while I thought them funny (and Ivery much appreciated how low-angst the why choose aspect was between them), I also thought they were idiots. It just got hard to take the chuckle-heads seriously enough to be true bad-boy romantic leads.

Add to that the fact that most of the tension in the book comes from campus bullies—the college campus feels a little too like a high school, really—and I found it all just a little too cliched. Her main foil, for example, is a girl who is jealous because the boy she likes is paying attention to the main character. Can we let this jealous girl villain—which has to be one of the most over-used in all of romance—dies already? I’m tired of reading it. I’m tired of what it tells me we’ve all internalized about other women and ourselves.

I spent a lot of this book waiting for it to grab my attention. But there are obviously some more interesting things happening in the wings that will come up in future books. The cliffhanger ending [and how tired am I of books that don’t end…very] speaks to that. But I felt like they all the stalking dead photogot held until about the last 1/3 of the book. So, for a lot of the time, I was waiting, waiting, waiting.

I would continue the series to see how those things develop if I could find a copy at a library, borrow one, or find a freebie. But I don’t think I’d buy it. (I rarely do if it looks like each one will end on a cliffie. Why bother unless you get them all? And that’s a different decision matrix entirely.)

So, all in all, not a complete dud. But still, a ‘Meh’ read for me.


Other Reviews:

@knottygirlreviewer The Stalking Dead Review #evachaseauthor #booktok #5starreviews #seriesstarter #reverseharem #bookwithspice ♬ original sound – Sandie

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Book Review: Vampire Tower #1-3, by Kelly St. Clare

I picked up a free Amazon copy of Kelly St. Clare‘s Blood Trial about this time last year. (Actually, a year ago tomorrow. LOL) Then I purchased Vampire Debt and Death Game in order to finish the series. I read them all back to back. So, I think I’ll just write a single review for the series, instead of for each individual book. But here is the blurb for book one, to give you an idea of what the series is about.

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The dice are rolled at midnight.

As the twenty-one-year-old heiress to the Le Spyre fortune, my life should consist of strawberry mojitos and golf carts.

Right? But I’m determined to forge my own path. Desperate to escape the meaningless games of the rich, I flee my family’s estate.

Secret alias—check.
Place to sleep—uh, kind of?
Job—crap!

I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, but that’s the least of my worries. My city is a giant board game. The players are supernatural— freakin’ vampires—including an overbearing crown prince whose unwanted attention could spell my demise.

Now, I must play their deadly game, or my grandmother and best friend will pay the ultimate price.

my review

As I said, I purchased and read all three books (well, the first was a freebie). So, I can’t claim I didn’t enjoy the series. Otherwise I wouldn’t have continued. But this is one of those series that I enjoyed on the surface. I liked the characters. There’s some humor. The writing is engaging. The female main character had a backbone of steel and a sharp wit. The male romantic lead was forced to grovel in a satisfying manner and I liked how he let his heroine lead in so many situations. I was invested their outcome. I enjoyed it…so long as I didn’t think too deeply about it.

Because there just isn’t any getting around the fact that the hero owned slaves, saw nothing wrong with owning slaves, and had not changed his opinion about owning slaves by the end of the book. It’s gets awful hard to keep the ‘romantic’ in the ‘romantic male lead’ in such cases.

Similarly, there just isn’t any was to ignore the fact that (as is so often the case in romance books), by the end, he had gotten everything he wanted without sacrificing anything for it. While she had to go through hell and willing give up almost everything she valued in order to earn her man. Why are women so often expected to suffer for love, while men just have to exist?

And lastly, there’s just something a little classist and elitist about the way she was made out to be so exceptional because she grew up wealthy and was therefore trained to be more. Sure, she avoided her wealthy friends’ snobbish fate because she had and valued a poor friend. But the whole thing was just icky.

All in all, as I said in the beginning, this is a fun (if slow) series, so long as you don’t think past the surface plot.

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Other Reviews:

Mini Reviews | Vampire Towers Series by. Kelly St. Clare

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Book Review: Legacy Witches, by Cass Kay

I accepted a review copy of Cass Kay‘s Legacy Witches through Netgalley. It’s just a couple weeks before Halloween. So, now seems like a great time to read a spooky book. Honestly, I probably should have included it in the list of books for my Winter Reading Challenge. But somehow I didn’t have it marked on Goodreads and missed it. Oh well.

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Coming from a long line of murderous witches hasn’t exactly been sunshine and rainbows for Vianna Roots. When she inherits the family’s haunted house after her mother dies, she decides flipping the rundown dump is her smartest move—but the ghosts that haunt her have a different plan.

When Vianna finds the ghost of her childhood friend Nancy, she’s drawn into the mystery surrounding her friend’s death. Her meddling attracts the attention of the oldest coven in Salem. In order to get her out of town, they make an offer on the house, but Vianna hesitates. She’s no longer sure she wants to abandon the demon familiar who possesses her home, the transgender outcast witch—who may just be the best friend she never knew she needed—and her high school crush, who now wants her in his life.

Vianna must find a way to solve the case of her murdered friend, stay out of the hands of the most powerful coven in Salem, and face the past she’s so desperately tried to run away from.

my review

I enjoyed the heck out of this. There’s no romance. But it’s a fun, witchy, urban fantasy story. After the death of her mother, Vianna returns to the home she fled a decade earlier—her own personal version of hell—then, has to rescue it and herself in the process. There’s a fun cast of characters, both wonderfully diverse friends and smarmy fiends. The writing is clean and easy to read and I was invested in the outcome.

My only real complaint is that I didn’t really feel the murderous part of the murderous coven, outside of Vianna’s mother and the villain. Everyone else seemed too lovely to live up the author’s assertion that they weren’t.

The book reads as a stand-alone, but ends with an opening for sequels. I’d happily pick one up.

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Other Reviews:

Review: Legacy Witches by Cass Kay

📖 Review: Legacy Witches – Cass Kay