Series Saturday: The Hollows

 

Happy Saturday, and welcome to another Series Saturday 🙂

Today I’m featuring The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. While I admit that I stopped reading these around Black Magic Sanction, the earlier books are still some of my favorite urban fantasy. I have them in hardback up to The Outlaw Demon Wails. I do recommend this series to friends who ask for good urban fantasy ❤ I also have the very awesome The Hollows Insider (more on that below) and Into the Woods (the short story collection).

I think what made me fall in love with the books was not only Rachel, but her relationship with the other characters. Jenks, Ivy, Kisten, and Al…and Newt 🙂 This is a wonderful world Kim built, and I love rereading the series when I get the chance.

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BLURB:

All the creatures of the night gather in “the Hollows” of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party . . . and to feed.

Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining—and it’s Rachel Morgan’s job to keep that world civilized.

A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she’ll bring ’em back alive, dead . . . or undead.

 

BLURB:

It’s a tough life for witch Rachel Morgan, sexy, independent bounty hunter, prowling the darkest shadows of downtown Cincinnati for criminal creatures of the night.

She can handle the leather-clad vamps and even tangle with a cunning demon or two. But a serial killer who feeds on the experts in the most dangerous kind of black magic is definitely pressing the limits.

Confronting an ancient, implacable evil is more than just child’s play — and this time, Rachel will be lucky to escape with her very soul.

 

BLURB:

Some days, you just can’t win. Witch and former bounty hunter Rachel Morgan’s managed to escape her corrupt company, survive living with a vampire, start her own runner service, and face down a vampire master.

But her vampire roommate Ivy is off the wagon, her human boyfriend Nick is out of town indefinitely and doesn’t sound like he’s coming back while the far-too-seductive vampire Kisten is looking way too tempting, and there’s a turf war erupting in Cincinnati’s underworld.

And there’s a greater evil still. To put the vampire master behind bars and save her family, Rachel made a desperate bargain and now there’s hell to pay—literally. For if Rachel cannot stop him, the arch demon Algaliarept will pull her into the sorcerous ever-after to forfeit her soul as his slave. Forever.

 

BLURB:

The evil night things that prowl Cincinnati despise witch and bounty hunter Rachel Morgan. Her new reputation for the dark arts is turning human and undead heads alike with the intent to possess, bed, and kill her — not necessarily in that order.

Now a mortal lover who abandoned Rachel has returned, haunted by his secret past. And there are those who covet what Nick possesses — savage beasts willing to destroy the Hollows and everyone in it if necessary.

Forced to keep a low profile or eternally suffer the wrath of a vengeful demon, Rachel must nevertheless act quickly. For the pack is gathering for the first time in millennia to ravage and to rule. And suddenly more than Rachel’s soul is at stake.

 

BLURB:

A fiendish serial killer stalks the Hollows, and no one living in or around Cincinnati—human, inhuman, or undead—is safe.

An ancient artifact may be the key to stopping the murderer—a mysterious relic that is now in the hands of Rachel Morgan, fearless independent bounty hunter and reckless witch. But revealing it could ignite a battle to the death among the vast and varied local supernatural races.

Rachel’s been lucky so far. But even she can’t hide from catastrophe forever.

 

When you dance with demons, you lay your soul on the line . . .

In the Hollows, where the natural and the supernatural co-exist—not always peacefully—desperate times often call for unorthodox measures. But bounty hunter-witch Rachel Morgan did the absolutely unthinkable to save the lives of her friends: she willingly trafficked in forbidden demon magic. And now her sins have come home to haunt her.

As Rachel hunts for the truth behind a terrifying murder, the discovery of a shocking family secret is about to throw her entire life into question. And the long-lost ancient knowledge she seeks resides in the demonic ever-after.

But there are some lines that should never be crossed—like the one Rachel Morgan’s stepping over . . .

 

 

And then we have the prequel! I have not had a chance to read this one, though I do want to 🙂 We know through Rachel some of the details of The Turn, but not everything.

 

The short story collection is one of my favorites ❤

 

And then we have The Hollows Insider. This is an amazing insight into the The Hollows world. Kim did a fantastic job, and I’m grateful she took the time to do this for her fans.

