Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Atlanta is a city immersed in magic. Like the tides, when the magic is up, modern technology fails (guns don't fire, cars don't start, etc.) and magicians and other supernatural beings rule the world. In the midst of all this are organizations like the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid whose mission it is to keep the peace. But when knight-diviner Greg Feldman -- the guardian of Daniels -- is ripped to shreds by some unknown monstrosity, the butt-kicking heroine vows to avenge his murder at any cost. Her investigation, however, places her directly between the Pack, a powerful clan of shape-changers, and the Masters of the Dead, a group of necromancers who control a virtual army of vampires…

My favorite thing about this book was the slight differences between it and others in the genre. I liked that the vampires weren't overly beautiful versions of humans (not that there is anything wrong with that). They are grotesque shells, controlled by Necromancers, pretty cool and slightly creepy idea. The other difference I liked had to do with the pack. Most times when a pack is involved, there is only one animal form. Not so in this book, they all come together to form a pack, there are leaders per each grouping of animal, but they form one pack with one Beast Lord. I have one word to describe him, YUMMY! And he is not a wolf.

And now on to the main character. I liked Kate as a main character, it was easy to follow her story and become encased in her world. And what a world it is. Magic runs amok and technology is finding it hard to keep up. I like the world that Andrews has created, and having a sword wielding heroine is never a bad thing.

Visit the author's web page here.

Midnight's Daughter by Karen Chance

Here is another book that has been sitting on my book shelf for a while. And yet again, I find that I put off another great book for far too long.

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Unlike most dhampirs, though, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity. Now Dory's vampire father has come to her for help— again. Her Uncle Dracula (yes, the Dracula), cruelest among vampires, has escaped his prison. And her father wants Dory to work with gorgeous master vampire Louis-Cesare to put him back there.Although Dory prefers to work alone, Dracula is the only thing that truly scares her—and when she has to face him, she'll take all the help she can get...

I have to say I really enjoyed this book. I instantly took a liking to Dorina. She is fun and feisty. There was plenty of action in this book, whether it is Dory trying to avoid trouble or making it for herself.
I also really liked the "love interest" put in place for Dory, Louis-Cesare. He's stubborn and likes to have his commands obeyed. Their interaction is hilarious.
One of my favorite characters was Olga. She isn't a main character, and is only in the book for a little while, but she is memorable.

I am looking forward to reading book #2, Death's Mistress. She also has another series, The Cassie Palmer series. Some of the characters from the series make appearances in both.

Visit the author's website here.

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong

I am a big fan of young adult books, and The Darkest Powers series is one of my favorites. The Reckoning, is the third installment in the series. If you haven't read them, start with The Summoning.

My name is Chloe Saunders. I'm fifteen, and I would love to be normal.
But normal is one thing I'm not. For one thing, I'm having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother—who just happens to be a sorcerer—but, between you and me, I'm leaning toward the werewolf. Not normal.
My friends and I are also on the run from an evil corporation that wants to get rid of us—permanently. Definitely not normal.
And finally, I'm a genetically altered necro-mancer who can raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying. As far away from normal as it gets.

I like how the characters don't have control of their powers. They come together, this rag tag bunch of kids, and have to take care of each other while trying to learn how to control the new, and sometimes scary, powers they possess and stay away from the group of supernatural/scientists that tinkered with them.

My favorite character has to be Derek. He is bossy and pushy and doesn't like to have his orders second guessed. But he is also sweet and caring and puts others safety before his own. I really like how Armstrong makes him vulnerable as well. She created this big bad werewolf, but made him not in control of his powers, so we get to see the fear and uncertainty right along with him. I love the interaction between him and Chloe. I have been rooting for them since the first book.

Each character in this series has grown and developed. I am happy with the outcome of the series and only wish it wasn't the end for Chloe, Derek, Simon and Tori.

Visit the authors' website here

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

I love, love, love the Mercy Thompson series. Patricia Briggs is one of my favorite authors.

When mechanic and shapeshifter Mercy Thompson attempts to return a powerful Fae book she'd previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.
It seems the book contains secret knowledge-and the Fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn't take enough of Mercy's attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side-leaving Mercy to cover for him, lest his own father declare Sam's life forfeit.
All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn't careful, she might not have many more to live...

So here we are at the fifth book in the series. Most books by this time are getting a littel weird the characters are starting to act differently, the plot points run flat and the reader loses interest. Not so for Mercy Thompson.

In this installment we get to see more of what it is like to be a part of a pack (which I personally have been looking forward to). Sam starts acting a little off kilter, and Mercy is being, well Mercy.

My favorite character from this book is Ben. I have been a fan of Ben ever since he took a bullet for Adam. And in my opinion he has gotten better with every book.

My only real dissappointment with this book is that we don't see Stephen. I am not one of those readers that think Stephen and Mercy should be together (it's ok if you do), but I do enjoy his character. And after the last book being so heavy with him, this book felt like there was a little something missing.

But don't worry. This book is full of drama, excitement, joy, romance and some scary characters. Plenty to keep us all happy and eagerly looking forward to the next installment.

Check out the authors website here.