2012 New Book Releases – My Top 20! (Part 1)

Here is part one of my top twenty new book releases of 2012! Part two will be posted tomorrow, so stay tuned.

1. Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels 5.5) – Ilona Andrews

The next book in the Kate Daniels series features Kate’s best friend and shapeshifter, Andrea. The expected publication date is July 31st, 2012:

Some people have everything figured out — Andrea Nash is not one of those people. After being kicked out of the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, Andrea’s whole existence is in shambles. All she can do is try to put herself back together, something made easier by working for Cutting Edge, a small investigative firm owned by her best friend, Kate Daniels.
When several shapeshifters working for Raphael Medrano — the male alpha of Clan Bouda and Andrea’s former lover — die unexpectedly at a dig site, Andrea is assigned to investigate … and must work with Raphael. As her search for the killer leads her into the secret underbelly of supernatural Atlanta, Andrea knows that dealing with her feelings for Raphael might have to take a backseat to saving the world …

2. Angel’s Flight (Guild Hunter 0.5, 1.5, 4.5, 4.75) – Nalini Singh

This book has already been released on February 28th, 2012 and it is a compilation of short stories from the Guild Hunter series, one of which is first time in print and another never before published:

In Angel’s Wolf a vampire becomes fascinated with the seductive angel who rules Louisiana. But all is not what it appears to be in her court.
In Angels’ Judgment a hunter must track one of her own gone bad, while surviving the deadly tests placed in her way by the archangels themselves. Unexpected backup comes from a stranger who might just be the most lethal threat of all…
In Angels’ Pawn a vampire hunter faces off against two rival factions and the angel manipulating them both, and a vampire whose help is not entirely selfless…
In Angels’ Dance an angel trapped in the mountain stronghold of the Refuge finds herself under siege by a warrior angel from a martial court.

3. Tangle of Need (Psy-Changeling #11) – Nalini Singh

The next book in this series is one I’ve been expecting for a long time, and fans of Nalini Singh will be able to follow the love story of another SnowDancer couple, namely Riaz and Adria:

Adria, wolf changeling soldier, has made a break with a past as
unpredictable in love as it was in war. Now comes a devastating new complication: Riaz, a SnowDancer whose lone-wolf appeal is beyond sexual. It’s primal. And it consumes them as completely as the impending cataclysmic Psy war—a battle that may alter the very fate of the world.

4. Wild Cat (Shifters Unbound #3) – Jennifer Ashley

I’ve recently reviewed “Pride Mates” which is the first book in this series. I didn’t read the second book in the series yet, but I’m so excited for this one, because I know it will be as good as the first one. “Wild Cat” has been published on January 3rd, 2012:

When Feline Shifter Cassidy Warden saves detective Diego Escobar from plunging to his death, the naked Shifter woman takes his breath away. But she’d been breaking all kinds of human laws, and Diego, to save her from termination, has to promise his department he’ll watch over her.
Diego finds the task harder than he thinks–Cassidy is trying to find out what kind of mysterious hunter killed her mate two years ago, a hunter that could bring danger to all Shifters. Plus Cassidy has scent-marked Diego–essentially telling all other Shifter females, “Hands off.”
Diego risks his personal and professional life getting involved with Cassidy, but he realizes he’ll do anything, even confront the deadliest of assassins and his own inner demons, to keep her safe

5. Midnight Reckoning (Dark Dynasties #2) – Kendra Leigh Castle

Another sequel to a novel I’ve recently reviewed! This series is one I’m sure I’ll follow for as many books that will come out, so I was really glad when this one got published on January 1st, 2012:

Wild and passionate by nature, Lyra Black is not just any werewolf. She’s the future leader of the powerful pack of the Thorn – if she can stay alive long enough to inherit the title.
One of the Cait Sith bloodline of vampire cat-shifters, Jaden Harrison has no interest in the wars plaguing the world of night. But when he rescues Lyra from a violent attack, they’re both captured by an insatiable desire that threatens to overwhelm them and bind them together for eternity… just as ancient enemies prepare to strike. And when they do, the Thorn and the Cait Sith – and Lyra and Jaden’s love – may never recover from the deadly blow…

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“Magic Bites” by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels #1) – Review

Paperback: 272 pages

Publisher: Ace

Release Date: March 27, 2007

Series: Kate Daniels

“When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake. 

