Shades of Hate (by K.N. Banet)

Urban Fantasy

Her secret is out. Jacky has somehow managed to get caught on camera in her werecat form and now government agencies are sniffing around trying to interview her and find out what she is. Even worse, her werewolf boyfriend is in the frame which could reignite animosities that have been simmering for centuries. 

Adding to her woes, someone is taking silver tainted pot-shots at her. Even if she survives the assassins and special agents, she faces an uncertain future with her own kind. 

I loved this book. In Shades of Hate Jacky Leon moves further away from the peaceful life she envisioned for herself. She always does the right thing and unfortunately for her, that character flaw (?) well and truly puts her in the spotlight. 

In some ways it’s a smaller story than the previous books and it’s better for it. Honestly that’s what I loved the most about Shades of Hate

A review copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Queen of Diamonds (by Mark Henwick)

Urban Fantasy

The first six books in the Bite Back series are books of becoming. Inside Straight (book 6) felt very much like an end to that part of the story. Amber Farrell has grown into her three parts, her athenate (vampire), were and adept (witch). 

Queen of Diamonds is a new chapter. Her house, her pack and her coven are all united and now she must move forward with uniting the werewolves and the athenate of North America while fighting a secret war against their enemies. 

Amber travels from Denver to New Mexico and then on to Louisiana battling House Matlal. But there are rumours of a powerful witch in New Orleans, a witch who is the goddess of her own world. 

It really is difficult to talk about this book. The entire series has been 4 or 5 Stars for me, and this is probably my favorite book in the series. It has everything you expect from an Amber Farrell book but the ending is a complete mind f––k. I finished a week ago and I still don’t really know what just hit me. I suspect I will need the next book before I start to understand what just happened. 

Monsters (by K.N. Banet)

Urban Fantasy

After the prison break (Snared, book 2) Kaliya and Raphael find their investigation blocked at every turn. Those who created Raphael and orchestrated the prison break have powerful friends on the tribunal and every lead is a dead end. The only path left for them is to risk everything and go rogue.

Wow. This book is amazing. It’s a part of an ongoing series and it’s worth reading book one and two before jumping into Monsters but if you’re not that way inclined I honestly believe this book will work as a stand-alone which is quite unusual in urban fantasy.

It’s a slow burn for the first half of the book but buckle your seatbelts because the second half is a runaway train. 5 Stars.

Many thanks to K.N. Banet for providing me with this review copy.

Dark & Otherworldly (by Kristen Brand)

Poison & Honey

Kristen Brand contacted me out of the blue and asked me if I’d be willing to read and review the first two novellas in the Dark & Otherworldly series. I accepted and jumped in even though I had no idea what I was jumping into. 

And honestly that’s one of the best things about these novellas. Things are not explained, you don’t really know what’s going on in Poison & Honey you just find yourself in a strange world and you need to work it out as you go along. 

I love that. 

And because I love that I’m not going to offer any insights into the story. Just that it’s original, well written and entertaining. And 5 Stars just because.

Sting of Thorns

The battle is over and Leigh has won, or is it? The second novella brings with it a new challenge. And enemies find themselves forming uneasy alliances.

These novellas are great, but I read a lot of great books. The thing that really set the first one apart was the lack of information. I was just dropped into the story and had to figure things out for my self. It never overwhelms you but it certainly keeps you on your toes.

And I hope Kristen Brand is able to keep surprising me as the series progresses because I’m in for the long haul. Great books.

Echoed Defiance (by K.N. Banet)

Urban Fantasy

Rumours have been whispered for years about the brutality of the Alpha of the Russian werewolf pack and his inner circle. But they remained rumours until one submissive female werewolf plunged a knife into his chest.

Now the Russian pack are cleaning house and doing everything in their power to silence dissent and hold onto their power.

Standing against the Russian werewolves is suicide and nobody is willing to put their life on the line. But Jacky Leon is a Werecat and the number one predator in the United States and she won’t abandon those in need even at the cost of her life.


Echoed Defiance is so much fun. Jacky Leon is Wonder Woman. Honestly, all the women in this book are incredible. They don’t need to be saved, they’ll save themselves dammit!  And one of the great things is I didn’t even realise it until the slap (you’ll have to read the book if you want to know what that means).  5 runaway train stars.

Many thanks to the author who provided me with a review copy of this book.  

