Book Review: Claiming The Evil Dead by Mary Abshire

10054449Title: Claming The Evil Dead
Author: Mary Abshire
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Adult, Vampires, Demons, Erotic Romance
Rating: 3,5 stars
Review copy provided by Bewitching Book Tours.

Half-demon Jessie Garrett is searching for an evil vampire that’s been preying upon children. She wants to claim the rogue vamp’s soul and send it to hell. To find the dead man walking she must partner with another bloodsucker, Drake, even though she doesn’t trust him. While Jessie works with Drake, she learns not all vampires are killers and discovers the cold-blooded vamp is a temptation too difficult to resist.

After the fiend abducts another child and Jessie has a near fatal experience with vampires, she turns to Jeremy, a demon she bumped into at a club, and makes a deal with him for his help. Drake disapproves, and Jessie soon finds herself wedged between two volatile creatures. When the chance comes to save the child’s life and claim the evil vamp’s soul, she must decide whom she can trust—a vampire who cools her feverish desires, or a demon hell-bent on seducing her.

Jessie is half-demon: her father is none other than the Devil himself, and her mother was a fragile little human being. Not only is she a rarity in the demon world with her gorgeous blue eyes, but the powers she possesses are unseen as well: she can breathe in spirits and send them straight to hell. Working together with some of her close friends in a paranormal investigators team, she enters haunted houses occupied by the spirits of deceased murders, consumes them and sends them right into the arms of the Devil. Although she’s a supernatural creature herself, Jessie stays away from others of her kind as often as possible. It’s no surprise that when a vampire walks into a bar and requests her help, she has second thoughts about it. Even if said vampire is willing to pay her a huge amount of cash in order to get a job done.

Her job is to track down and kill – or well, capture the soul of – an evil vampire named Alexander who likes to kidnap, torture and kill little children. Her right hand during this job? The mysterious vampire she comes to know as Drake. Although Jessie thinks vampires are nothing more than revolting bloodsuckers, she does feel an attraction towards Drake. And he towards her…
But then there’s also the evil vampire they have to slay, the appearance of a demon called Jeremy, and a lot more that could keep these star-crossed lovers apart.

Claiming The Evil Dead is a nice and entertaining read. I liked the storyline, with a half-demon and a century-old vampire chasing another vampire in an attempt to destroy him and stop his evil doing. The character of Jessie was…interesting, to say the least. I can’t say that I was terribly fond of her – I didn’t understand half of the choices she made, and found her to be rather superficial. For instance, she wants Drake based solely on his good looks, but fails to notice the man behind the looks. She is also way too eager to put her own superstitions towards vampires aside only because Drake looks so damn good. Priorities, people. Anyway, I have the faint suspision that the author didn’t want to turn her main character into a serious person held back by a bunch of principles, which is a nice description for Jessie. She’s more of a free-spirit, and although that’s not the kind of person I would get along with, I can see how it would appeal to others.

The only character I found intriguing and wanted to know more of, was Drake. The tragic vampire, tortured by his own evil doings in the past, who now strives to do good and save humans to retribute for his previous sins. He reminded me a lot of Angel, back in the days when Buffy The Vampire Slayer was still the TV hype. I didn’t like Jeremy: he was too shallow, superificial and immature to really strike my interest. I would have liked to get into the mind of Alexander a bit more, to define what turned him into a killer and maybe then figure out some of the reasons why Drake could avoid such destiny. I think some more psychological insight in the characters would have made them seem more appealing to me.

The story is fast-paced and suspenseful, but it never really kept me on the edge of my seat, and some twists and turns were pretty predictable. The writing is decent, although not outstanding: this isn’t the sort of novel that is going to keep you awake all night reminiscing about it. It’s a nice and entertaining read, but that’s all it is. It would have perhaps been more interesting had the characters had more depth and personality. The love triangle in the novel, between Drake – Jessie – Jeremy could have been better developed. It was clear from the beginning who Jessie would choose and why; perhaps if Jeremy had some more attractive personality traits, or appeared in the picture a tad bit more often, he would have stood a greater chance, and the love triangle would have been a lot more interesting.

It’s not to say I didn’t like Claiming The Evil Dead. I did enjoy the story, but I have the feeling this is one of those novels that should have been a novella. Get rid of a hundred or so pages, and the story would have been a lot more interesting, the characters would appear less superficial (no need to dig out everyone’s dirty secrets in a novella) and I wouldn’t have had the feeling halfway that I should cling on to the novel to keep reading – the clinging would then probably come naturally. There were also some things that just didn’t work out. For instance, Drake pays Jessie a huge amount of cash so she can hop in on his little plan, but then it turns out he has no plan whatsoever. Also, in my opinion, the relationship between Drake and Jessie developed too fast to actually made me really like them as a couple. They seemed more like two horny teenagers than like two people actually liking each other. All in all, if you want a fun read, this novel is a nice option – just don’t expect too much from it.

Book Review: Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur

172764Title: Full Moon Rising (Riley Jenson Guardian Series #1)
Author: Kerri Arthur
Genre: Paranormal, Vampires, Werewolves, Adult
Rating: 3 stars

In this exciting debut, author Keri Arthur explodes onto the supernatural scene with a sexy, sensuous tale of intrigue and suspense set in a world where legends walk and the shady paths of the underworld are far more sinister than anyone envisioned.