From the author’s website: The Hollows Insider is the Hollows world guide, the definitive source for all things Hollows, with spells, character descriptions, species descriptions, interoffice memos, murder and mayhem.It’s not necessary to read it to enjoy the regular Hollows books, but much like the novellas and shorts, it expands your understanding of the characters and world tremendously. Full color and richly illustrated, it’s a collector’s coffee table book and one-of-a-kind.

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Have you read The Hollows series? What are your thoughts?

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Series Saturday: Devon Monk

Hello, and welcome to another Series Saturday! This week I’m featuring Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series.

I very much enjoyed the first book in this series, but it was with book two that I fell in love with the characters and the world. This is fantastic urban fantasy and I still reread the books every year 🙂

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BLURB:

Using magic means it uses you back, and every spell exacts a price from its user. But some people get out of it by Offloading the cost of magic onto an innocent. Then it’s Allison Beckstrom’s job to identify the spell-caster. Allie would rather live a hand-to-mouth existence than accept the family fortune—and the strings that come with it. But when she finds a boy dying from a magical Offload that has her father’s signature all over it, Allie is thrown back into his world of black magic. And the forces she calls on in her quest for the truth will make her capable of things that some will do anything to control…

BLURB:

Working as a Hound-tracing illegal spells back to their casters-has taken its toll on Allison Beckstrom. But even though magic has given her migraines and stolen her recent memory, Allie isn’t about to quit. Then the police’s magic enforcement division asks her to consult on a missing persons case. But what seems to be a straightforward job turns out to be anything but, as Allie finds herself drawn into the underworld of criminals, ghosts, and blood magic.

 

BLURB:

Allison Beckstrom’s magic has taken its toll on her, physically marking her and erasing her memories, including those of the man she supposedly loves. But lost memories aren’t the only things preying on Allie?s thoughts.

Her late father, the prominent businessman and sorcerer Daniel Beckstrom, has somehow channeled himself into her very mind. With the help of The Authority, a secret organization of magic users, she hopes to gain better control over her own abilities?and find a way to deal with her father?

 

BLURB:

Allison Beckstrom is committed to her work tracing illegal spells. Now, there’s an apocalyptic storm bearing down on Portland, and when it hits, all the magic in the area will turn unstable and destructive. To stop it from taking out the entire city, Allie and her lover, the mysterious Zayvion Jones, must work with the Authority-the enigmatic arbiters of all things magic-and take a stand against a magical wildstorm that will obliterate all in its path…

 

BLURB:

Allie Beckstrom’s lover, Zayvion Jones, is a Guardian of the Gate, imbued with both light and dark magic and responsible for ensuring that those energies don’t mix. But Zayvion lies in a coma, his soul trapped in death’s realm. And when Allie discovers that the only way to save Zayvion is to sacrifice her very own magical essence, she makes a decision that may have grave consequences for the entire world.

 

BLURB:

In the secret lockup of the Authority, the council that decides what can and can’t be done with magic, an undead magic user has possessed one of the prisoners. He wants his freedom-and then some. Now Allie Beckstrom and her lover, Zayvion, are the first line of defense against the chaos he’s about to unleash on the city of Portland…

 

BLURB:

Allison Beckstrom has willingly paid the price of pain to use magic, and has obeyed the rules of the Authority, the clandestine organization that makes-and enforces-all magic policy. But when the Authority’s new boss, Bartholomew Wray, refuses to believe that the sudden rash of deaths in Portland might be caused by magic, Allie must choose to follow the Authority’s rules, or turn against the very people for whom she’s risked her life.

To stop the plague of dark magic spreading through the city, all that she values will be on the line: her magic, her memories, her life. Now, as dead magic users rise to feed upon the innocent and the people closest to her begin to fall, Allie is about to run out of options.

 

BLURB:

Allison Beckstrom’s talent for tracking spells has put her up against some of the darkest elements in the world of magic. But she’s never faced anything like this.

Magic itself has been poisoned, and Allie’s undead father may have left the only cure in the hands of a madman. Hunted by the Authority—the secret council who enforces the laws–wanted by the police, and unable to use magic, she’s got to find the cure before the sickness spreads beyond any power to stop it.

