The Demoness of Waking Dreams

The Demoness of Waking Dreams (The Company of Angels)

By: Stephanie Chong

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book to review. As is my policy with books that I receive for review, if I don’t like it, I don’t review it.

I don’t normally read romance novels.  Technically, this novel qualifies as a paranormal romance.  What you probably won’t get in this review is much of a review of the romantic qualities of the story.  Sorry, it’s just not my genre.  I do like paranormal stories though, so I should be able to handle that half of it. 🙂

Of course, the parts that make the novel a romance novel are hard to miss.  But, at the same time, they weren’t as “romance”-ey as I expected them to be.  Well integrated into the story, and the flow of the book.  I found the book easy to read, and as a result, it ended up being a pretty quick read.  I think I also expected for the characters to be thin, and hard to relate to, but Chong has done an incredible job making sure that isn’t true.  They all have interesting back stories from the start.

The plot of the novel flows along nicely, quickly moving along from one scene to the next without lots of info dumps that slow it down.  The writing is tight, without the awkward changes in tempo or the grammatical errors that you sometimes see.  The angels/demons is well done and put into a relatively fresh setting and set of rules.  In short, it doesn’t feel like you’re reading another overdone paranormal plot.  That’s good.

It’s a good book, that does a really good job of not appearing to be one in a series.  If you’re into paranormal books, I think you’ll like this.  I thought the romance part of it didn’t stick out like a sort thumb, so even if you don’t do romance novels, you should still like it.


Devil’s Gate

Devil’s Gate

By: F.J. Lennon

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book to review. As is my policy with books that I receive for review, if I don’t like it, I don’t review it.

I’ve recently found myself being dragged into paranormal books.  There’s something about them that I really like.  Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m a huge fan of Stephen King, and a fan of science fiction and fantasy novels.  Paranormal books seem to bring the psychological thriller aspects of a good King novel together with the fantastical elements of scifi/fantasy novels.  Devil’s Gate started off a bit rough.  Normally, there’s a big event that drags the plot and story into full gear right away, but there really wasn’t here.  The main character, Kane, is an up and coming rock star who just happens to be a retired ghost hunter.  Well, he thinks he’s retired until his partner shows up with a deal too lucrative to pass up.

Once the novel gets rolling and you get into the plot, it’s a fast moving book.  There’s plenty of action, and plenty of paranormal activity.  Lennon does a really good job of melding some real occult history into the story to give the events some credence.  If there’s one thing that continued to drag the novel down a bit, it was the attitude of Kane.  Is that important?  Well, he is the main character.  But, I have to discount that feeling a bit, since this is a novel in a series of novels about this character.  It isn’t the first novel in the Kane Price series, so it’s terribly likely that I’m missing some of the backstory on Kane.  Perhaps knowing some of that might have given me a different perspective on Kane.

The writing of Devil’s Gate is tight and easy to read, which makes it a pretty quick read.  The characters are believable, and the research that Lennon has put into the setting and occult elements is evident.  If you’re up for a good paranormal book, you should give Devil’s Gate a try.

A Wild Light

A Wild Light

Marjorie M. Liu

Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way.  I was sent a copy of this book for review.  I received no other compensation, and the review is my honest opinions of the book despite having attained it for free.

After reading “Waking the Witch“, I think I had some idea what to expect when diving into this “paranormal fantasy”.  And yet, it was quite a bit different.  Part of that is that Waking the Witch was meant as a YA novel, while I don’t believe that A Wild Light was.  And there are some very distinct differences in writing style as well.

A Wild Light is the third book in the Hunter Kiss series of books.  I dislike picking up a book in the middle of a series.  As an author, I think it’s important to make your books stand alone even if they are in a series, but I think it’s also incredibly difficult.  Jim C. Hines touched on this issue recently when discussing the backstory to his Princess series.  So, as a reader, I hate picking up a book like this merely because I know there will likely be bits and pieces that I just don’t get or understand because I haven’t read the previous books.  Such was the case here.  The first several chapters alluded to situations that I believe happened in the previous books and likely would have added more to the story had I known exactly what it was that was being talked about.

Liu’s writing style is very meaty.  You get a good feel for the way the character is feeling and what her thoughts are.  Most of the characters are deeply written, with the exception of a few who I couldn’t help but feel had been explored in previous books.  If not, it was a glaring omission, I think.  There is very little interaction with the paranormals and the normals in the book, which I found a bit odd considering it is set in modern Seattle.  I did find the concepts fresh (although that could be contributed to my lack of reading experience in this genre) and well written.  The ideas and melding of the histories of the characters with lore was also well done.

Overall, the A Wild Light was good.  I’m sure that fans of Liu and of paranormal fantasy will find it to be a very good book.  The chief detractors for me were the lack of history and the lack of interaction with non-paranormal characters.  The first is really more of a failing on my part for not having read the rest of the series.  The second was likely a choice made by the author.  And is likely not going to be a problem for most readers.