Posts Tagged ‘Amanda Carlson’

Pure Blooded

August 5, 2015 - 11:15 am No Comments

Jessica McClain Book 5
Author: Amanda Carlson
Publisher: Orbit
Page Count: 285pp
Release date: 18th June 2015
Reviewer Theresa Derwin

This is the fifth book in a werewolf series about the tough, sassy Jessica McClain, and after four strong instalments, there may be some worry the series will weaken. Fear not! Not a chance – this novel starts off with a bang and a bite!
Back from Hell, Jessica arrives to find her world thrown into chaos (again). Her Alpha father is in a war against the ‘made’ wolves and a phone call from her neighbour ‘human’ Juanita, telling her that her life is in danger, reveals the Latino woman is something much more than mere human. To make matters worse, Jessica has just found out she may be part of the coalition; a unit comprised of female only supernatural races.
For new readers and old, Carlson recaps the events of the previous novel effectively and with economic ease so we can dive straight into the action. As always, she delivers story, emotion, clever punchlines and one helluva cliffhanger. With a fantastic set of characters, a mix of creatures from necromancers, to werewolves, witches and vampires, the series is growing to be tough competition for the likes f Laurell K Hamilton and Charlaine Harris. This is solid, enjoyable urban fantasy that starts at full speed and doesn’t let you get off the track until your head is spinning and the ride is finished.

Red Blooded

January 30, 2015 - 9:25 pm No Comments

Red Blooded
Jessica McClain. Book 4
Author: Amanda Carlson
Publisher: Orbit
Page count: 369pp
Release Date: 9th Sept 2014
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

This series so far has literally been moving ‘like a bat out of hell’, so much adventure, romance, death and destruction happening between books one to three, that I was almost glad to take a breather. I say almost, because this series is addictive so here I am diving into book four with relish and anticipation.
This fourth novel starts with Jessica neck deep in training to protect herself for a visit to the Underworld. Her twin brother Tyler has been kidnapped and dragged to Hell in order to lure Jessica down to face trial for crimes she may or may not have committed. During all of this preparation for entering the Underworld, she’s busy trying to stop the coterie of vamps and witches from killing each other. Jessica is desperately trying to master any demon magic that could be flung at her, but she’s in danger of swallowing it whole and being dragged on her own to Hell instead of with Ray, her newly turned vampire reaper. But you know what they say about plans? Jessica is dragged into Hell by a Vortex on her own, and Rourke is determined to follow her even though his scent all set off all of their alarms.
When Jessica does emerge into Hell it makes great material for Carlson, who introduces us to chupacubras, imps and muted purple sky in just the first few pages. Her vision of Hell, is delightfully different, as all demons use glamour to look the image of the human appearing Prince of Hell, the buildings are weird but very much like a business domain, and half of the demons haven’t got a clue how to fight. Jessica’s internal monologue with her wolf is also particularly interesting. She uses the term ‘we’ and is constantly having debates with her less cautious wolf half, which makes this a little bit more unusual than standard werewolf fayre. In Hell she also meets a demoness, Lily who reminds us that Jessica is fated to rule Hell, not that she particularly wants to. And Lily is offering to help Jessica rescue Tyler and escape the Underworld if Jessica helps Lily escape herself. But what are Lily’s motives.
As with all of the Jessica McClain books so far, this one is filled with activity, danger, adventure and a great sense of humour. The characters are all enjoyable, particularly the Prince of Hell himself, the pace is tight and just right, and the book eds on another cliffhanger.
Will Jessica every get a rest like she deserves? At this rate, who knows?

