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Review, Young Adult / April 27, 2015
Threads That Bind by Brant WilliamsThreads That Bind
Author: Brant Williams
Series: Havoc Chronicles #1
Publisher: Self-published
Date: March 2012
327 pages
Source: Amazon Kindle Lending Library
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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At 16, Madison has accepted herself for who she is: smart and witty, but overweight with thick glasses and the social life of a Tibetan monk. Everything changes the summer before her junior year of high school when her eyesight inexplicably corrects itself, and she begins to rapidly lose weight. However, her new look comes with an unexpectedly expensive price. Madison’s first kiss with the boy she has had a crush on for years triggers powers she can’t control, almost killing him.

She discovers she is a Berserker, a powerful being chosen to guard the world from the Havocs, ancient creatures brought into our world by magic thousands of years ago. They cause destruction and death, but cannot be killed. Only the Berserkers’ life-blood can bind – and free – the Havocs. One Havoc is free and wants Madison’s blood to free another. Instead of enjoying her new look and popularity at school, Madison must now work with the Berserkers to master her powers and bind the Havoc before it kills her.

Oh, and if that weren’t bad enough, it turns out she is the first female Berserker since, well - ever.

Reviewed by: Mary

It can be a little hard sometimes to read young adult books when you’re more of a loser grown up, because your perspective on life is so different from the main characters of the book. Which is why I tend to read fantasy novels, because often those teenagers have problems beyond “what if he never asks me out?” Which is the case with Madison, who used to be a complete outcast with a huge crush on a popular boy who barely acknowledged her but thanks to a complete mysterious transformation she’s now popular.

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / February 13, 2014
The Night Itself by Zoe MarriottThe Night Itself
Author: Zoë Marriott
Series: The Name of the Blade #1
Publisher: Walker Books
Date: June 2013
368 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Mythology, Urban Fantasy
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When fifteen year old Mio Yamato furtively sneaks the katana - an ancestral Japanese sword - out of its hiding place in her parent's attic to help liven up her Christmas party costume, she has no idea of the darkness she is about to unleash on modern day London, or the family secrets that she is going to uncover.

The paralysing paranoia that descends on her before she gets to her friend's party is her first clue. The vivid and terrifying visions that nearly get her killed are a pretty good warning too.

The giant nine-tailed cat demon that comes after the sword and tries to rip her throat out? Overkill.

Seconds away from becoming kitty-food, Mio is saved by Shinobu, a mysterious warrior boy. But it's already too late. Mio has ruptured the veil between the mortal realm and the Underworld, and now the gods and monsters of ancient Japan stalk the streets of London, searching for her and the sword.

With the help of her best friend Jack, a fox spirit named Hikaru - and the devoted protection of the betwitchingly familiar Shinobu - Mio attempts to discover the true nature of the sword and its connection to the Yamato family. Because if she doesn't learn how to control the katana's incredible powers, she's in danger of being overwhelmed by them. And if she can't keep the sword safe from the terrible creatures who want it for their own, she'll lose not only her own life... but the love of a lifetime.

I loved this book. Zoe Marriott has written an extremely exciting start to this London-set, urban fantasy story full of Japanese mythology influences. It made me think of the anime greats of my childhood—fantastic story, loads of action, witty characters and the coolest set of mythological creatures since Percy Jackson.

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By: Daphne
Review, Young Adult / May 10, 2012
Angel Fire by L.A. WeatherlyAngel Fire
Author: L.A. Weatherly
Series: Angel #2
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Date: October 2011
720 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Only Willow has the power to defeat the malevolent Church of Angels, and they will stop at nothing to destroy her. Willow isn’t alone, though. She has Alex by her side – a trained Angel Killer and her one true love. But nothing can change the fact that Willow’s a half-angel, and when Alex joins forces with a group of AKs, she’s treated with mistrust and suspicion. She’s never felt more alone…until she meets Seb. He’s been searching for Willow his whole life – because Seb is a half-angel too...

This is the sequel to Angel (or Angel Burn in the US). I absolutely loved Angel. I thought it was original and unique and exciting and just… really, really good. Angel Fire however in comparison (to me at least) fell flat. Yes there were aspects that were good but I spent more time complaining about it than loving it so I’m quite disappointed.

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By: Alison
Adult, Review / May 8, 2012
Lover Revealed by J.R. WardLover Revealed
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #4
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Date: February 2011
480 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard living, ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world- to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He's got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. If he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers...

Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, found by a miracle, the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him...

I’ve been on a bit of a Black Dagger Brotherhood binge lately. Straight after I finished book 3 I started book 4. This one I don’t think is as good as the others, but I still believe that it’s a good and necessary edition to the series.

This tells the story of Butch and Marissa, whose story originally began in the first book. Nothing much happened with them in books 2 and 3 but in book 4 they are brought to the forefront of the storyline. Butch (or Cop as the brothers refer to him) is human. He is the only human (other than Mary) who is let into the inner circle of the brotherhood. And although he was ok with this for a while, eventually he gets sick of feeling like a ‘pet’ and wants to help them in their eradication of the lessers. However when he gets brutally tortured by the lessers for information on the brotherhood, his wish of becoming involved becomes a nightmarish reality and he gets quite a lot more than he bargained for!

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By: Alison
Adult, Review / April 23, 2012
Lover Awakened by J.R. WardLover Awakened
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #3
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Date: August 2010
527 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
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In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret bound of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her...

WARNING: SPOLERS FOR BOOK 2

Oh Zsadist… **sigh** I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this book (or Zsadist) justice in this review but I’m going to try!

Firstly, this one is now my new favourite BDB book. Everything that was good about the first two is even more so in Lover Awakened. The action, the romance, the friendships and journeys these characters go on. It all made for such an epic story.

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By: Alison