But when a death magic user seeks to destroy the only thing that can heal magic, Allie and her fellow renegades must stand and fight to defend the innocent and save all magic…

 

BLURB:

For most of her life, Allison Beckstrom has used magic and accepted the heavy price it exacts. But now that all magic is poisoned, it’s no longer just using people—it’s killing them.

With Portland about to descend into chaos, Allie needs to find a way to purify the wells of tainted magic beneath the city. But the only options left to her are grim: attempt to close down magic forever, or follow her father’s plan to set magic into the right hands—even though she’s learned to never trust his word.

Now, Allie will have to make a choice and face the darkness of her own deepest fears, before time runs out for them all…

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Devon has other series that I enjoy immensely, but I think this one will always be my favorite ❤

 

Series Saturday: Marcus Damanda

Happy Saturday! Welcome to another Series Saturday.

Today I’m featuring two series by the wonderful Marcus Damanda. First up we have the dystopian Salvation State, published by Evernight Teen. I love this series, and he’s working on book three!

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AMAZON ~ EVERNIGHT TEEN

Blurb:

“This is what the truth is. Second Salvations murdered my parents, and I’m running away.”

A single post over unregulated Internet channels. A sleeping society awakens to a chase, broadcast live on television screens all across the New United States of America…

Rebecca and Daniel have never met. A fifteen-year-old preacher’s kid and a sixteen-year-old atheist outcast, they appear to have little in common. And yet they have both attracted the attention of a recruiter for Angel Island, where bad kids go to be remade—or destroyed.

Agents of the all-powerful New America Unity Church will stop at nothing to get them. They’re building an army, a modern children’s crusade, in which Rebecca and Daniel may be just the kind of future leaders they need.

If not, they might be just the kind of sacrifice necessary to keep the rest of the faithless in line.

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AMAZON ~ EVERNIGHT TEEN

BLURB:

The chase is over. For Rebecca, Daniel, and the rest of the Forgottens of Second Salvations, there is only one choice: get with the program or die. But there’s a spy lurking somewhere within the cabins of Angel Island, someone with contacts in the outside world. Ruth Black is determined to find out who it is before the world learns the truth about her—and about the special punishment ministry of her husband, the Reverend Matthew.

Rebecca and Daniel are not destined to remain forgotten very long.

Welcome to New America: one nation, under God. An island prison, just for kids, built to convert the very worst of them. Kids like Rebecca and Daniel, with one impossible task:

Escape.

****

 

Marcus also has a series called The Devil in Miss Drake’s Class, which I absolutely love and also highly recommend. It’s also through Evernight Teen, and is definitely in the dark fantasy/horror genre 🙂

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As I said, I highly recommend both series. If you get the chance, add them to your TBR pile or, better yet, read them right now!

 

 

 

 

Series Saturday: Natasha Hoar

Welcome to another Series Saturday!

One day when I was searching for a new paranormal series to read, I found myself on the Carina Press website, where I stumbled upon the first book in the Lost Souls series by Natasha Hoar. I loved the cover, and once I read the blurb I hurriedly bought a copy…and I’m very happy I did 🙂

click on the cover to go to Amazon

Blurb:

Rachel Miller thought her next job was a run-of-the-mill haunting. As a member of the Order of Rescue Mediums it’s her duty to release trapped spirits from the earthly realm. But when called to client Sylvia Elkeles’s house, she finds a wraith who doesn’t act like he should.

The Order considers the wraith an extreme threat and Rachel may be forced to use a barbaric ritual to free him—a ritual that comes with a heavy personal price. If she fails to humanely release the wraith, she’ll have her supernatural abilities bound.

When Janus Ostara—local supernatural mob boss—shows up demanding her attention, and Sylvia keeps secrets that may place Rachel in mortal danger, she doesn’t need her abilities to know something darkly sinister is at play.

Between uncovering Sylvia’s disturbing motives, and avoiding Janus, Rachel has enough on her hands without dealing with a wraith who may not realize he’s supposed to be dead…

Blurb:

This time the dead are hungry…

Rachel Miller doesn’t just see dead people, she rescues them. As a member of The Order of Rescue Mediums, she spends most of her time helping stubborn spirits move on from the world. But after she learns the details of three brutal murders, she knows the culprit can only be a reaper, an undead monster that relentlessly stalks its victims to feed on their souls.

