She has no boundaries…

Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic, #1)
by Melissa F. Olson (Goodreads Author) 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

New to me author. I liked it. Fairly typical UF without any great revelations. Mundane person discovering that she is in fact someone with supernatural talents. Not just that, she is extra special.

Lex is a likeable and tough character, with an army background and two tours abroad, a boisterous and supportive family and a baby niece in danger. Her history makes her kick-ass demeanor and fight scenes believable, although there are fewer fights than I would have expect from this type of UF.

I like the setting and place descriptions. The magic system could have done with more—Lex’s magic was explained nicely, but the rest not at all. Some of the supporting characters were a bit flat, but good for the first book of a series. My only serious grievance—these were probably the most uninteresting and unscary vampires I have ever encountered.

Loved the herd and my favourite tool were the shredders.

This has potential and when I feel like reading UF again, I will probably pick up the sequel to this.


This was my TBR challenge pick for June. My TBR pile is pretty humble compared to what other people stack up, but still—I would like to make more of a dent in it. So I make an effort to pick up something either from the depths of my kindle or from my physical bookshelf. This one here sounded the most interesting of the books stuck on my kindle‘s last inventory page…

Short comics

Well, all those free comic previews and shorter issues haven‘t really pointed me in any really interesting direction. And Dynamite Comics don‘t seem to be my thing either. Here is another two…


Dead Irons #1 (Dead Irons Vol. 1)
by James Kuhoric,  Jason Alexander (Illustrator), Jae Lee (Illustrator) 

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Another freebie. After reading this, I looked at reviews of the collected first volume to understand what I had just read. Wild West setting. A werewolf, a vampire, a zombie, some flashback, a fanatic preacher, messy artwork with sometimes barely recognizable frames… whatever. Not for me.


Vampirella Issue #1
by Eric Trautmann (Writer),  Wagner Reis (Artist) 

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Don‘t like the artwork, don‘t like the lettering with the red/yellow framing.

Vampirella talks about the vampires she meets as if she doesn‘t belong to them and isn‘t a vampire herself. I have never read any Vampirella and therefore I am missing a lot of background information, that isn‘t provided here. Isn‘t she a vampire? What is the difference? There is no explanation.

Linear story, no real surprises, except fo that last frame maybe. Not interesting.

Hidden sparkles…

A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries, #1)
by Elizabeth Hunter

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Is he a vampire or maybe not? Does he sparkle? Is he truly the nice guy he presents? An immortal softie on a mission? 

I really liked the beginning of the book, the characters and the set-up. The backdrop story of Renaissance Florence offered great opportunities. 

Sadly, the middle part was entirely bland and lacked any kind of suspense. The interesting beginning flattened out, the romance was lackluster, the mystery did not really evolve. Everything just trickled along at a snail‘s pace. By the time the bad guy finally showed up, I had almost given up hope.

The book mostly takes place in Houston, Texas. Another missed opportunity to create atmosphere, as this setting was not explored and could have been anywhere. 

The relationship between Giovanni and Casper was also pretty superficial, considering their circumstances.

The last part of the book was more interesting again, but did not rock my boat. Not sure why this is tagged as romance and PNR. It reminded me a little of Anne Rice, strangely enough.

Bottomline, not much of a romance, not much of an entertaining UF romp. It was ok, the vampires were a little different to the usual fare. I doubt I will continue with the series.


Playlist:
– Johann Sebastian Bach, Preludes and Fugues
– Eric Satie, Gymnopédie No. 1

Alternative reading list:
– Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet
– Tom Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities
– Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy
– https://www.graywolfpress.org

Art to appreciate:
– Mark Rothko‘s black canvases, http://www.rothkochapel.org
– Fernand Léger‘s paintings
– https://www.widewalls.ch/surrealist-p…
– https://www.menil.org/collection

Frost didn‘t burn, actually…

Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7)Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Who needs a slow build-up? Let’s just jump into the middle of that crisis in the first chapter…”

That‘s what I wrote in an update during my first read and it holds true. This story starts in the middle of the action and keeps going. Good tension and build-up, none of the issues I mentioned below in my first review.
Yes, getting a bit fed-up with the bitchy bitches in Mercy‘s pack. But the drama is bearable. I did enjoy the parts written from Adam‘s POV and the expansion of Tad‘s character. I would like it, if Briggs took a deeper look at Mercy‘s abilities and how to expand and make them play a bigger part.
Yes, again, almost no recollection of the storyline. Besides the parts with Zee, I remembered zilch.

