Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Series Review: The Immortals After Dark

Immortals After Dark
Author: Kresley Cole
Publisher: Pocket

Summary: Every creature or being that was thought to be mythical . . . isn’t. They all secretly exist alongside humans and enjoy the gift of immortality. There are hundreds of different kinds: from Vampires to Lykae, from Furies to Shifters, from the Fey to Valkyries. These immortals call their world The Lore.

You may have had a brush with one of Lorekind already. The eccentric billionaire with hypnotic charisma—and an aversion to sunlight. The ethereal waif of impossible beauty—whose fingernails look more like claws. The Highlander with a seventeenth-century Scottish accent and animal magnetism—who can never be penciled in on the night of the full moon.

1. The Warlord Wants Forever (2006)(Novella) Nikolai & Myst
2. A Hunger Like No Other (2006) Lachlain & Emmaline
3. No Rest for the Wicked (2006) Sebastian & Kaderin
4. Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night (2007) Bowen & Mariketa
5. Dark Needs at Night's Edge (2008) Conrad & Neomi
6. Dark Desires After Dusk (2008) Cade & Holly
7. Kiss of a Demon King (2009) Rydstrom & Sabine
8. Deep Kiss of Winter Novella: Untouchable (2009) Murdoch & Daniela

9.Pleasure of a Dark Prince (February 2010) Lucia and Garreth's
10.Demon from the Dark (2010)

I started reading The Immortals After Dark Series last summer in my race to catch up with all the awesome Paranormal Romance authors I'd discovered after reading the Twilight books. Don't let that statement fool you into thinking this series is like Twilight, however. I guess you could say it's an erotic kick-ass version on steroids IF you had to go with a comparison, but even that doesn't begin to cover it.

I want to mention something about the reading order of the books. I had missed the novella that started Kresley Cole's series until this week when I read it as a Free PDF file that I downloaded from Amazon. (Go to THIS PAGE and the link is under the box where the edition of the books are listed. Click that link for the free complete novella and excerpts on the books, which comes in a PDF file that you can save to your hard drive. It wasn't available on the Kindle.)

In some ways the first novella and Kiss of a Demon King, which in #7 in the book order have many similarities. I think perhaps they are the most erotic of the books. If you are new to Paranormal Romance I would download the novella and read it first to get a feel for the style of the books. I really wish I had started with the novella instead of A Hunger Like No Other, only because it gives it some really great background on the Valkyrie, the Forebearers and The Fallen, which are the two factions of vampires. That said, let's get down to the nitty gritty of how I feel about the series.

The humor of the Valkyrie women; their love of slang, pop culture, and modern conveniences leave their warriors stunned and gawking. This line from the novella Warlord Wants Forever is a perfect example of this, as Myst "takes over" when brought to Nikolai's room for questioning. She heads straight for the shower, then opens the door afterwards to get the attention of the first person she sees in the hall, while Nikolai watches her in total amazement:

“Psst. Minion. I need these laundered. Very little starch. Don’t just stand there gawking or you’ll anger my good frenemy General Wroth. We’re like this.”

Each book features a soon to be mated couple, and yes, they are HEAs (Happily Ever Afters). Some are more of a fun read than others, depending on the characters and their situations. I'm sure every fan has their favorites. I found Kiss of a Demon more of a difficult read because of the agony Sabine and Rydstrom put each other through. Just when I thought it was going to get worse the last fourth of the book made it all worthwhile. The fact that Ms. Cole can make the reader feel uncomfortable during scenes that are agonizing for the characters is a good thing, because it means that later when there is light at the end of the tunnel we find ourselves cheering for the couple, finally understanding why they acted the way they did.

I think my favorites were the first book, A Hunger Like No Other, the fourth, Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night, and the sixth, Dark Desires After Dusk, which was about Cadeon Woede, a rage demon and Holly Ashwin, a math teacher with OCD. Can you imagine? I laughed out loud on and off throughout the entire book.

Who will like The Immortals After Dark Series? Fans of J.R. Ward, Laura Adrian, Gena Showalter, and Sherrilyn Kenyon. If you haven't read any of those authors and wonder if you will still enjoy them, then download the free novella I mentioned above. This series is not for the faint of heart. The sex scenes are erotic, the characters kick ass and take no prisoners, and sarcasm is rampant. I've kept all my copies and will be reading them again and again.

The Immortals After Dark Resources:
-FAQ from the Author
-Free PFD file of Warlord Wants Forever
-Kresley Cole's Forum

The Devil in Merrivale Contest & Blog Tour

The Devil in Merrivale
Author: Jackie Griffey
Zumaya Publications
Trade Paperback, 252 pages

Summary: Murder isn’t the usual order of business in the little town of Merrivale, Tennessee, so the brutal stabbing death of popular high school student Denise Davis sends a shock through the community. Sheriff Cas Larkin is determined to find the killer, and the last thing he needs is distractions like the increasing reports of missing cattle and other livestock.

I read The Devil in Merrivale as a PDF file because the publisher had a delay on the books, and I was too curious to wait for the book itself. Jackie Griffey has an easy going, down to earth, writing style that makes the reader feel comfortable, much like she's telling you the story in your living room while you share coffee and cake.

Jackie shared this with Pump Up Your Book last month:

We live in Cabot, near Little Rock, Arkansas with lots of great places to visit. Hot Springs, Eureka Springs, Memphis, TN, St. Louis and New Orleans are all within easy driving distance. My favorite thing in spring and summer is enjoying our yard, flowers, shrubs, azaleas, and a huge Magnolia tree Jim planted for me thirty years ago. All year long I enjoy shopping with my daughter, we cook and eat out and have a ball in or during the shopping trips.

Her book flows smoothly, and you have confidence that Cas Larkin, the sheriff of Merrivale, will find the killer and solve the mysterious happenings in his small town. I liked him from the first chapter. He reminds me of Sheriff Andy Taylor from Mayberry R.F.D., whom I loved as a kid.

I really liked The Devil in Merrivale because of the author's laid back style which made her book a fun and relaxing read. As a kid I loved mysteries, and Jackie's book reminds me of a grown up version of the books I read back then.

The Devil in Merrivale Contest
My copy did arrive from the publisher yesterday, so I'm going to give it away to one lucky reader! The details are as follows:

Leave a comment sharing with me your favorite mystery book, either as an adult or a kid. Leave your email address if it's not part of your blog profile. If you don't have a blog, that's okay too, as long as I can get hold of you. The contest will end on January 31st, 2010.

You can find more information on The Devil in Merrivale and Jackie HERE.