Monday, October 18, 2010

"Eternal Prey" - Book 3 of the Gods of the Night series by Nina Bangs

Disclaimer: The review version was an ARC obtained via NetGalley.

Time and Setting: Portland, Oregon, present day


Utah Endeka thinks about one thing and one thing only: to avenge the death of his pack mate, Rap, at the hands of vampires.  He hates vampires with a passion and now that is pretty much all he lives for.

Lia, born human, is used to work harder and push herself to the limit.  As the daughter of a vampire queen of sorts, she was largely ignored by her mother, which motivated her to spend most of her life pushing herself to be tougher and to use her brains to compensate for being a weakling human.  She wishes to become a vampire, but her father, who is human, has convinced her to wait a little bit longer.  However, much bigger forces are at play.

Fin assigns Lia to work as Utah's "human", which does create certain issues due to Utah's hatred of all things vampire, and Lia's determination to become a vampire in the near future because of her heritage.  However, neither one can deny the very strong attraction that develops instantly between them.

Although both characters are quite sympathetic to the reader, I have to admit that this time around the main characters didn't engage me as much as the main characters in the previous two books in the series did.  I can't exactly pinpoint why.  I think that it has to do with the very quick pacing of the book, the different plot points that were included, and the further development of the universe the author is building in the series, all of which really didn't give a lot of room for lots of character development.  Though the relationship is definitely the central point, I'd dare say it was slightly more plot driven, or at least, that was the case as I perceived it.


This time around the hunt for Zero's minion, Seven, takes place in Portland, Oregon.  Apparently, there is a rogue vampire wreaking havoc, believed to be related to Seven, and as a result, Fin (leader of the Eleven), establishes an alliance of sorts with the vampire leader, Adam.  Utah, who has been on a vampire killing rampage, is sent over as a token lackey for Adam.  Lia is the human assigned to accompany Utah at all times (humans in the vicinity of the Eleven helps keep them "concealed" from non-humans), this provides an advantage, though, as she knows everything about vampires, their hierarchy, rules, strengths and also their weaknesses.  Utah isn't exactly happy about having a "babysitter"... and much less a vampire lover type...

Ms. Bangs further develops the universe that she started in the first book, allowing the readers further glimpses into Fin, the origins of the Eleven, and the existence of other supernaturals, not just shifters or vampires.  I find all this fascinating.  However, anyone new to the series, will be better served by starting the series from book 1 and continuing in the intended order of the series.  By now, there is a lot going on in terms of the background story arc involving Fin, Zero and the Eleven, and it can get fairly confusing for some, particularly if they are new to the series.  The sex scenes are hot, which is standard for Ms. Bangs.  They do not distract from the story and they can even be outright skipped without affecting the reader's enjoyment of the story. 

Overall, if I gave ratings (which I don't) this book would be the equivalent of a round B in my personal opinion.  The story moved quickly and as fans have come to expect from this series, it didn't drag at any point. The characters were not, in my personal opinion, outstanding, but they were appealing.  This is a book that I would definitely recommend, even to those not familiar with Nina Bangs' work, but who enjoy paranormal romance.  On a side note, Ms. Bangs writes delightful lighthearted paranormal romances, however, this series is not lighthearted by any stretch of the imagination.

Author's website:
Publisher's website:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dissatisfied with the current state of romance

I've been reading romance in one form another since I was 16 years old. My first real romance was The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss - can you say "bodice ripper". There was Rebecca Brandewyne, Roberta Gellis and a few others who I have either lost track of or outgrown. Then I discovered Nora Roberts - she was the first author I read whose stories and characters seduced me. They flirted, they laughed and danced and when they fell in love, so did I. I never wanted to leave their world. From Nora I progressed to Elizabeth Lowell, Linda Howard and Jayne Ann Krentz who started at Harlequin and Silhouette. I've followed them through the years from publisher to publisher and genre to genre. These women, along with Jenny Crusie, are a chosen few, whose books I will rush out to buy to this day. I've followed them from paperback to hardcover without a qualm. I've added and subtracted authors from my list of must reads, want to reads and might reads.

I immersed myself in Erotic romance, when it first started and over the years I have watched it morph into an entity that I think has gotten out of control and lost it's way. I've read traditional, historical, fantasy, shapeshifters, aliens, elves and ghosts. I've delved into anime, yaoi, m/m (male/male), multiple partners and even some (f/f). I hate chick-lit. As far as I am concerned, it's a string of pages of whining, selfish drek, written about self-absorbed, spoiled brats. I could care less if they couldn't buy that pair of designer shoes, or take that trip to Europe because their rich, equally whiny, self-absorbed boyfriend/husband/girlfriend, found someone else with an original thought in their heads. And I'm at a loss. There is so much out there that is awesome, some that is mediocre and, unfortunately, a whole lot that's just garbage.

I am thinking of taking a break from all of it. Well, I was thinking about it, but I am a voracious reader. I can't go a day without opening a book and at least reading a few pages. How do you just stop reading? How do you abandon something that has seen you through love, heartbreak, grief, happiness and the everyday blahs. A book to me is a friend, who doesn't care if you gain a few pounds, cry on their shoulder, yell at them or think their insane. A book doesn't judge you, it doesn't hate you. It's always there when you need it and hopefully always satisfies you.

I read romance to escape and reaffirm my belief that love is real, it's possible that someday my prince/sheik/billionaire/cowboy/pilot/space warrior/navy seal will come, sweep me off of my feet and we will live happily ever after.

Can I give all of that up? I don't know...who knows, tomorrow I might discover a new author who will re-awaken my love for the genre that I fell in love with.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Now how to write those reviews...

Now that I am "officially" reviewing again, I am finding myself with a quandary of sorts: do I read the whole book first and then write the review (that's what I did with my first review posted to the blog) or do I take notes as I go along.  I am inclined to just read the whole book first and then write the review.  For someone that wrote reviews for quite a few years, this sounds ass-backwards, but the thing is that way back when, my reviews were short as that was a requirement from the websites/publication I wrote reviews for.  Now that I am writing the reviews for my own entertainment, I do want to give a bit more detail and make them different to what I was used to.

The many ways in which I like to complicate my life and make something that should be simple, a headache... yay me  ;)