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.

Grave Matters by Lauren M. Roy

Grave Matters: A Night Owls Novel by Lauren M. RoyJust as its predecessor did, Grave Matters, the excellent second installment in the engrossing Night Owls series, grabs attention from its opening scene. Elly, still getting used to living with her not-exactly-legally-adoptive brother, Cavale, gets a visit from a young girl who lives down the street. Cinda explains that a ghost has been haunting she and her father, and she wants to hire Elly and Cavale to get rid of it. Intrigued by the girl’s story, Elly agrees to help her, and upon arriving at the house, has to deal with an unusual ghost in the basement, one with a sigil she does not recognize drawn on his skin. After dispatching the ghost, Elly picks up some of the ectoplasm for Cavale to analyze. Read More »

The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber

The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber The Eterna Files, the excellent first installment in a unique new series, begins with a familiar story–the death of Abraham Lincoln. Immediately thereafter, the tale veers into less-recognizable territory, with young “spiritualist” Clara Templeton declaring that the president should have been made immortal in order to protect the position. Lincoln’s widow, Mary, instantly latches onto the idea, resulting in the birth of the Eterna group, with the secret mission to investigate immortality. Read More »

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy) by Ilona Andrews Burn for Me, the exciting first installment in the Hidden Legacy series, hits the ground running, pulling the reader in to a fascinating world where magic means power–personal, political, and financial. In 1863, a serum was developed that enabled people to tap into their innate magical abilities, and despite the serum eventually being hidden away due the recognition of the dangerous individuals and situations it was creating, along with the potential for even more, the damage had been done. Now hereditary, magic creates dynasties which form Houses, wielding their power and wealth over those not so fortunate. Read More »

The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson

The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson The Witches of Echo Park, first in an intriguing new series, grabs the reader’s attention with its first sentence. Lyse MacCallister does not react well to the news that her great-aunt, Eleanora, has terminal cancer. The shock results in an evening of drinking, and the snap decision to buy a plane ticket from her home in Athens, Georgia to Echo Park, California, in the Los Angeles area. Once her plane lands, Lyse feels pleasantly surprised to find Eleanora waiting for her at the airport, especially as she had not told her great-aunt she was coming at that time. Read More »

Things Half in Shadow by Alan Finn

Things Half in Shadow by Alan FinnThe tremendous Things Half in Shadow  grabs the reader with its very first sentence, refusing to let go for the duration of the novel. Our narrator, journalist Edward Clark, begins by describing his visit to the scene of a dead young woman, called there by his friend, Inspector Barclay, in the hopes that Edward will print the story with a photo which will lead to identifying the woman. This effort becomes unnecessary when the dead woman’s mother and sister arrive at the scene, with the mother’s surprising news that her daughter’s ghost appeared to her, stating that she was dead. Read More »

Vacant by Alex Hughes

Vacant: A Mindspace Investigations Novel by Alex HughesLife has been going pretty well for telepath and consultant to the police, Adam Ward. He and Isabella Cherabino, his work partner he has long been in love with, have been dating for four months. Vacant, book four in the superb Mindspace series, opens with the couple attending a rock concert (a very different experience for Adam, given the cacophony of minds all around him), and they leave the venue satisfied and happy. The good feelings quickly evaporate when the two come upon a very aggressive t-shirt vendor and his friend a few streets down from the arena, and a brief scuffle ensues, during which Isabella identifies herself as a police officer, and shortly thereafter she and Adam leave. Read More »

Bloodwitch by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Bloodwitch (The Maeve'ra) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes Bloodwitch, the engrossing first installment in the Maeve’ra series, opens with shapeshifter Vance Ehecatl, sitting (in his quetzal form) very still for a painting being done by the vampire Lady Brina. When the artist takes a break, Vance changes back to human and does some of his chores around the greenhouse. Vance gets a big surprise when his trainer, Taro, arrives with Mistress Jeshickah, the vampire leader of the town of Midnight, and Vance’s benefactor, having taken him in as a child when he was abandoned by his parents. Feeling alternately elated and overwhelmed when coming face-to-face with the powerful woman, fourteen-year-old Vance somehow acquits himself well, and learns two things: Lady Brina had been talking about him in the marketplace, and somewhere in Midnight lives another quetzal shifter. Read More »

Another One Bites the Dust by Chris Marie Green

Another One Bites the Dust: Jensen Murphy, Ghost For Hire by Chris Marie GreenIntrepid ghost heroine, Jensen, returns in Another One Bites the Dust, book two in the highly original Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire series. Picking up a few weeks after the events of book one, Jensen and her ghost friends, along with still-alive psychic Amanda Lee, attempt to make the best of their situation: realizing that even though they uncovered a killer, a dark spirit of some sort was released through a portal in the process. As a result, not only do they have the dark spirit to contend with, but also the ire of Wendy, the young woman (able to see and speak with ghosts) upset with Jensen for having gone inside the head of her older brother, Gavin, numerous times to determine whether or not he was the murderer of Amanda Lee’s lover (he was not). Read More »

Autumn Bones: Agent of Hel by Jacqueline Carey

Autumn Bones: Agent of Hel by Jacqueline CareyDaisy Johanssen, half-human/half-demon liaison between the Norse goddess of the dead, Hel, and the mundane authorities in the town of Pemkowet, Michigan, located directly above the goddess’ domain, returns in Autumn Bones, the terrific second installment in the highly original Agent of Hel series. A few weeks have passed since the end of the previous book, and Daisy has been dating Sinclair, a Jamaican transplant to town who operates a supernatural tour–supported and encouraged by the town’s visitor’s bureau in an effort to capitalize on the local eldritch (non-human) activity. Read More »