A reaper once consumed the soul of Rachel’s mentor as she watched frozen in fear. Now, Rachel is in the role of teacher to Kit Elkeles, a rodach just learning to control his wraithlike powers. After Kit and Rachel rescue a half-vampire, they work to protect him while searching for a way to stop the reaper. But when Rachel realizes who the monster is really after—and just what kind of dark magic she’ll need to stop it—will she be able to do what is necessary before it devours one of her friends…or even herself?

****

These books are novellas, and I actually really enjoy that. I enjoy shorter, episodic reads just as much as I love full novels. Hoar does a fantastic job of pulling the reader into the world of Lost Souls and making them never want to leave.

I hope we’ll get a third in the series because I’ve been dying to know what happens next!

 

Series Saturday: Patricia Briggs

Welcome to another Series Saturday!

Patricia Briggs is one of my favorite authors, and two of my favorite books are Masques and Wolfsbane~ part of her Sianim Series.  Patty is a wonderful storyteller, and I was immediately drawn into the story by the voice and vivid images her writing brought forth.

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click on covers to go to Amazon

Blurb:

After an upbringing of proper behavior and oppressive expectations, Aralorn fled her noble birthright for a life of adventure as a mercenary spy. But her latest mission involves more peril than she ever imagined.

Agents of Sianim have asked her to gather intelligence on the increasingly popular and powerful sorcerer Geoffrey ae’Magi. Soon Aralorn comes to see past the man’s striking charisma—and into a soul as corrupt and black as endless night. And few have the will to resist the sinister might of Geoffrey and his minions.

So Aralorn, aided by her enigmatic companion, Wolf, join the growing rebellion against the ae’Magi. But in a war against an enemy armed with the powers of illusion, how do you know who the true enemy is—or where he will strike next?

Blurb:

For the last ten years, shapeshifting mercenary Aralorn has led a dangerous existence—a far cry from her noble upbringing. Now she must return home under the most unfortunate circumstances. Her father, the Lyon of Lambshold, has passed away. But when Aralorn and her companion Wolf arrive, the combination of their magic uncovers something wonderful yet alarming—he’s not actually dead, but only appears so. Yet a dark mist is also very much alive within him…

The Lyon of Lambshold has been ensorcelled by the ae’Magi, who’s using him as a conduit to finally destroy Aralorn and Wolf. With her father as the pawn, can Aralorn overcome this mysterious mist with her magic? Or will she finally fall to the blackest of magic, losing not only her one true companion, but also her life…

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I cannot recommend this series enough for those who love fantasy. You can read sample chapters of both books, plus the other books in the series (that feature different characters), on her website: http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/

Series Saturday: Strange Angels

Welcome to another Series Saturday!

Recently, I re-read the Strange Angels series by Lili St. Crow (aka, Lilith Saintcrow). I absolutely loved the series when it came out, and still adore it today. It’s one of the best YA series I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Honestly, these books made me remember why I love reading YA, and because of that, I found other series (such as Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamer series) that I highly enjoy and recommend as well (but that’s another post!).

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click on the covers to go to Amazon

Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)

Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whoever—or whatever— is hunting her?

Poor Dru Anderson. Her parents are long gone, her best friend is a werewolf, and she’s just learned that the blood flowing through her veins isn’t entirely human. (So what else is new?)

Now Dru is stuck at a secret New England School for other teens like her, and there’s a big problem— she’s the only girl in the place. A school full of cute boys wouldn’t be so bad, but Dru’s killer instinct says that one of them wants her dead. And with all eyes on her, discovering a traitor within the Order could mean a lot more than social suicide….

Can Dru survive long enough to find out who has betrayed her trust—and maybe even her heart?

It’s a good thing Dru Anderson is fast. Because the sucker chasing her isn’t slowing down—and he won’t rest until he has tasted her blood and silenced her heart….

Graves, Dru’s best friend, and Christophe, her strange and handsome savior, are ready to help her take on the ultimate evil. But will their battle for Dru’s heart get in the way of her survival?

