Autumn Bones by Jacqueline Carey

17340100Rating: 2.5 stars

Series: Agent of Hel #2

How did this series go so wrong so fast? Dark Currents was awesome, but the things I liked about it weren’t in this. The romance played a big role, and lots of drama ensued. None of which was remotely interesting. I hate love triangles, but I would have been soooo much happier if this had been a love triangle. But no, this was a love quadrangle. Yeah that’s right; there were three love interests. I only really like one of them. I might have been okay with the relationship drama if it were in the background like in Dark Currents, but Daisy’s constant confusion and indecision about the three men consumed her thoughts.

I was really disappointed in Daisy. She had been independent. Roughly one to two months elapsed between this book and the last. How did Daisy go from being a character I admired to one who was pathetic? She was desperate to have a relationship, and apparently it overrode her rational thought. Her dad was a demon, so she was highly susceptible to the 7 deadly sins, one of them being lust. It wouldn’t have been so bad if she were just lusting after the men, but she convinced herself that she had actual feelings for all of them.

Sinclair was the obnoxious douchebag who showed up at the end of the last book. He and Daisy started dating in between books. It was weird because Daisy was all about Cody and Stefan in the last one. I would have expected her to be with one of them instead of throwing in a random relationship with some relatively unknown character. Sinclair appealed to Daisy because he was human, which equated to normal in her mind. But he wasn’t normal. He could see auras and came from a long line of witchy voodoo people. He wasn’t technically otherworldly, but he may as well have been. At least it didn’t take Daisy long to see the error of her ways.

Stefan the ghoul was still around and trying to siphon off of Daisy’s emotions whenever he could. He is a useful ally to have since he is knowledgeable about supernatural creatures and is powerful. Something is off about him. He’s the nicest creeper ever! I’d probably like him if he didn’t withhold vital info from Daisy. I find it damn creepy that he can constantly be in tune with Daisy’s emotions. It’s even weirder how he has to check on her every time there is a spike in them. Daisy’s main interest in him seems to be his ability to take away her emotional spikes. It’s not a good reason to be with him.

Cody is the guy I ship. He is a werewolf, but he acts more normal than any of the other guys. He’s a good guy and doesn’t hide important shit from Daisy. They get along well too. They have a better personal relationship than Daisy has with the other two. It’s complicated because they are different species, and he needs to be with one of his own.

There wasn’t a major plot for the book. Instead there were a several minor ones. Most of them were boring. The issue with the satyr was amusing. The subplot with Bethany wasn’t believable. Jojo was fun. I loved her mouthy antiquated slurs. I just didn’t care about Sinclair’s family drama. Although I didn’t like this book, I’m still finishing out the trilogy. I still think the series can be redeemed.

Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey

13507967Rating: 4 stars

Series: Agent of Hel #1

This was one of the best UF books I’ve read in a long time. It was engaging and original. For once it didn’t feel like I was reading about the same old regurgitated tropes. Best of all it didn’t have a special snowflake, and it easily could have gone in that direction since Daisy is half human and half demon.

The world was unique. Random places around the world had pockets of hell that overlap with Earth. Supernatural creatures gathered in those places because their magic didn’t last long outside of them. Humans still lived in those places although many of them didn’t approve of the supernatural. The regular supernatural creatures were in this, but it had a host of less common supes like ghouls, nymphs, mermaids, and the Norse goddess Hel. The attention was divided fairly equally amongst the various creatures. This story took place in a small town in Michigan. A college kid died and some things about his death weren’t adding up. Supes were involved somehow, but humans were not happy with the investigation.

I really liked the characters. Daisy was tough and didn’t back down from a fight. Being Hel’s liaison and half demon made her fairly unique, but she wasn’t all powerful because of it. She constantly struggled with overcoming her dark nature. For a werewolf Cody was really nice and didn’t have a strong alpha feel to him. Surprisingly I liked him a lot. Lurine and Stefan were both interesting, but their origins were mysterious. Jen was annoying at first because she acted childish, but she got better at the story went along.

It had somewhat of a love triangle vibe since Daisy was interested in Cody and Stefan. Actually she had the hots for several people including a woman, so her interest in the two men didn’t necessarily indicate a love triangle will occur. Her dad was an incubus, so falling prey to lust may have been second nature to her. The romantic angle was not front and center, so it didn’t get on my nerves too much.

I had been hesitant to read this because I read Jaqueline Carey’s book Kushiel’s Dart and hated it. I was deeply afraid this was going to be another epic fail much like that was. Dark Currents excelled in all of the ways her other book didn’t. Then again that was fantasy and this was UF, and I don’t like fantasy anywhere near as much as UF. Anyway just read this. It’s damn good.

Grave Memory by Kalayna Price

12620451Rating: 4.5 stars

Series: Alex Craft #3

Grave Memory is definitely the best book in the series so far. The pacing is much better than in the prior books. Alex doesn’t get as lost inside her own head. A bizarre case came to her attention where a string of people were being forced to commit suicide due to an unknown force.

There are some interactions with faerie and Death and his people. Alex never learns as much from them as I wish she would. The revelry in faerie was a disappointment. The point of going was to learn about faerie and to help her make a choice about who she will align with. In the end she didn’t learn anything useful or new. Death and his crew are still secretive as ever although she is slowly getting more entrenched in their world. Now she is indebted to someone there, and it probably won’t work out well for her.

Alex is a special snowflake, and she doesn’t piss me off like other special snowflakes do. Her special powers and abilities aren’t beneficial to her yet because she doesn’t know how to use them. Her planeweaver skills have been more trouble than they’re worth so far. Most people want to use her for those powers.

When I first read this series the love triangle didn’t bother me at all, but after rereading it it does. Alex never gets much time to interact with Falin or Death personally. I want there to be more than brief romantic interludes which always seem to happen at odd times. Alex needs to develop stronger feelings with one of them soon. Every time one of them tried to express their feelings Alex tended to pull away. Is she torn between the two men or is she commitment phobic?

There was one hell of a cliffhanger at the end. I’m not going to give anything away, but it definitely will make moving forward with Death far more complicated.