Author Archives: Carol

A book reviewer and editor at Bitten by Books since 2008, Carol reads extensively in the urban fantasy genre, and also writes the column on genre television, Screen Bites. Serving as the director of the Urban Fantasy track at Dragon Con, Carol also works at Coastal Magic (formerly Olde City, New Blood), and AnachroCon, and for the last three years has been one of the organizers for a small literary festival in the town where she lives. When not reading, writing reviews, or working at conventions, Carol spends as much time as possible with her three amazing grandsons.

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews

Magic Rises (Kate Daniels) by Ilona Andrews Magic Rises, the terrific sixth installment in the excellent Kate Daniels series, begins with Kate in the midst of a training session with her adopted daughter, Julie. While pondering the difficulties of dealing with a fourteen-year-old girl, Kate gets called to an emergency–Julie’s best friend and her twin sister have both gone loup, the feral state that adolescent shapeshifters often never recover from. Though a cure, referred to as panacea, exists but remains difficult to come by outside of Europe, this means that typically the afflicted are killed in order to protect everyone around them. The pack only has one dose available at the time, which Curran orders the doctor to split between the two girls. Read More »

Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

Maplecroft: The Borden Dispatches by Cherie PriestEveryone knows the story of Lizzie Borden–or thinks they do, anyway. The fabulous Maplecroft provides a compelling alternate theory…

The story begins in March of 1894, with Lizzie Andrew Borden and her sister, Emma, living in the estate of Maplecroft on the outskirts of Fall River. The two women have more than one reason to hide from prying eyes. Aside from having been tried and acquitted for the murders of their father and stepmother two years earlier, Lizzie has a formidable task, one that the often-bedridden but brilliant scientist, Emma, assists with: fending off the attacks of the marauding creatures that show up outside their doors frequently–those that may indeed be connected to the entities inhabiting Andrew and Abigail Borden at the time of their deaths. Read More »

Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Omens (Cainsville) by Kelley ArmstrongWhen the terrific Omens begins, Olivia Taylor-Jones feels as though her life may not be going quite the way she wishes, even with her position as the daughter of a distinguished Chicago family having lead to her engagement to an equally well-heeled, and, she learns, ambitious, man, James. Finding a small level of fulfillment in her volunteer position at a women’s shelter, Olivia plans to return to school for a Ph.D. in literature, hoping to teach at a university–information she has been keeping to herself. Olivia decides to share her plans with James when he breaks the news that he will be running for senator–a prospect that Olivia does not care for. Read More »

Screen Bites: Something for Everyone: A Golden Age of Genre Television

Greetings, Watchers. The last few years have seen a resurgence in genre television, now providing fantasy/paranormal/science fiction fans with a number of different choices. Whether you want to follow stories about vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural beings, fantasy taking its stories from fairy and folk tales, or prefer post-apocalyptic/dystopian fare, it is very likely you will find numerous possibilities. Read More »

Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. DawsonThe explosive and thoroughly engrossing Servants of the Storm grabs the reader immediately, never letting go for the duration of the novel. Seventeen-year-old Dovey feels as though she has been operating in a fog since the ferocious Hurricane Josephine hit Savannah a year earlier, claiming the lives of many, including her best friend, Carly, right in front of her eyes. When the story begins, Dovey makes the decision to stop taking the medication she was prescribed after the storm, when she claimed to see things that were not there. The impetus for this action–seeing Carly at their favorite coffee house the day before. Read More »

Legally Undead by Margo Bond Collins

Legally Undead (Vampirarchy) (Volume 1) by Margo Bond CollinsElle Dupree, graduate history student, expects her Monday evening to be just like any other–until she arrives home to find her fiance, Greg, held up off the floor by a tall thin man, who seems to have been, inexplicably, sucking blood from Greg’s neck. When the man, whom Elle presumes to be a vampire, unceremoniously drops Greg and heads in her direction, without thinking clearly and just reacting, Elle runs towards the creature and stabs him repeatedly with the wooden letter opener she had been using with her mail. After realizing she may be wasting effort on a dead vampire, Elle notices two things: a group of men have shown up in her living room, and Greg’s body has mysteriously disappeared. Read More »

