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juliamarkovic

Read Fragment

I'm a co-blogger at All Things Urban Fantasy, while Read Fragment is where other genres wash ashore.

Currently reading

Angel & Faith: Live Through This
Christos Gage, Rebekah Isaacs, Phil Noto, Joss Whedon
Rooftoppers
Katherine Rundell
Carniepunk
Kevin Hearne, Kelly Gay, Jackie Kessler, Nicole Peeler, Kelly Meding, Hillary Jacques, Allison Pang, Jaye Wells, Delilah S. Dawson, Rob Thurman, Rachel Caine, Seanan McGuire, Mark Henry, Jennifer Estep
A Stitch in Time
Amanda James
The Demon's Lexicon
Sarah Rees Brennan
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Mackenzies Series)
Jennifer Ashley

Beautiful Player (Beautiful Bastard #3)

Beautiful Player (Beautiful Bastard #3) - Christina Lauren Once again, this series takes familiar romance tropes, creates three dimensional characters with depth and charm, then adds smoking hot kink that absolutely knocks my socks off. BEAUTIFUL STRANGER is an unequivocal recommendation, and once again I'm left anxious for anything more by this fantastic writing duo.
Angel: Illyria - Haunted GN (Angel (IDW Unnumbered)) - Scott Tipton;Mariah Huehner I love Illyria, but most of her appeal comes from her interaction with the group. Though she's the star of this standalone, she spends too much time, well, being alone.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 2: On Your Own -  'Scott Allie', 'Andrew Chambliss' Wow, I did not see that coming... but how did I miss it? Love Buffy and Spike, also love that the heartbreak looks like it's coming to a close.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Freefall - Andrew Chambliss, Karl Moline, Georges Jeanty, Joss Whedon Love, love, love it. The art is back, the dialog is snappy, and this ending has me on the hook for more. Fingers crossed that Buffy, Angel & Faith, and Willow will be easy to follow from issue to issue. On to Angel & Faith!
Angel: The End - Peter David Not my favorite Angel anthology, though Illyria was a highlight. The change in art in the middle was odd, and the one offs at the end were cute.
Spike: The Complete Series - Nicola Zanni Oooh, Spike. I laughed, I read, I laughed some more. Glad to know how Spike became king, loved the dialog in this one.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Volume 8: Last Gleaming - 'Joss Whedon',  'Jane Espenson',  'Scott Allie' I think I may have missed some Spike development, prior to him captaining a spaceship of insects. Hate when I skip a step, but loved the high stakes and ambiguity of the ending.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 Volume 7: Twilight - 'Brad Meltzer',  'Joss Whedon' Hahahaha, so much shipping and fan angst is wrapped up in this book, with a most satisfying bang. Could not stop laughing, love the super hero sex. I've gotten ahead of myself on Angel canon, however, this means I'll have to stop reading here and go back to catch up on Angel and Spike. Can't wait!

Re-read #1 (10/13): I wandered away from the comics for a bit, so I reread this one to get me back in the groove. So hilarious and awesome, all over again.
The Assassin and the Princess - Sarah J. Maas Though not groundbreaking, this book took reminded me of excellent elements of my favorite series. Less grim than Poison Study, more magical than The Hunger Games, I'm filing this under "girl kicking butt".
Last Kiss Goodnight - Gena Showalter While Solo and his brothers-in-arms had me on the hook from the get go, his heroine was a bit too relentlessly Mary Sue for me to enjoy. While I was onboard initially, having so much of the book's drama and development focus on how misunderstood this perfect woman is was rather boring. An old school love story dressed up with modern Alphas, this book was well written but not what I was looking for.
Curtsies & Conspiracies - Gail Carriger As charming and quirky as Gail Carriger's Soulless series, CURTSIES & CONSPIRACIES delves back into all the ways that society, science, and magic can collide. As interesting for the social dynamics as for the dirigibles and mechanimals, Sophronia's perspective on manners and intelligence gathering is a fantastic window into this world.