A rare hybrid of vampire and werewolf, Riley Jenson and her twin brother, Rhoan, work for Melbourne’s Directorate of Other Races, an organization created to police the supernatural races–and protect humans from their depredations. While Rhoan is an exalted guardian, a.k.a. assassin, Riley is merely an office worker–until her brother goes missing on one of his missions. The timing couldn’t be worse. More werewolf than vampire, Riley is vulnerable to the moon heat, the weeklong period before the full moon, when her need to mate becomes all-consuming.…

Luckily Riley has two willing partners to satisfy her every need. But she will have to control her urges if she’s going to find her brother….Easier said than done as the city pulses with frenzied desire, and Riley is confronted with a very powerful–and delectably naked–vamp who raises her temperature like never before.

In matters carnal, Riley has met her match. But in matters criminal, she must follow her instincts not only to find her brother but to stop an unholy harvest. For someone is doing some shifty cloning in an attempt to produce the ultimate warrior–by tapping into the genome of nonhumans like Rhoan. Now Riley knows just how dangerous the world is for her kind–and just how much it needs her.

Riley Jenson and her twin brother Rhoan are what people would call hybrids. They are half-vampire, half-werewolf, an unexpected result from one night when their mother (who happened to be a werewolf) was raped by a newborn vampire. Although cast out from their pack because of their differences, Riley and Rhoan manage well in the outside world. They share an apartment together, and both work for an organisation that specialises in Other Races. However, Rhoan is a guardian within the organisation, where Riley chose not to be. She isn’t a killer, or so she claims. But when she finds a naked – yes, a covered in mud, but otherwise naked – vampire at her front door, and her brother goes missing, Riley believes it’s time to take action. Teaming up with the previously-naked-but-now-clothed vampire named Quinn, she is determined to find her missing brother. But someone is after Riley as well, and an attempt on her life, makes her suspect she’s in even more danger than she at first had anticipated.

Had the story stopped there and gone on with the detective/solving mysteries/locate the missing brother vibe, I would have definately rated it a 4. Full Moon Rising is fast-paced, action-packed and leaves you on the edge of your seat a lot of times. Although I had some trouble throughout the middle part of the story to keep on reading – the action slowed down a bit there, to be replaced by talking, and other stuff I will get to soon enough – but I have to admit that this story has some nice twists and turns, some original plotlines and a nice cast of characters. But, then there’s the other half of this book.

Actually, the title says it all. Full Moon Rising. Which means that most of the events, no matter how unlikely because there is so many stuff happening, all happens in the course of one week, namely the week before the full moon. Now, try to keep up with me while I explain this to you the best I can. In Keri Arthur’s series, the week before the full moon, werewolves don’t get extremely bloodthirsty, or feel like killing every animal or human that stands in the way; nor do they suffer from some unexplained illness or have access to superior strength. Oh, no. The week before the full moon werewolves get horny. Yes, you read that right. Horny. Every single moment of every single day they feel like having crazy, kinky sex. Doesn’t matter with who. Since our main character is a werewolf, you can already guess what’s going on. Half of this book is filled with countless descriptions of our heroine having intercourse with one or another partner – did I also mention that they don’t take monogamy that seriously in the werewolf community? No, it is actually mentioned that one of the werewolves had up to seven partners. Guess they never heard of aids or other sexually transmittable diseases in werewolf-land. Our heroine Riley keeps it rather simple, as she keeps to two or three mates. Cheers, people, because you know, reading about a main character basically having sex with everyone she meets during this novel, is highly entertaining. Not.

Now, I’m not old-fashioned and I read a lot of adult romances, but this one is just over the top. Had the novel focused more on the possible relationship Riley/Quinn, it would have rated higher on my score list. I’m also thinking one werewolf mate would have been quite enough, why would you need several? Moon heat, as it is called on numerous occassions throughout the novel, just sucks, people. I mean, you can barely go to work, or hang out with friends, or even watch TV for an entire week every month simply because you’re in moon-heat-phase. Damn, I wouldn’t want to be a werewolf. Rather give me a walking corpse that hasn’t showered in over a century then.

I did like the story. I thought it was original, the writing wasn’t spectacular, but it was decent, and when you skipped through all the uncomfortable passages – but I have to tell you, there are a lot of uncomfortable passages, and sometimes I was actually saying “what the hell…” while I was reading – this is actually a pretty interesting novel, if not a very interesting one. But for some reason the author went totally over the top with the sex scenes, the multiple partners, and the casual way people talk about all that stuff. Plus, do you have to keep dressing our heroine like a hooker? I mean, come on. I don’t like reading a novel when the main character has to degrade herself to dress like a hooker in order to slip into factories or gain information – especially not when said heroine doesn’t mind at all. A little self-respect, Riley. Please.

Another thing I noticed about this novel, is that there are hardly any humans in it. No human character is ever mentioned, and everyone is either a vampire, werewolf or something inbetween. Humans are mentioned occasionally, but that’s it. This wasn’t exactly bad, as I did enjoy the entire supernatural-races-club-thing that was going on.

Nevertheless, I will probably read the next part in the series, Kissing Sin. Why? For starters, as I already mentioned, the story does have some original points of view, and I would like to know what happens next. And secondly, maybe I’m just another silly little human being with a dirty mind.