Unveiled by Jamie Wyman

Unveiled (Etudes in C# Book 2) by Jamie WymanMeet Cat Sharp, technomage now in the service of Loki, who won her soul in a card game of the gods. Unveiled, book two in the Etudes in C# series, opens with Loki contacting Cat via a dream, telling her to meet him in a specific location outside of Las Vegas. Cat’s aggravation at being summoned turns to horror when she arrives and learns her new assignment: finding the killer of the woman whose body has been crucified to the back of a tow truck. Loki describes the woman, the daughter of a friend of his, as “unique.” Not understanding why Loki has chosen her for the case, Cat nonetheless does her best by examining the gruesome scene. Read More »

Screen Bites: Darkness Rising: The Return of Grimm and Getting Acquainted With Constantine

Have you missed me, Watchers? My apologies for the long absence. Other concerns kept me away from the column, and some of the shows we typically discuss here I am still behind on, but wanted to touch on a few. *Spoilers will abound, so do not read further if you have not seen the first two episodes of these series.

Grimm, Friday 9:00 EST, NBC
After the last season’s finale shocker, with Nick losing his Grimm powers/abilities and Renard shot, the show came back strong, picking up right where it left off. Read More »

Generation V by M.L. Brennan

Generation V by M.L. BrennanThe first installment in what promises to be a spectacular new series, Generation V  opens with not-quite vampire, Fortitude Scott, receiving a visit from his older brother, Chivalry, while at work at Busy Beans, a local coffee shop. While the owner/manager flirts shamelessly and embarrassingly with him, Chivalry issues to Fortitude an invitation/summons to appear that night at dinner with their mother, Madeline. Not looking forward to spending an evening in the presence of his sister, Prudence, especially, Fortitude nonetheless agrees to appear. At dinner, Madeline tells her three children they need to all be in attendance the following evening, when a visiting Italian vampire will pay a call, seeking permission to stay in Madeline’s territory. Read More »

Undead and Unwary by MaryJanice Davidson

Undead and Unwary (Undead/Queen Betsy) by Maryjanice DavidsonBetsy Taylor, everyone’s favorite vampire queen, returns in the terrifically entertaining thirteenth installment of the series, Undead and Unwary. Picking up shortly after the events of the previous book, Betsy finds herself occupied with attempting to avoid her agreed-upon duties in Hell with home-based concerns such as Jessica’s and Dick’s troubling non-naming of their babies, Sinclair’s continuing obsession with the puppies, Fur and Burr, and Marc’s surprise birthday party plans for Tina. Read More »

Otherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong

 Otherworld Nights: An Anthology by Kelley ArmstrongFans of the ground-breaking Otherworld series will appreciate this return visit with some of the characters via six stories and two novellas.

“Demonology” opens with Talia Lyndsay in a waiting room with her young son, Adam, there to see a doctor who may be able to help her understand Adam’s fascination with fire, and how he can almost burn things or people with his touch. Read More »

Reckoning by S.J. Harper

Reckoning: A Fallen Siren Novel by S.J. Harper Reckoning, the terrific second installment in the engrossing Fallen Siren series, opens with secret siren and official FBI Agent Emma Monroe in a no-strings-attached relationship with Kallistos, the local vampire king, since Emma’s constantly-monitored love life, courtesy of the goddess Demeter, prohibits her from forming a connection of real love. Emma’s partner, werewolf Zack Armstrong, the true object of her desire, has had the memories of their times together erased by Emma’s witch friend, Liz, in order to protect him. Read More »

Broken Souls by Stephen Blackmoore

Broken Souls by Stephen BlackmooreEric Carter has a problem–well, more than one. A necromancer now “married,” or, at the very least, linked, to Santa Muerte, the Aztec goddess of death (after she killed his sister, no less), Eric now possesses pitch-black eyes that require the use of sunglasses so as to not freak people out. When he meets a fellow mage, Kettleman, at an observatory to get some information on how to separate himself from Santa Muerte, two things happen: he hears a voice warning him about the meeting, and after speaking briefly with Kettleman, a former associate of Eric’s parents, the man attacks him with a wicked-looking knife. Read More »

Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells

Cursed Moon (Prospero's War) by Jaye WellsWhen Cursed Moon, the excellent second installment in the Prospero’s War series, begins, Detective and MEA (Magical Enforcement Agency) officer Kate and her partner, Drew Morales, have their work cut out for them with the advent of the Blue Moon of Halloween coming up in two weeks. During this time tensions run even higher than usual between the Adept population (those with magical ability) and the mundane residents of Babylon, the situation escalating that particular day when a guy in a leprechaun costume hexes the crowd during the Halloween Festival. After subduing and arresting the perpetrator, he warns Kate and Morales of bigger things yet to come during the Blue Moon. Read More »

Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs

Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs Shifting Shadows, a superb collection of two novellas (one new, one previously-released) and several stories (three new) covers a wide-range of characters within the world of Mercy Thompson.

“Silver” introduces Samuel, relating the story of how he came to be a werewolf, and his encounter with the fae in the woods near where he was held in the thrall by the person responsible for his Change. Read More »

House Immortal by Devon Monk

House Immortal (A House Immortal Novel) by Devon MonkThe extraordinary House Immortal introduces a world two hundred years in the future, where resources are governed by eleven Houses and doled out as considered appropriate by their leaders. Matilda Case wants to continue to live and work below the radar, taking care of her farm populated by animals created (literally) by her father, her only constant company her grandma and her farmhand, Neds (the plural due to the fact that Ned possesses two heads). With her parents dead, killed several years earlier, and her brother, Quinten, missing for three years, life on the farm can be challenging but not more than Matilda can handle, as long as she does not call undue attention to herself. Read More »