Karissa's Reading Review

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  • To Kill A Warlock on Oct. 12, 2010

    This is the first book in the Dulcie O'Neil series by H. P. Mallory. I got a copy of this ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed it! While not the most creative paranormal series I've ever read; this series was light-hearted, fun and very well written. Think of it as a mash-up of Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series, Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series, and Molly Harper's Jane Jameson series. You got the fairies and the Netherworld, a murder mystery, and lots of light-hearted snarkiness. Dulie works as a Regulator for A.N.C. (Association for Netherworld Creatures). She helps keep tabs on Netherworld Creatures, makes sure they are registered with ANC, and solves cases involving them. As the book starts she has been turned into a nasty creature while on a case to catch someone selling illegal potions. Problem is next day the guy she was investigating ends up dead. So, she is kind of a suspect. Then suddenly she is pulled off of the case "to protect her" and at the same time the steaming hot Knight comes into her life demanding her help on the murder case; Knight is futher up the A.N.C food chain than Dulcie's boss, so Dulcie is forced to help him out. Now Dulcie is drawn into a dangerous case, trying to finish writing her first romance novel, dodging her feelings for her boss (Quillan), dealing with an amorous vampire, negotiating with a pain-loving demon, and side stepping Knight's attempts to get romantically involved with her. Dulcie's life is definitely not going to get boring anytime soon. This was a fun book. Dulcie's world is never really explained in detail, but you pick up pieces as you read and it is an interesting world. I would love to learn more about the Netherworld in the next book. Dulcie is a likable heroine; with a snarky since of humor, some wicked fairy dust tricks, and a soft spot for hot men. There are a number of yummy guys written into the story. In fact it was almost too many. Dulcie is torn between dealing with Knight, Quillan, and Bram...at some points that seemed like a couple guys too many. Mallory handled the interactions well though and gave enough depth to their personalities that you could see what Dulcie saw in them. The book is well-written; very natural sounding and easy to read, hard to put down, and the plot moved at a nice clip. There are enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. Overall this is a great addition to the more light-hearted side of the paranormal genre. At times Dulcie reminded me a bit of Rachel Morgan; she has a similar job and that same type of innocence that Rachel carries around with her in the beginning of that series. While not mind-blowing; the world is well thought out, the writing is well done, and this was a fun lighthearted read. Definitely a fun way to pass the time. Check it out if you are a fan of lighthearted paranormal romance.
  • Toil and Trouble on April 01, 2011

    I got a copy of this in e-book form from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have previously read both the first book in this series, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, and really enjoyed it and To Kill a Warlock (the first book in her Dulcie O'Neil series) and like that one too. So I was excited to read this book. It was an entertaining read; the plot doesn't progress a lot but Jolie has a lot to deal with and it is all entertaining. Jolie is with Rand and Christie and Sinjin recovering from her battle at the end of Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble. They are grouping together all of the paranormal allies that they can find so that they can go to war against the evil Bella. Jolie is torn between Rand, who still won't commit to her because he is afraid of what will happen to him in the war, and Sinjin who is increasingly understanding and supportive of Jolie's need to fight in the upcoming war. Jolie wants to fight in the war but Rand has forbidden it; so Jolie comes up with a complex plan to fight no matter what. This was a fun and entertaining read. Rand and Sinjin are both absolutely wonderful characters and completely swoon worthy. Sinjin especially gets a lot of page space; he is super yummy and we learn a lot more about his past which I really enjoyed. Rand comes off as a jerk half the time and as misunderstood the remainder and I found him a frustrating character to read about. Jolie remains her determined, slightly silly self and is fun to read about. Christie seems like she is baggage throughout this book and is quickly shoved out of the story because she just doens't have a place in this book. I liked some of the turns the plot took in this book; Mallory does some neat things here. Parts of the ending are especially ironic and satisfying. This is definitely more of a paranormal romance than an urban fantasy. A lot of time is spent with Jolie angsting between who she likes better Rand or Sinjin; this ended up being well done but I had hoped we would see more action. There is a lot of build up to this big war between the paranormal races and then when the war comes it is not very long or very well described. I thought the actual scenes with the war were a disappointment compared with all of the build up. I still would like a better explanation of the magic system; it just seems like the witches can do whatever they want with magic without much limitation at one time and then at another Jolie is too worn out to do much. It is a bit inconsistent and I would like more clarification. Things between Jolie and Rand remain frustrating throughout the book. Mallory throws in a big cliffhanger type revelation at the end of the book which really hooks the reader in and made me immediately want to find out what happens in book 3. I am not a huge fan of authors doing that; but it does keep the readers coming back. I would have liked a little more closure for the story than I got. Overall this was a good addition to the series. It is a fun, light read and I enjoyed reading it. I love the characters and the writing style is easy to read and natural sounding. I would have liked a better war after all the build up there was to it. I would also like a more consistent structure for the magic system set up here. The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger and will make you desperate to read the next book in the series. If you are a fan of light-hearted and fun paranormal books this is the book for you. I would recommend this for fans of Molly Harper, Katie MacAlister, and Charlaine Harris's earlier Sookie Stackhouse books.
  • A Tale of Two Goblins on April 08, 2011

    I got a copy of this book through Bookish Snob Promotions as part of A Tale of Two Goblins blog tour. I read the first book in this series, To Kill a Warlock, and really enjoyed it. I have also read Mallory's Jolie Wilkins series and enjoyed that as well. This book was another fun read; it is focused around a mystery and Dulcie's snarky sense of humor really keeps things moving. Dulcie has finally finished the romance novel she was writing and is working on writing her second book. She is no longer part of the ANC, but has offered to do consulting work for them. Then one morning she goes out jogging and is accosted by...Knight. Knight wants Dulcie to consult on a case and he won't take no for an answer. People loosely connected to Dulcie are falling into comas and Knight needs Dulcie's help to sort it before these people go from coma to a more permanent state of repose. They think a Dreamwalker may be involved, but of course nothing is ever that straight forward. I actually liked this book a lot better than the first book in this series (and I liked that one too). This book is very heavy on the mystery end of things and Dulcie spends a lot of time trying to solve the complex mystery surrounding these magical comas. There's is some play between Dulcie and the three men in her life (Quillian, Brom, and Knight). Mallory does an excellent job of keeping things steamy between Dulcie and Knight without getting too explicit. I enjoyed the inclusion of some new faerie types, there are some great new characters as well. I was a bit sad that Dulcie's girlfriend, Sam, was out of the picture most of the book. The book is fast-paced, has a decent plot, and is engaging. Mallory's writing style is highly readable; making the book a fun and quick read. There is a lot of humor in here; Dulcie continues to show a lot of attitude and toughness throughout. The books wraps up nicely; leaving a couple threads dangle for the next book. I have really enjoyed this series overall; it is light-hearted, fun, and creative. Overall an excellent addition to this series. I really enjoyed reading this book; it was fun and very engaging. A perfect escape read. Dulcie still reminds me a bit of Rachel Morgan from Kim Harrison's the Hollows series. The major difference being there is more humor in this series; if you like light-hearted urban fantasy you should give this series a try.