22 5 / 2011
Vegetarian vampire. Stop right there. Say what now? Welcome to the alternate universe of Dana Marie Bell’s Blood of the Maple and the set-up for some fantastic lines aiming straight for the jugular of our hero, Parker. “She turned you into Bunnicula,” was a particular favorite of mine.
The ‘she’ is an ex of Parker’s who curses him after he leaves her. Decades later he is still dealing with the aftermath of being unable to drink blood. And then he meets of heroine, the lovely, fey Amara, a dryad outcast in the town of Maggie’s Grove (which is also a haven for all supernatural folk, by the way).
Cue visions of tiny flying cupids, white picket fences and vamplings. It is true luurrrrvvveee. And boy, do they express that love. Everywhere. Explicitly. But it can’t all be happy endings (boom tish!) for our couple. They have to deal with the psycho with stalking Parker and the strange animosity that the other supernatural folk demonstrate towards Amara, who has some secrets of her own to deal with. I won’t spoil it, but when you find out what she is, you will laugh out loud (in a good way- it’s totally out of left field!)
I loved the premise for this book- the supernatural community (just as closed minded as any human one), the vegetarian twist, the unique, slightly off heroine and the amazing battle scene were all highlights.
I just wish the author stopped and wrapped it all up there at the big battle, it felt like a very natural climax, but I guess she wanted to tie up more of the loose ends for the readers.
But overall, a fun read with twists galore to keep your attention even if you are a long time fantasy reader.
Disclosure- I received a digital ARC for review.
24 4 / 2011
Can’t believe am about to start another review with a cover rant, but yeah, this one does not do this book justice either! Nor does the title actually, but luckily, 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover by Linda Wisdom was a Kindle Freebie (oh-so-smart-move Publisher Person because now I’m hooked and I will buy the rest of the series), so it was easy to press the ‘Buy’ button.
This book is black, funny, wry, and felt as ‘real’ as a supernatural tale can feel in terms of relationships and dialogue. I liked the fact the two protagonists are well-matched, no newbie versus master thing going on here, just a well explained back story (spanning nearly a millennium) that doesn’t interfere with a great mystery and some real tension as the nefarious doings of the villain unfolded.
The secondary characters were also great and, while providing light relief, definitely not one dimensional, especially Irma, the ghost very much attached to our heroine’s car.
Not really sure why this is classified as ‘lite paranormal’. It seemed too developed for that but I give up trying to understand the shades of gray in fantasy sub-genres. Suffice to say, great story, great alternate universe creation, and great characters means I will be snapping up the next three books in the series as soon as possible.