Now that sixteen-year-old Dru’s worst fears have come true, she’ll have to go on a suicidal rescue mission to bring her best friend back in one piece. That is, if she can put all of Christophe’s training to good use, defeat her mother’s traitor once and for all, and manage to survive another day…

Nobody expected Dru Anderson to survive this long. Not Graves. Not Christophe. Not even Dru. She’s battled killer zombies, jealous djamphirs, and bloodthirsty suckers straight out of her worst nightmares. But now that Dru has bloomed into a full-fledged svetocha — rare, beautiful, and toxic to all vampires — the worst is yet to come.

Because getting out alive is going to cost more than she’s ever imagined. And in the end, is survival really worth the sacrifice?

***

Dru’s voice captured me from the very first word, and didn’t let go throughout the entire series. Graves and Christophe kept me reading as well, and their stories had me just as captivated.

If you love urban fantasy, YA, and a dash of romance, I highly recommend this series.

 

Series Saturday: Vampire Babylon

Happy weekend (and Happy Easter to those who celebrate!) 🙂 Welcome to another Series Saturday 🙂

The Vampire Babylon series by Chris Marie Green quickly became one of my favorite UF series after reading the first book. The series adds a nice little twist to the vampire myth, and the main character- Dawn Madison- is a fantastic lead. The secondary characters are wonderful, and their stories are each unique and just as interesting as Dawn’s.

click on the book covers to go to Amazon

In this first book of an all-new trilogy, life proves stranger than the movies when a Hollywood underground coven of vampires comes to light-and gets targeted by the tough-as-nails daughter of a sexy screen siren.

Stuntwoman Dawn Madison hasn’t been on the best of terms with her father since her movie star mother died. Still, he is her dad, and when he vanishes while investigating the bizarre sighting-caught on film-of a supposedly long-dead child star, she comes home to Tinseltown to join the search for him. Working with his odd colleagues, she discovers an erotic and bloody underground society made up of creatures she thought existed only on the screen.

Night Rising was only the beginning…

Dawn Madison reluctantly came to Los Angeles in search of her missing father and found instead a world of murder and the living dead she never imagined existed. When a new vampire slaying lures Dawn deeper into the underground, her alliances in the sunlit world shift. Now she has only herself to trust and her new found skills as “a spunky vampire slayer”

After facing off against the lethal Vampire Killer, Hollywood stuntwoman Dawn Madison and her friends are reeling. But for Dawn, the pain is much more personal. She?s learned more about her missing father and long-dead mother than she ever wanted to, and her conflicted feelings about both her enigmatic, never-seen boss, Jonah, and P.I. Matt Lonigan are only making things worse.

To save her father Dawn must enter the Vampire Underground, where she will encounter an unthinkable betrayal, and where the question of who is truly good and who is truly evil will become a matter of life, death, and undeath?

***

The above is the first trilogy in the series. What she discovers in the first three books about her parents and the vampires was captivating. The second trilogy in the series has new twists concerning the vampires and Dawn herself. I truly loved what Chris Marie Green brought to the second trilogy, which I’ve decided I won’t spoil in this post 🙂

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When a new Vampire Underground is found in England, Hollywood stuntwoman-turned-vampire hunter Dawn Madison and her crack team are dispatched to carry the fight from the flash and dash of Los Angeles to the seemingly staid and stolid streets of London. Dawn knows by now how deceiving appearances can be-and she’s about to find out that it’s not only the beautiful people of Hollywood who are willing to bargain with evil.

Stuntwoman-turned-vampire hunter Dawn Madison is in London to find the local vampire Underground and wipe it out. But her own encounter with the bloodsuckers is beginning to affect her in some very sinister ways.

Dawn Madison has captured the master of the London Underground, but now must face her followers-a vicious pack of undead teenage girls who put the vamps in Los Angeles to shame.

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If those blurbs aren’t enough to lure you in, here are some book trailers for the first three books 🙂

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There are always a few novellas in this series…

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If you love Urban Fantasy, and haven’t read these books, I highly recommend giving them a try. I don’t think you’ll regret it 🙂