Snared (by K.N. Banet)

Urban Fantasy

Kaliya deals with the very worst of the supernatural community. The killers and the politicians. And sometimes they are one and the same.

While performing a routine prison inspection, she and Raphael are attacked and find themselves battling for their lives. Not only must they stay alive, they need to find out who orchestrated the attack and who was the target. Kaliya or Raphael?


Snared is like standing in front of a speaker stack at a concert. It thumps into you from beginning to end.

 

The author’s Jacky Leon series is very much Urban Fantasy but Kaliya Sahni despite being set in the same world feels a little different. It’s a Marvel Superhero Comic. You can almost see the characters rendered in beautifully illustrated panels.

Loved this book.

A review copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Inside Straight (by Mark Henwick)

Urban Fantasy

Tullah is in hiding, separated from her dragon spirit guide Kaothos. She is being hunted by different factions of the community of adepts, their motives are shrouded. Amber is also separated from her spirit guides, Hana the wolf and Tara her sister.

And time is running out.

Amber needs to find Tullah and bring all the spirit guides home but to do so she will need to embrace her own adept abilities, abilities that are reviled by all the adept communities as dark and forbidden.


Inside Straight is very different to the other books in the Bite Back series. It’s the book that unites all three parts of Amber Farrell, the Athanate (vampire), the Were and the Adept (witch). It also has the feel of a requiem, like it’s the end of one phase in the story and the beginning of the next phase.

This entire series is brilliant. It’s redefining the genre. It takes the best that has come before and reinvents it. I don’t read male authors. Look at my books and you will see that 90% plus were written by women. Mark Henwick is probably the only male author I will buy without a second thought. He’s a favorite author and an author whose books I will read and reread again and again.

Is this a 5 Star book? I don’t really know. When you love a series as much as I love this series it’s not easy to be objective but it’s a 5 Star book for me.

Storm of Locusts (by Rebecca Roanhorse)

Dystopia / Urban Fantasy

When the waters rose gods and monsters were set free and once again walk amongst us. Maggie is a Navajo monster hunter, the God Killer. She killed coyote and trapped Neizghani (Book 1: Trail of Lightning), now a new threat has emerged. A cult led the elusive White Locust has kidnapped two of her friends and Maggie is determined to rescue them.


Occasionally a writer comes along who changes everything in a genre.
They make you excited again.
It’s like everything is right with the world.

Mark Henwick is one of those authors. He took an old idea and made it exciting and surprising again.
And Rebecca Roanhorse is one of those authors as well.

She takes themes I’ve read before. Things I’ve seen dozens of times. But she saturates them with authenticity and somehow makes them original. I wish I knew more about the myths and lore of the Diné –– I don’t but this book feels right, it feels respectful of the Navajo people and their traditions, and I love it for that.

But it’s much more than that.  It’s a book that will suck you in and entertain you until the very last page.

Venom in the Veins (by Jennifer Estep)

Urban Fantasy

The Spider has a new adversary, she’s more powerful than the last adversary. It’s Book 17. It’s entertaining but nothing new.


17 is a big number for an Urban Fantasy series and I think maybe it’s time to think about a spin-off series.

I’ve been saying it for a long time. Sophia is a great character and she could easily carry her own series. Bria and Xavier could carry a series.

I’ll keep reading and I’m sure I’ll continue to enjoy the books but it’s more because it’s a habit than anything else.

Shadow Hunt (by Melissa F. Olson)

Urban Fantasy

Leaving town on an urgent errand has catastrophic consequences for Scarlett. Her friend Jesse has been cursed and is dying and her dog Shadow has been stolen.  An old enemy has returned and they plan on destroying the peace between the vampires werewolves and witches and starting a war.

As a null Scarlett holds the key to stopping them but to do so she will need to take control of all the supernaturals who haven’t fled LA and face their common foe in a last ditch battle.


I read a little of the first of the Scarlett Bernard books (Dead Spots) but being totally honest it didn’t really grab me and I didn’t continue with the series.  I managed to get a review copy of Midnight Curse, the first in the Disrupted Magic series which also features Scarlett Bernard and I was hooked.  Now I think I need to revisit those earlier books and get the entire back story.

I’m not sure if Shadow Hunt is the last in this series but it’s certainly the best.  Far and away my favorite thus far. I’m definitely wanting some more of these characters and especially the bargest.  What’s not to love about a monstrous bullet proof demon dog?   

Many thanks to 47North for providing me with this review copy.