Tuesday 30 August 2011

Book Reviews

Spell Bound
Kelley Armstrong

Available Now - £16.99 (Hardback & Digital Download)
Review by Charlotte Barnes

Savannah Levine is in danger. That's not usually a problem. But, caught in the grip of a disturbing and violent murder case, Savannah swore to give up her unique gifts if it would save an innocent young girl. Little did she know that someone - or something - was listening. Now she has no idea how to restore her powers, just when she needs them the most. In this compelling, fast-paced new thriller, Savannah has to face a host of deadly enemies bent on destroying not only her, but the very fabric of the supernatural world. As dark forces gather, Savannah isn't just fighting for her life, but for everything and everyone she loves.

The last book Kelley Armstrong wrote in this series called Waking the Witch (review here) made me feel that she had lost some of her mojo. I am pleased to say that with Spell Bound she seems to have gotten back on the horse and reminded me why I fell in love with this series all over again.

Savannah Levine has been the main focus of the last two novels and it is a real pleasure to see her grow into a fully fledged responsible adult and how she copes with the change that she needed to make in order for her to establish herself and be respected not only amongst her friends and family but also in the supernatural world. Armstrong has done a great job of enabling the reader to follow and share the experiences right alongside Savannah allowing us to empathise and get caught in the moment with the protagonist.

The novel also features some of the old favourite characters from the other novels in the series, allowing us to catch up with them, see how they are developing and also keeping them relevant for their own potential future stories. I definitely feel that the way this series has been written we have a lot more to expect from Armstrong in the future and I, for one, can’t wait.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Plenty of action and violence, losing your spell casting means you have to compensate with a punch.
Sex/Nudity: Surprisingly for a Kelley Armstrong novel there is a distinct lack of any kind of petting. Heavy or otherwise.
Swearing: None of note.
Summary: A thoroughly enjoyable read, I can’t wait until the next one is out so I can carry on where I left off. I hope I don’t have to wait too long! 9/10
Pleasure Unbound: A Demonica Novel
Larissa Ione
Piatkus Books

Available Now - £6.99 (Digital Download) & £7.99 (Paperback)
Review by Charlotte Barnes

Tayla Mancuso is a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure - but fears it will always be denied her. Until she lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unshakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life. Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable - and let Tayla possess him, body and soul...

I’ll be honest with you, I read this book incredibly quickly, and it is an incredibly addictive read. Now post-reading it, I feel a little dirty. This book would make your Mum blush, it is so filthy that I started a tally for the word "sex" (in reference to genitalia rather than the verb) and let’s just say I was definitely into the second fence and the book is only 338 pages long. I didn’t even bother with a "throbbing cock" tally as I would have been constantly be stopping to tick my piece of paper.

Rather than other novels of this nature (paranormal romance/porn seems to be all the rage at the moment and, well, I seem to be the one at E14 Towers that gets to read them) of which there are hundreds, the author seems to have done a decent job of fleshing out the characters and made it a rather enjoyable read, even with all the humping. There is genuine conflict within the characters and within the plot and when the main characters aren’t doing each other they seem to have genuinely interesting backgrounds. That said, the ending seems very rushed and Ione chose to write an epilogue rather than extending the length of the novel to integrate what reads to be a rather important part of the book. It is a shame that it couldn’t have been elongated to include this part.

The only other issue I had with Pleasure Unbound is at the beginning the called the doctors at the hospital kept referring the Tayla as Buffy (aka Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and I then couldn’t help but compare it to the TV series, and there were several obvious parts of the novel that was lifted directly from the programme, which was disappointing.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Plenty of violence and demon hunting.
Sex/Nudity: This book is 80% porn and 20% storyline.
Swearing: I am sure there was some, but it is not the main thing that one is drawn to when reading this book.
Summary: A dirty, filthy read that to be honest I hope Ione writes more of. 7/10


Randall Haight has a secret: when he was a teenager, he and his friend killed a 14-year-old girl. Randall did his time and built a new life in the small Maine town of Pastor's Bay, but somebody has discovered the truth about Randall. He is being tormented by anonymous messages, haunting reminders of his past crime, and he wants private detective Charlie Parker to make it stop. But another 14-year-old girl has gone missing, this time from Pastor's Bay, and the missing girl's family has its own secrets to protect. Now Parker must unravel a web of deceit involving the police, the FBI, a doomed mobster named Tommy Morris, and Randall Haight himself. Because Randall Haight is telling lies ...

Thanks to our friends at Hodder & Stoughton, we've got four copies of The Burning Soul to give away! For your chance of winning, send your name and full postal address to emotionally14@hotmail.co.uk before midday on Tuesday 6th September, making sure to put "Burning Soul" as the subject. The first four entries out of the electronic hat after the competition closes will receive a free copy!

Don't forget to put "Burning Soul" in the subject line. Incorrectly labelled or blank entries will be discarded.

The Burning Soul is available from Thursday 1st September, courtesy of Hodder and Stoughton.

Entries limited to one per household. Offer open only to postal addresses in the UK and Ireland.

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