This is the second book in the Lords of the Underworld series (or third, if you count the novella, which I (eek!) haven’t read yet.)
I liked the first book quite a bit, particularly the setup and the mythology behind it. I’ve read reviews that mentioned the number of characters who showed up were confusing, and I’ll admit that I did have my finger stuck in the page where the lords were listed, so that I could flip back to see who it was when (especially) the scene was in the POV of a woman who only had their physical description to identify them. That didn’t bother me as much as I think it did others (and I remember I had to do the same when I first read Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy — I had to keep flipping back to check the rank of the jewels and witch/Warlord/Warlord Prince order) and eventually I wasn’t doing it quite so much.
I didn’t have to do that with this book at all, and I don’t think it was just because of my greater familiarity with the characters; when the lords do show up, we are given an idea of what they are Keeper of, but it doesn’t seem so important to keep track — because the background characters stay in the background. You get a feel for who they are, but because the introduction doesn’t feel so formal, it didn’t feel as imperative to keep them straight. So instead of trying to remember who was who, I could just read along without worrying about flipping back (or to the back, in this case … the list of characters is at the end of the book). Also, because Anya is in-the-know, there isn’t as much need to match physical description to the name; she already knows who they are.
Which is all a very long way to say that if you felt the first book in the series was the intro book, this one takes off nicely. The focus on the romance is strong — and also super fun and angsty. Lucien has to kill Anya, Anya might have to kill Lucien — and they get close to it, several times. Anya is one of my favorite kind of female characters — she’ll kill without apology, but she’s not heartless. She’s just looking out for number one, and by gods, she’s not going to let anyone tell her she’s not #1.
I’m also having quite a bit of fun with the mythology being thrown in — magic artifacts, monsters. I’m looking forward to the next book … but also Paris’s now.
DARK DESIRES AFTER DUSK by Kresley Cole
Yeah, I’m probably the last person to read this. I loved Holly, but Cade made this book for me. I think I mentioned over at the Dear Author review (which I’m going to link to, because I pretty much agree with everything Janet/Robin had to say) that I especially loved how he was completely comfortable with his sexuality in a way that I thought was unique among alpha heroes — he wasn’t pushy (okay, a little, but not in a way that I was uncomfortable with) but just kind of let it all hang out there (seriously, no pun intended). I loved every scene he was in, I loved his slobbishness, and the fact that although he had a hell of a lot on his mind, he wasn’t wallowing in guilt and torturing himself every second.
This was my favorite Cole so far; the characters just hit me in all the right places.
THROUGH THE VEIL by Shiloh Walker
A) I love the cover, B) it just sounds fantastic.
I saw that the Book Binge has Shiloh as a guest author this week, and she’s answering loads of questions about it there — oooh, and also at Let’s Gab (with Anne, Jennifer B., Lori, and Kate).
And I need to go back to talk about three fantasy novels I managed to slip in while I was dead. They include
One I liked, one I lurved, and one I was just a little bit more than “meh” about.