————
Reading order and progress of my chronological Mercyverse re-read:(view spoiler)
– Next: Dead Heat, ★★★★★, Alpha & Omega #4
– Next: Night Broken, ★★★★☆, Mercy #8
– Next: Fire Touched, ★★★★★, Mercy #9
– Next: Silence Fallen, ★★★★★, Mercy #10
– Next: Burn Bright, ★★★★☆, Alpha & Omega #5
– Next: Storm Cursed, ★★★★★, Mercy #11
– Next: Smoke Bitten, pub date March 2020, Mercy #12

Complete time-line for the “Mercyverse”, including the short stories:
http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/t…
————
First read in 2013:

I liked the POV switching to Adam, the ghosts added a nice little extra, too. The Mercedes (the car, not our heroine) had me cracking up.
I took some smaller breaks in between and had problems keeping some of the characters straight, but that might have been me. Took me a bit to get back into it, the gap between this and the last book feels huge.
After reading Eileen Wilks I have to say I like the dynamic of her werewolf packs much better. The female werewolves here are so bitchy. Perhaps because they are bitches, literally… 😉

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Still those pesky vampires…

Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, #4)Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The beginning of this is almost word for word the same as the end of the previous book. Which is odd, when reading them back to back.

Still trouble with Marsilia and her seethe. Developments with Stefan and a warming up of the relationship with Adam. We have more of the Walking Stick and Mercy practicing her skills as a Walker. This time she is off to Spokane about some ghost. Things happen that make it worse, as they tend to do with Mercy, and there is a vampire that is even scarier than Marsilia. Good fun, especially the finale.

————
Reading order and progress of my chronological Mercyverse re-read:

Moon Called
, ★★★★★, Mercy #1
extra
Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson: Moon Called Vol. 1
, ★★★☆☆, comic adaptation of the same…

Alpha & Omega
, ★★★★☆, Alpha & Omega #0.5

Cry Wolf
, ★★★★☆, Alpha & Omega #1

Hunting Ground
, ★★★★☆, Alpha & Omega #2

Blood Bound
, ★★★★★, Mercy #2
Iron Kissed , ★★★★★, Mercy #3
Bone Crossed , ★★★★★, Mercy #4
– Silver Borne, ★★★★★, Mercy #5, next…

Complete time-line for the “Mercyverse”, including the short stories:
http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/t…
————

1st read in 2009:

Good fun. Mercy finally decided between her two potential boyfriends and life could be good, if that pesky vampire wasn’t after her. The usual mayhem, lots of action, witty banter.

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Vampire stuff

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is where Mercy‘s story gets really interesting for me.

“I was already a freak, a shapeshifter not tied to the moon who turned into a coyote. Neither human nor werewolf nor fae. I didn’t like thinking I might be even odder than I’d thought.“

I like the plot of this second Mercy novel. It‘s believable and doesn‘t feel as convoluted as the Alpa & Omega novels I read before this. The plot makes sense. The vampires are scary.

The beginning was a little too much recounting and summarizing of the first book for my taste.

And, again, amazing how little I remembered of the story!

What Samuel and Stefan go through and how they interact with Mercy also works for me. I get it. Stefan, not so much, he seems to be a little arbitrary. But I enjoyed this enough to stick to my previous 5-star rating. I loved Ms. Hanna!