Cold Blooded

July 30, 2014 - 4:15 pm No Comments

Author: Amanda Carlson
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date:8th Oct 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

After finishing the second book in the Jessica McClain series and waiting with baited breath (oh about three seconds) I hastily dived into book three, Cold Blooded, and for newbies to the series there’s quite a bit to catch up on but Carlson helpfully drops in reminders of the action throughout the first few chapters. But for those who took time between reads or are new to the series and starting with this one, here’s a recap.
SPOLIERS AHEAD: Jessica McClain is the only female werewolf in an all male werewolf pack. She was never supposed to change, it wasn’t supposed to be possible but when she hit 26 years old, change she did, causing uproar in the supernatural community. A pack of wolves led by evil witch/goddess Selene tried to kidnap Jessica, but she is dragged off to hide in a cabin with werecat assassin Rourke, and to her shock, Rourke is her true mate. By the time the second book starts, Rourke has been captured by the temporarily defeated Selene and Jessica must set out to rescue him, along with her brother Tyler, friend Danny, human cop Ray who poked his nose into her business to often, and too vamps loaned to her by the Vampire Queen in exchange for a ‘favour’ at a later date. By the time the third book arrives, werewolf James has gone AWOL, Jess is reunited with her mate, but a new problem presents itself as secretary and witch Marcy has disappeared. Caught up so far? Great! Then I’ll begin.
Jessica and her entourage are being hunted by the demons so she can appear in the ‘Underworld Court’. With very few options, they head for New Orleans to the Vampire Queen, with newly converted Ray in tow. Jessica has a debt to repay to the Queen for her help with the two vamps in the previous book. As with the two previous novels, Carlson’s voice as Jessica is strong and distinctive, sarcastic and witty. She gathers followers and loyal soldiers everywhere she goes because of this strength of character. Unfortunately for her enemies, they are constantly underestimating her.
As for the vampires, they’re not sparkly and they’re certainly not very humane, even if Naomi and Ray show more personality than others. It’s a refreshing change to read of nasty vampires again, after they’ve been domesticated in so many ways in the past.
As is typical of this series, it is action packed and great fun with surprises along the way, and this novel also ends with a humdinger of a cliff hanger, leaving the reader waiting with baited breath for the fourth instalment.

Hot Blooded

July 14, 2014 - 3:21 pm No Comments

Author: Amanda Carlson
Publisher: Orbit
Size/Page Count: 314pp
Release Date: 23 April 2013
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

SPOLIERS FOR BOOK ONE AHEAD; Jessica McClain has had a very bad week. Not content with finally shifting against all odds and becoming the only female werewolf in an all male werewolf pack, she has attracted the ire of a Vampire Queen and been wrapped in a death spell, returned home to find cop and nemesis Ray Hart tied up in her closet after witnessing werewolf Danny change, reluctantly bound herself to an unknown species of werecat who is now her mate, and been jumped by a dirty, smelly little imp who has accused her of being the True Lycan of legend; one who will rule all of the supernatural world and vanquish all evil. And as if that isn’t enough, to save Ray Hart’s life she has blackmailed/threatened him into coming along on a road trip to rescue her mate Rourke from evil witch and self proclaimed goddess Selene accompanied by a pair of creepy vampires. Yep, Jessica is surely having another bad week.
After a gripping cliffhanger in book one, and more tension abounding in this, book two of the Jessica McClain series, our heroine is going to need all her wits about her to save her mate and fight for her place as a ‘normal’ werewolf in her Pack and the supernatural hierarchy. Jessica doesn’t want to be leader of all supernaturals and she’s pretty sure the legend of the True Lycan has been leaked amongst the various supernatural Sects to put the cat amongst the pigeons, so she only has one option left. She’s going to have to fight; goddess witches, werewolves, naiads, vampires, giant scorpion-spider-type-things and possessed goats with flaming red eyes; yep, they’re all in here.
Jessica’s passion is made obvious throughout the book, and it is this which stands her apart from other supernatural creatures. It is also this aspect which garners her support from her circle and from some of the vamps.
Carlson writes with incredible wit and fervour. The action is fast-paced and the novel itself incredibly easy to read. If it’s possible I enjoyed this more than the first novel Full Blooded, and as with that novel, Carlson ends on a terrific cliffhanger leaving you wanting more. I’m addicted to this series.