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. MartinCassidy runs her unusual family business, Trifles and Follies, located in Charleston, under the guise of buying old antiques and items people would like to get rid of for one reason or another. Unknown to most, the shop’s true purpose revolves around Cassidy’s psychometic ability (touching an item and seeing the history associated with it) to determine if the piece has an unsettling (haunted or worse) characteristic that may prove a problem for future owners, or even dangerous. For acquisitions that fall into the latter category, Cassidy enlists the aid of her colleague, Teag, who possesses his own magical ability, and Sorren, the five-hundred-year-old vampire who has worked with her family for centuries. Read More »

Fire Kin by M.J. Scott

Fire Kin: A Novel of the Half-Light City by M.J. ScottThe wonderful Fire Kin, the fourth and final installment in the Half-Light City series, grabs the reader from the first page and keeps them enmeshed in the story until the very end. Asharic, Fae warrior exiled thirty years earlier for having killed another in a duel, now a mercenary, receives an offer from the Templars of the City to help defend them in an uneasy peace with the Blood (vampires) and the Beast Kind (werewolves), that since the death of the Fae queen may descend into war at any time. Asharic agrees, realizing that the queen’s death also means the end of his exile, along with the added bonus of giving him the chance to possibly see once more a woman he thought lost to him forever. Read More »

A Plunder of Souls by D.B. Jackson

A Plunder of Souls (The Thieftaker) by D. B. Jackson A Plunder of Souls, the fabulous third installment in the outstanding Thieftaker Chronicles series, returns once again to the streets of eighteenth-century Boston and the trials and tribulations of Ethan Kaille. The story begins with Ethan attempting to elude fellow thieftaker and perennial thorn in his side, Sephira Pryce, and her band of enforcers. After an encounter in which Ethan, at great Read More »

Night’s End by Yasmine Galenorn

Night's End (An Indigo Court Novel) Night’s End, the fifth and final installment in the excellent Indigo Court series, picks up right where its predecessor leaves off. Now Queen of Snow and Ice, Cicely and her band of friends and acquaintances, along with her cousin, Rhiannon, now the Queen of Summer, face their biggest and most important test–the defeat of Myst and her Indigo Court who seek to plunge the whole world into perpetual winter and use it as a never-ending buffet for their insatiable appetites. Read More »

Captured by S.J. Harper

Captured: A Fallen Siren Novella by S.J. HarperFans of the Fallen Siren series will very much appreciate this exciting novella documenting the first case Emma and Zack worked on, alluded to in Cursed. The kidnapping of a young boy in Charleston leads to FBI Agent Emma Monroe being flown in from San Diego to assist Agent Zack Armstrong on the case while his partner stays by the side of his wife, an accident victim in critical condition. Though the two agents have consulted on the phone about prior similar cases, they have never met in person. Read More »

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly HarperThe highly-entertaining Better Homes and Hauntings tells the story, past and present, of Crane’s Nest, a palatial home built on its own island off the coast of Rhode Island at the beginning of the twentieth century. Soon after its construction, the lady of the house, Catherine Whitney, was murdered, and the house soon thereafter closed up and not used again, her husband the main suspect in her death. Over the years, the Whitney descendants, many plagued by extremely bad financial circumstances, have come to the house looking for items of value, especially Catherine’s famous jewel collection. Read More »

Screen Bites: Saying Goodbye: Season and Series Finales of Genre Shows

Watchers, recently we have said goodbye to some of our favorite shows, whether just until they next return, or perhaps, sadly, for good. Several genre shows got cancelled this year, some leaving fans hanging without a clear and decisive ending. If we’re lucky, shows end by agreement, with a plan and a proper send-off by its loose ends being tied up, such as Being Human. Often, however, cliffhanger season finales end up being series finales since the showrunners don’t know the show’s fate at the time they are writing. Read More »

Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett

Binding the Shadows by Jenn BennettThe terrific Binding the Shadows, the third full-length installment in the fabulous Arcadia Bell series, begins with Cady and Lon, her Earthbound demon boyfriend, on a mission for Ambrose Dare, leader of the Hellfire Club, a group of “elite” Earthbounds. One of the high-ranking members has gone off the rails with what seems to be a very extreme version of his “knack” (talent most of the Earthbound demons possess), and Dare wants Cady, a magician, to bind him. Read More »

The Kraken King and the Greatest Adventure by Meljean Brook

The Kraken King Part VIII: The Kraken King and the Greatest Adventure (A Novel of the Iron Seas) by Meljean Brook**Though no spoilers of events that happen in this section of the serial novel will be given in this review, please be aware that references will be made to previous sections.**

The Kraken King and the Greatest Adventure, the exciting conclusion to the entertaining serial novel, begins with Zenobia at Ariq’s bedside, waiting for him to wake up during his recuperation from the two arrows he had been shot with while protecting her during their escape for the Empress’s guards. In her very-welcome conversation with her brother, Archimedes, Zenobi confirms her love for Ariq right before he awakens. Read More »

The Kraken King and the Empress’s Eyes by Meljean Brook

The Kraken King Part VII: The Kraken King and the Empress?s Eyes (A Novel of the Iron Seas) by Meljean BrookThe superb The Kraken King and the Empress’s Eyes, part seven of the serial novel, begins with Zenobia’s longer-than-usual letter to her brother, describing the sights she witnessed upon her entry into the Living City and her feelings and fears in regards to Ariq. Unlike her letter, Zenobia finds herself displeased with her current story, and in a bit of a bad mood because of it. While discussing future plans with Mara, an airship arrives, bringing Lady Nagomachi, captain of the empress’s Imperial Guard, there to “replace” a few of the Empress’s Eyes (her spying machines). Read More »

Witches in Red by Barb Hendee

Witches in Red: A Novel of the Mist-Torn Witches by Barb Hendee Witches in Red, the terrific second installment in the Mist-Torn Witches series, picks up a few months after the events of book one. Seer sisters Celine and Amelie have been making a life for themselves in the town of Castle Seone, after having solved a group of murders for Prince Anton. Celine finds peace and satisfaction in running the apothecary shop, though she has not used her gift of foresight since the murders, but Amelie feels aimless and a bit inconsequential. Read More »

The Kraken King and the Crumbling Walls by Meljean Brook

The Kraken King Part VI: The Kraken King and the Crumbling Walls (A Novel of the Iron Seas) by Meljean Brook**Though no spoilers of events that happen in this section of the serial novel will be given in this review, please be aware that references will be made to previous sections.**

In part six of the Kraken King serial novel, Zenobia and Ariq make their way to the Red City so Ariq may petition the Empress to resist attacking his country, and to prevent further escalation of war. In order to enter the city from outside, visitors must wear the required gas masks to ensure that if they have been infected with the zombie disease they will not spread it to those who live within the city. Read More »

Leashing the Tempest by Jenn Bennett

Leashing the Tempest by Jenn BennettSnuggled between books two and three in the Arcadia Bell series, this exciting novella finds Cady and Lon renting a yacht (with a captain) for a day cruise. The two-fold purpose for the excursion: so Lon can see if he wants to purchase a boat of his own, and so Jupe, Lon’s son, can try out his knack (talent) on a willing Kar Yee, Cady’s friend and co-worker.
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The Kraken King and the Iron Heart by Meljean Brook

The Kraken King Part V: The Kraken King and the Iron Heart (A Novel of the Iron Seas) by Meljean Brook**Though no spoilers of events that happen in this section of the serial novel will be given in this review, please be aware that references will be made to previous sections.**

With Zenobia and Ariq separated in the plan to get Ariq to give up the location of the devastating Skybreaker machine, both do their best to escape their respective situations. Ariq determines he must get back to Zenobia, whom he refers to as his wife, but she worries that since she was moved from an airship to an iron ship (a boat), Ariq will have no idea where to look for her. Read More »