————
Chronological reading order and progress for my Mercyverse re-read:

Moon Called
, ★★★★★, 1st Mercy novel
extra
Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson: Moon Called Vol. 1
, ★★★☆☆, comic adaptation of the same…

Alpha & Omega
, ★★★★☆, novella, start of the Alpha & Omega spin-off

Cry Wolf
, ★★★★☆, 1st Alpha & Omega novel

Hunting Ground
, ★★★★☆, 2nd Alpha & Omega novel

Blood Bound
, ★★★★★, 2nd Mercy novel
Iron Kissed next…

Complete time-line for the “Mercyverse”, including the short stories:
http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/t…
————

1st time read, 2008:

Mercy is special. She’s not a shapeshifter from the old world, but rather a walker from the new one. And as such vampires don’t hold a thrall over her. Good enough for her undead friend to take her along to a possibly dangerous meeting with the new vampire in town. She’s going undercover, too, as her shapeshifted self – a coyote.
Obviously things go downhill quickly from there and get messy. Very entertaining, read it on a weekend on my sofa, couldn’t put it down! Second in series.

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The moon called again

Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1)Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘His eyes lit for a minute. ‘Mercedes the Volkswagen mechanic?’ His face closed down quickly, and he mumbled, ‘Sorry. Bet you’ve heard that a lot.’‘

It‘s been over 10 years since I read this for the first time. It is a good reminder of all the little details I forgot. Hair colours, eye colours, who is who, who did what when and why…

Never mind not remembering the actual plot. At all. The resolution of the whodunnit at the end revealed a pretty convoluted plot.

Still liked it after all this time.

————
Chronological reading order for my Mercyverse re-read:
(1st time readers should start with Moon Called)
– Silver, novella, not read, part of Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson, might read later.

Homecoming
, comic, ★☆☆☆☆, skipping
– Gray, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows
– Fairy Gifts, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows
– Seeing eye, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows

Moon Called
, ★★★★★, 1st Mercy novel
extra
Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson: Moon Called Vol. 1
, ★★★☆☆, comic adaptation of the beginning of the first Mercy Thompson novel.

Alpha & Omega
, ★★★★☆, novella, start of the Alpha & Omega spin-off

Cry Wolf
, ★★★★☆, first full-length novel in the Alpha and Omega series
Hunting Ground, second novel in the Alpha and Omega series, next… and with this I am back on track in the correct reading order.

Time-line for the “Mercyverse”:
http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/t…

————
Original review from the 1st read in 2007:

How refreshing, the shapeshifting heroine is not a werewolf for a change, but a coyote! And she’s almost a normal girl from next door with her job as a car mechanic. Ok, so the guy who fancies her is the alpha of the local werewolves and her old boss is a gremlin. And that other bloke that keeps coming over is a vampire…. Life is not perfect. But cheeck-in tongue and a page turner with Mercy Thompson. First in the series.

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Zombies, vampires, were-terriers…

iZombie, Vol. 2: uVampireiZombie, Vol. 2: uVampire by Chris Roberson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

We start off with Scott, telling us how he met the girls at the café for the first time. He is such a nerd!

I did like to find out more about Scott. But generally I expected more vampires in this, considering the name of the volume.

A lot of build-up and many plot bunnies, but none of the storylines went anywhere conclusive in this volume. Very much a filler, that fleshes out some background.

It was ok, art and colouring are nice, but it doesn‘t inspire me to find and buy the next volume. I might like the TV adaptation just a little bit more after this.

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Same old, same old

Triad Soul (Triad Blood, #2)Triad Soul by Nathan Burgoine
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

„Luc, Anders, and Curtis—vampire, demon, and wizard—sidestepped tradition by binding themselves together.“
Without this sentence in the book synopsis I would have been completely lost. Even with it I struggled to keep the characters and names straight.

Minimal to no set-up or world building. All the characters felt the same. The magic kept reminding me of other UF or PNR I have read. Same old, same old, read this many, many times over.

Everybody else seems to like this, but it is not for me, DNF at 24%, 2 not very sparkly stars.

In a galaxy far, far away I received this free e-copy from the publisher/author via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review, thank you! Sorry that it took me so long. Too many books, too little time. I will try to do better.

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