August 5th, 2012

Three Trashy Reads (kindle)

_The Catalyst_, Zoe Winters

Third in her Pretverse, in this outing an extremely agoraphobic and extremely untrained young witch makes her daily trip out to the mailbox, the only time she leaves her cottage -- the birds tell her something awful will happen if she ventures out. She finds an extremely young therian (werewolf) and brings it indoors to give it food and water. Soon, an extremely adult therian (werepanther) comes through her window demanding she turn over the pup. After some initial confusion, the three are off to his cave, she unconsenually.

It's trashy supernatural fiction, so most of the story is about the sexual tension between the magic user and the therian; the rest is about the identity of the pup, his family, and a larger battle being waged between various factions. Winters' takes all these very ordinary elements of supernatural fiction and applies her wicked sense of humor to them. I've already ordered the next in the series.

_The Vampire Shrink: Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist_, Lynda Hilburn

I picked up a short story by Hilburn in my single interaction with the kindle library. It was funny. Also, it was weirdly memorable. Hilburn's work has two problems with it, both mostly minor: continuity errors (notably the description of Kismet going out to get the burrito just doesn't work right) and a sense of humor that creates an ongoing sense that the author really does not expect you to be able to sustain your belief in the universe she has created. In Hilburns' favor, she does in fact play out a premise: Kismet's job is front and center throughout the book. No matter what happens, Dr. Knight is making sure she sustains her private practice, contacting patients, drumming up new business, etc. Detective Amy Bullock is completely fantastic in every way. I'll happily pick up more in this series if any appear (there are at least two associated short pieces).

_Once Burned: a Night Prince Novel_, Jeaniene Frost

Vlad Tepesh gets his mate and a new series is started in the world of the Night Huntress (Cat and Bones make an extremely brief appearance, along with some other characters from the world). Leila had a comic-book style experience with a power line that left her with some psychic abilities and a tendency to zap people. Before that, she was a promising young gymnast. Once she's old enough to be done with school, she's off to join the circus, where she meets Marty, a vampire, who cleverly keeps her alive with his (concealed in shakes) blood since her powers are killing her. This is backstory. Unfortunately, someone figures out what she's capable of and kidnaps her to use as a weapon against Vlad. Obviously, this doesn't turn out well.

As is typical with Frost novels, Leila's family (father, sister) is brought into the story and the whole vampire thing comes out along with some family drama. Otherwise, the bulk of the story is split between Leila and Vlad's developing relationship (which will continue into the next/later books), Vlad's persistent enemy, and Leila's developing superpowers fueled by Vlad's blood.