From the outside, placing a spy training facility inside a Victorian finishing school would seem like an odd juxtaposition, but even new readers will quickly orient themselves to this mix of familiar historical setting and completely original worldbuilding. Sophronoia not only reads as a young adult, but her youth is a key element of what makes her compelling as a heroine. The choices that face her are relateable, from budding love to jealous rivals, and each one of these challenges foreshadows larger life challenges she will face. As a lady intelligencer, Sophronia is learning how to blend with society, but will she also internalize those limitations and boundaries?

While the intricacies of the mystery in CURTSIES & CONSPIRACIES kept me glued to the page, it will be that larger question of Sophronia's fate that will keep me coming back for more. Witty, charming, and brimming with potential, I can wait to see the woman Sophronia is growing into.

Full review to follow.

Sexual Content: Kissing.
Unbound - Cara McKenna Holy cow. Cara McKenna has a gift for blending gorgeous characterization and explicit sex, offering a window of compassion into these flawed but lovable lives.
Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales - Holly Black, Kelley Armstrong, Rick Yancey, Neil Gaiman, Carrie Ryan, Saladin Ahmed, Melissa Marr, Margaret Stohl, Kami Garcia, Tim Pratt, Gene Wolfe, Garth Nix, Charles Vess RAGS & BONES is a gorgeously currated collection of short stories, as satisfying for the glimpses of each story's origin story as the final product. As favorite authors distill classic tales to their essence, this his anthology was immersive and thought provoking, a masters class in the creative process with an all star attendance list.

Many of the inspirations for these stories were unfamiliar, but that proved as intriguing as the stories themselves. Each author included a short note, offering a connection to the source material through their eyes. Updating classic sources with a new perpective and a fresh voice, I found myself enjoying the narrative, often contemplating the moral complexities faced by characters, and then mentally retracing how the author's original experience with a story gave birth to a new perspective.

RAGS & BONES could serve as a self contained book club, offering both the pleasure of well written stories and the connective sinew of the author's own experiences. With the gorgeous illustrations and thought provoking, clever stories, you'll want to share most of the readers in your life to continue the conversation.

Full review to follow.

Sexual Content: References to sex and rape.
Envy - J.R. Ward Despite being number three, Ward has kept this series very fresh. I wasn't expecting Veck's particular problem at all, and I'm really looking forward to the next soul.
Crave - J.R. Ward I've jumped back into this series to prep for a POSSESSION ARC review (of course, it won't be advanced by the time I get caught up). I enjoy the present tense action, but the demon and archangel seem needlessly silly. Still, this series captures some of my favorite aspects of the Black Dagger Brotherhood (alpha men, romance, violence) without some of my less favorite items (exaggerated street cant, designer obsessiveness, and endless bad guy POVs and politics). Of course, I guess Devina's silly POVs count as a downpoint for this series as well... we'll see if she gets to the point of feeling interminable.

And... done. Nigel is officially my least favorite part of the series, Devina's POVs and dynamic with the angels add some unexpected twists. This book really surprised me, very cool.
Black and Blue - Gena Showalter I'm about 25% done, and I'm really struggling with this book. I like John and Solo and Blue, I'm invested in their fates, but I don't have much interest in the romance. Blue and Evie have all sorts of misconceptions about each other, but still manage to rub their crotches together on frequent intervals, and I'm not at all curious about what arbitrary chain of events is going to lead Evie to rethink Blue or lead Blue to understand Evie's pain. Furthermore, the "otherworlders" powers seem completely... random. Blue, as the heir to family's powers, which makes it seem like Q designed him in a MI5 basement somewhere. He can sense emotions and shoot out a beam that paralyzes people and burn away impurities and regenerate his skin and... ok, fine. Whatever happens, Blue will handle it. So I don't really need to worry about that, clearly.

in the end, the only thing I'm interested in is John's fate (as book one took care of Solo), and that's not enough to keep me flipping pages.