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.

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 »

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 »