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings – and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league – but she wouldn’t have it any other way.”

My thoughts

It somehow always starts with a murder doesn’t it? But that’s mainly where the cliche ends with this book. “Magic Bites” is so different than most of the things I’ve read that it’s truly a breath of fresh air. The vampires in this novel are not some incredibly gorgeous creatures, but fierce, bloodthirsty monsters, kept on a leash by necromancers. The shapeshifters don’t have it any easier though. They have a choice between living their lives under a strict set of rules or go rogue, becoming as bloodthirsty as any vampire. Count in the fact that there are magical waves overcoming the planet, destroying tall, modern buildings, and leaving mythological creatures in its wake, and you have something really fascinating.

At first, I though I wouldn’t like it. I don’t even know why I jumped to the conclusion before even reading the damn book, but I just did, and went with that.

The story world is really complex, and every details is so well-thought that you can easily imagine this kind of thing happening in the future. It would be a dangerous place to live in, but somehow, it’s still beautiful.

Kate Daniels has simply got to be the most funny and strong female lead character out there. I mean, for real! She’s been trained since she was a little babe to become a killer. Her powerful magical blood is also a weapon she cannot live without. But just reading her thoughts makes you smile. She faces danger with an amount of humor and fear, but she is brave and would do anything for the people she cares about.

The necromancers, or the People as they’re called in the book, and the shapeshifters bring fabulous conflict into the scene, and Kate must choose which side she’s on, because although she tries to be as impartial as she can, there’s just no way to do that. Will she then go with what her bloodline made her to be or follow her heart and make the world her own? Tough decisions, tough decisions.

As I was reading, I wasn’t quite sure if there was going to be any love scenes. Sure, there was some teasing and maybe even some flirting, but nothing substantial. It’s an urban paranormal romance novel so I was expecting some love scenes, right? Well, except for that one teasing kiss near the end of the book, there was nothing, nada! Yet, I found it incredibly compelling and believable. I wanted it to go on, I wanted more of the chemistry between Kate and Curran, the Beast Lord and leader of the Pack. They were constantly fighting, teasing each other, getting on their nerves. But the main thing was, they were attracted to each other. You could so tell despite both of them being in denial.

When I finished the book I wanted more. So much more. It was so addictive in the end that I didn’t really get what I was so worried about in the first place. I abso-lute-ly LOVED it! As you read the other books in the series, you can see the attraction between Kate and Curran develop into something deeper, becoming ultimately love. It is so beautiful to watch, especially since there are some parts that make you think they won’t make it.

This series delivers an incredible emotional experience and I would definitely recommend it to anybody asking me about it. I’m in love with it, utterly, head over heels in love with it! I could read it over and over again and never get bored. It’s that good! Just go out there and grab your copy. You won’t be sorry, I guarantee this!

Oh and here’s a taste of a few of my favorite quotes that simply cracked me up:

“I turned to leave and paused before the gap in the ruined wall. “One last thing, Your Majesty. I’d like a name I can put into my report, something shorter than typing out ‘The Leader of the Southern Shapechanger Faction.’ What should I call you?”
“Lord.”
I rolled my eyes.
He shrugged. “It’s short.” 

“It’s a reflex. Hear a bell, get food. See an undead, throw a knife. Same thing, really.”

“I gave him my best cryptic smile. He did not fall down to his feet, kiss my shoes, and promise me the world. I must be getting rusty.” 

“It took a qualified wizard to detect a summoning in progress. It required only a half-literate idiot with a twitch of power and a dim idea of how to use it to attempt one. Before you knew it, a three-headed Slavonic god was wreaking havoc in downtown Atlanta, the skies were raining winged snakes, and SWAT was screaming for more ammo.” 

“Please, Kate. Suspend your dislike of me for a few moments and listen to what I have to say. It makes sense.” 
“I don’t dislike you. It’s an oversimplification.” 

So that’s it for this review then! Go, buy it, and read it. It’s the best advice I can give you. 😉

Rating: 🌙  – Another golden moon! Man, I’m giving these out today!