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09 Oct, 2015

#Diversiverse Author Spotlight – Alaya Dawn Johnson

/ posted in: Reading by Alaya Johnson
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal

The number one book that I’ve recommended this year to bloggers looking to diversify their reading is The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson.

the summer prince

A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil.

The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that’s sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June’s best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.

Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Tres will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government’s strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.


I love authors who write books that aren’t carbon copies of each other.  Her books are set in different times and locations.  The Summer Prince is set in future Brazil.  The second book of hers that I read was Love is the Drug which takes place in Washington, D.C. in the near future.

loveisthedrug

Emily Bird was raised not to ask questions. She has perfect hair, the perfect boyfriend, and a perfect Ivy-League future. But a chance meeting with Roosevelt David, a homeland security agent, at a party for Washington DC’s elite leads to Bird waking up in a hospital, days later, with no memory of the end of the night.

Meanwhile, the world has fallen apart: A deadly flu virus is sweeping the nation, forcing quarantines, curfews, even martial law. And Roosevelt is certain that Bird knows something. Something about the virus–something about her parents’ top secret scientific work–something she shouldn’t know.

The only one Bird can trust is Coffee, a quiet, outsider genius who deals drugs to their classmates and is a firm believer in conspiracy theories. And he believes in Bird. But as Bird and Coffee dig deeper into what really happened that night, Bird finds that she might know more than she remembers. And what she knows could unleash the biggest government scandal in US history.


What can be more different than those two?  How about 1920s New York City with a thriving vampire population?  Her Zephyr Hollis series is made up of Moonshine and Wicked City.

moonshine

Zephyr Hollis is an underfed, overzealous social activist who teaches night school to the underprivileged of the Lower East Side. Strapped for cash, Zephyr agrees to help a student, the mysterious Amir, who proposes she use her charity worker cover to bring down a notorious vampire mob boss.

What he doesn’t tell her is why. Soon enough she’s tutoring a child criminal with an angelic voice, dodging vampires high on a new blood-based street drug, and trying to determine the real reason behind Amir’s request — not to mention attempting to resist (often unsuccessfully) his dark, inhuman charm.

wickedcity

In Wicked City, the page-turning follow up to Moonshine, it’s summer in the city and most vampires are drunk on the blood-based intoxicant Faust. The mayor has tied his political fortunes to legalizing the brew, but Zephyr Hollis has dedicated herself to the cause of Faust prohibition–at least when she isn’t knocking back sidecars in speakeasies.

But the game changes when dozens of vampires end up in the city morgue after drinking Faust. Are they succumbing to natural causes, or have they been deliberately poisoned? When an anonymous tip convinces the police of her guilt, Zephyr has to save her reputation, her freedom and possibly her life. Someone is after her blood–and this time it isn’t a vampire.

In a New York City populated by flappers and vampires, debutantes and djinn, it’s best to watch your back. You never know what’s lurking in the shadows.

My only complaint here is that the end of Wicked City leads into a new story that hasn’t been published.  I hope that’s going to happen.

This author is great for lovers of:

  • YA
  • Urban Fantasy and sci-fi
  • Smart and brave female main characters

Where to Start

The Summer Prince is still my favorite but Moonshine is a close second.

Have you ever read any of her books?

All book summaries are from Goodreads.

 

02 Mar, 2015

The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison

/ posted in: Reading The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison The Witch with No Name by Kim Harrison
on September 9th 2014
Pages: 480
Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Length: 17:28
Series: The Hollows
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Urban
Published by HarperCollins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible, Owned
Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

All good things must end . . .After ten years and thirteen adventures, at last the triumphant conclusion to Kim Harrison's #1 New York Times bestselling Hollows series!The Witch with No Name In 2004, Kim Harrison made her debut with Dead Witch Walking, an electrifying urban fantasy novel full of action, mystery, romance, and humor, which introduced bounty hunter and witch Rachel Morgan. Over the course of twelve books, Rachel confronted numerous threats, vanquished a range of cunning and powerful enemies, risked her heart, suffered haunting loss, and nearly lost her life. Now, in The Witch with No Name, Kim Harrison brings back her wildly popular heroine for one final, epic battle.Rachel Morgan's come a long way from the klutzy runner fleeing a bad job. She's faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She's crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She's lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more.But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price.That time is now.To save her best friend Ivy's soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever-after and our own world from utter destruction at the hands of fanatics, Rachel Morgan will risk everything.

Goodreads

Liked

  • I love the world building of this series.  This all happens because genetically – modified tomatoes wiped out most of the humans in the 1960s allowing other species to come out of hiding.
  • It is a great big reunion.  Lots of characters that haven’t been seen since the beginning of the series are brought back.  I love Rachel’s mom.
  • The narration of the series is very good.  I especially like the voices the narrator uses for the pixies.

Didn’t Like

  • Wimpy vampires – I hate vampires that react to stress by sitting down and crying.  Vampires should be tough.  There were a lot of sobbing vampires in this book but the ones that annoyed me most were the living vampires in the beginning.  See also – vampires who react to danger by cowering and screaming.
  • It is a bad sign when the book starts with the near-death of a major character and I’m hoping and praying that she dies because she’s been annoying for the last few books. I shouldn’t be chanting, “Kill her!  Kill her!” in my car.
  • Angst – Rachel feels guilt that she has pulled Trent into her problems and she feels like she is bringing him down.  Do you know how I know this?  Because it is repeated over and over and over and over and then again in case you didn’t get it.  Seriously, at times it was discussed every 15 minutes or so in the audiobook.  I understood it the first twenty five times.  It was starting to seem like she needed to keep saying it to get the word count up.
  • Elves smell like wine and cinnamon.  This was also worked into the books way too many times.  I get it.  Move on.
  • The ending!  They went and hit on one of my personal hot button issues so maybe this is just my thing but I’m going to go off on it on the SPOILERS page.

Overall

Love the series – this book wasn’t great but I really, really, super, duper hate the ending!  Read the series and skip this book.

 

 

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