Tag Archives: vampire

Review of Frost Burn (Fire and Ice #1), by Erica Stevens

I received and Audible code for a copy of Erica Steven‘s Frost Burn.

Description from Gooreads:

After years of running, Quinn has finally found a town to settle down in while she searches for the man who tore her life apart. Despite her every intention not to, she’s started to put down some roots and make friends. However, the small bit of solace she’s found is quickly shattered when a group of vampires walk into the bar where she works and turn her life upside down.

Looking only to stop for a few nights and have a good time, Julian never expected to stumble across someone like Quinn. Determined to keep her free from the vampires looking to use her as a weapon, Julian is stunned to discover himself starting to care for the mysterious woman with a dark past she’s unwilling to reveal. It doesn’t take him long to realize that the vampires after her are only a part of the problem. This quiet little town is hiding a violent secret of its own; a secret that not only threatens the town, but Quinn in particular.

Review:

(slightly spoilerish)

Honestly, I just didn’t like this. I thought Julian was an arrogant a-hole and Quinn a bit of a limp rag. It’s not that she was a weak heroine, there just kinda didn’t seem to be much to her. I didn’t feel their relationship grow and I was often annoyed.

What’s more, the book starts with the mystery of Quinn’s origins and why vampires are after her. Then, it immediately swerves off into an unrelated and immensely less interesting human investigation. The fact that these two end up being related is merely luck on the part of the characters and felt like nothing more than a manipulation of the plot on the part of the author.

I do want to address the fact that this is the first book in a spin-off series. I have not read the original series, but the author assures us that we don’t need to have read it to enjoy Frost Burn. I call BS on that. Yes, I could follow Frost Burn. But the characters and events of The Kindred Series are so often referenced that I 100% felt that I was missing out on vital information. What’s more, Julian so often reminded the reader that he’d been a bad man that I believed him. That’s part of why I didn’t like him. Maybe if I’d read the previous series and seen his moral transformation I would feel different. And there is absolutely no character development of side characters. I assume that is because they are known from the previous series. So, I recommend reading The Kindred before this.

Lastly, I think I have to give in and accept that I don’t like Meghan Kelly‘s narration style. That’s not to say it’s objectively bad, just not for me. I’ve listened to several of her books and while they are competently done, I find I just don’t like the way she voices people.

All in all, just about nothing worked for me about this book.

Review of Midnight’s Daughter (Dorina Basarab #1), by Karen Chance

I borrowed an audio copy of Karen Chance‘s MIdnight’s Daughter through Hoopla and my local library.

Description from Goodreads:

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir-half human, half vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. So far Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing.

Now Dory’s vampire father has come back into her life. Her Uncle Dracula (yes, the Dracula), infamous even among vampires for his cruelty and murderous ways, has escaped his prison. And her father wants Dory to work with gorgeous master vampire Louis-Cesare to put him back there.

Vampires and dhampirs are mortal enemies, and Dory prefers to work alone. But Dracula is the only thing on Earth that truly scares her, so when Dory has to go up against him, she’ll take all the help she can get… 

Review:

I’ve got to be honest and say I didn’t love this. It felt all over the place, Dory randomly running from one fight to the next and meeting characters who play no further role in the book. Ironically, I also felt like there were fights we should have seen (because they were more relevant to the plot) and we were only told she blacked out and woke up having killed everyone. In the end, she didn’t even fight Dracula, as the blurb suggests, but some other random villain, while someone else took Drac. (Actually that’s a perfect example of the book, the focus slipping off somewhere else with the important stuff happening in the background.)

Further, the way the book set up the evil family and then tried to redeem them didn’t work for me and I was bitter that the whole thing basically came down to an “Oops sorry.” 

I did appreciate that men were sexualized and victimized. I know that seems an odd thing to praise, but usually it’s ONLY WOMEN who get this treatment and it was nice to see a little parity. And I can also imagine some of the problems of this book being because it’s the first in a series and had to set everything else up. Despite not liking it much, I might be willing to give book two a chance to see if the things that annoyed me so much don’t carry over.

I did think Joyce Bean did a fine job with the narration.

Review of Blood Oath (Nathaniel Cade #1), by Christopher Farnsworth

I borrowed an audio copy of Christopher Farnsworth‘s Blood Oath from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:

Zach Barrows is an ambitious young White House staffer whose career takes an unexpected turn when he’s partnered with Nathaniel Cade, a secret agent sworn to protect the President. But Cade is no ordinary civil servant. Bound 140 years ago by a special blood oath, Nathaniel Cade is a vampire. He battles nightmares before they can break into the daylight world of the American dream, enemies far stranger – and far more dangeorus – than civilians have ever imagined.

Review:

This wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything new and inspiring either. I liked that Cade is so demonstrably inhuman. I thought Zach was funny. I liked the idea of the secret, crime-fighting vampire. All in all I enjoyed the book. 

My only real complaint, beyond there being nothing particularly new here, is that (as is SO OFTEN the case, especially with male authors) there are exactly 3 women in the book. They all play minor roles. Two are the lovers of more important male characters and one uses sex as a weapon and currency to get what she wants. 

Is it truly not possible to have a female character who isn’t characterized by who she has sex with or why? This book wasn’t really any worse than other books in the regard, but as always, it’s an irritant that you can’t unnoticed once you do. And once you start noticing, you realize how painfully frequent it is.

Bronson Pinchot did all right with the narration. I thought he played Cade too dryly. He sounded board for most of the book, instead of intense. But it wasn’t unpleasant to listen to, on the whole.