Tag Archives: werewolves

Werewolves and zombies and romance, oh my!

survive to dawn

Title: Survive to Dawn

Author: P.J. Schnyder

Series: Books three of London Undead

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Source: Galley received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewer: Kristen R.

London is overrun by zombies but the epidemic has been contained to the city. The local werewolf pack is in charge and holding steady, but it is only a matter of time before things spread outside the containment barrier.

Deanna, a human, comes to London with a research team to try to find a badly needed cure along with a more personal reason that she is reluctant to reveal. When the team refuses to follow the rule of not caging the zombies, even for scientific reason, they are left unprotected and alone.  They are soon slaughtered by the undead. Deanna is the lone survivor and that is only because Danny, the pack medic, rescues her from certain death. The pair share an instant attraction and they are not shy about admitting it to each other.

Deanna is determined to find a cure for the zombie plague and so is Danny, but will Danny be willing to go against the Alpha’s orders to obtain it? How far will he go to help this woman that he has just met and what if the Alpha is wrong about should be allowed to be used to find a cure?

This is the concluding volume of P.J. Schnyder’s London Undead trilogy. Most people would think that romance novels and zombie plagues cannot go together, but those people are wrong. Schnyder has done a fine job of it. There is some violence and gross zombie stuff, but it is not overwhelming if you are not terribly squeamish.

The series is composed of three novellas, so Schnyder has to fit a lot of character development into a short amount of time for each one. She pulls this off admirably. In this story the relationship between the characters is able to develop within the time restraints since they are both logical thinkers and quickly admit to the attraction that they feel for each other. However, I do wish that the books were longer so that I could spend more time in this world. The story leaves things open ended so the world could be revisited. Let’s hope that it is!

Each of the stories of the trilogy are unique, so reading this did not feel repetitious, which is my main complaint when I read many paranormal romance series. The characters are honest about their feelings towards each other, accept them and move along. No moping or resisting what they were feeling after they logically worked through it.

When Deanna reveals her additional motivations for showing up in London it leads the pair to different parts of the city and they interact with some nasty vampires. We get some resolution as to the cause of the zombies and why it is centered in London. Of course, I won’t give that away here, but I thought it was creative.

My Rating:

4 out of 5 bookmarks. If you are up for a paranormal romance that is a bit gruesome at times (it is about zombies and werewolves, after all) and is a quick but entertaining read, go for it! You need not have read the previous stories to enjoy this, but if you pick them up you will be glad that you did.

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Review of Sing for the Dead

Sing for the Dead (London Undead, #2)

Title: Sing for the Dead

Author: P.J. Schnyder

Series: London Undead #2

Genre: Paranormal Romance (Adult)

Format: eARC

Reviewer: Kristen Rinaldo

Synopsis:

London is crawling with zombies and nobody knows why. Werewolves and other were-creatures help the human police keep the zombies and stupid zombie hunting humans under control.

Kayden is a were-leopard living in zombie infested London.  Though a loner by nature, he is allied with the London werewolf pack and aids in patrols. Sorcha is the child of a Baen-sidhe and a mortal, cursed to carry the battle rage of her berserker father. She is a half-fae warrior sent by the Court of Light to investigate the danger that the zombies may pose to the fae.

Some of the zombies are moving in coordinated attacks, the likes of which have not been observed before. Sorcha agrees to temporarily team up with the were-creatures, specifically Kayden, to investigate the reason for the new zombie behavior.

Review:

This is book two of the London Undead series. I am the kind of girl who does not like to start reading a book in the middle of a series, so I began with the first story, Bite Me. This was a good investment of my time and money because it gave me a fuller understanding of the setting and I got to read the story of Seth and Maisie, who are great characters.

That being said, this story can easily stand alone.  The author incorporates enough back story so that reading the first book is not necessary, but it is highly suggested because it is well written and enjoyable.

Sorcha’s internal struggle is compelling.  She has berserker tendencies and is ashamed of her lust for violence:

“And that was her shame, wasn’t it? Violence sang through her blood – the mortal part of her heritage surging to the fore at the mere memory of the earlier fight. More.  She needed more.”

With the help of Kayden, who is not ashamed of his own violent tendencies, Sorcha can start to come to terms with who she is.

Schnyder’s writing style is engaging.  Characters each have a unique voice. As the point of view alternates between Kayden and Sorcha the voices are distinct. The descriptions of London and the parks in which some of the action takes place are very well done:

“The trees in Kensington Gardens were bare skeletons this deep into the winter in London—sleeping, but restless, tugging at her heart. Would the trees be too sickened to bring forth new life after the roots had bathed in blood?”

Rating:

4 out of 5 bookmarks. This is an original take on zombies, which was refreshing.  I recommend this book for anyone who is not too bothered by zombies.  This really is more of a horror romance novel, which is just fine with me.  I only wish it was a little longer so that I could spend more time with the characters and their world, though the current length does not make the story seem rushed or incomplete. I hope the author will set a full length novel in this world but I will happily buy another novella length work in this series.

 

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Review: Mercy Thompson: Moon Called, Volume 1

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Title: Mercy Thompson: Moon Called, Volume 1 (Mercedes Thompson Graphic Novels #1: part 1 of 2)

Author: Written by Patricia Briggs & David Lawrence, Artwork & collection cover by Amelia Woo

Genre: Urban Fantasy Graphic Novel (Rated T+, suggested for teens and up)

ISBN: 9781606902035

Reviewer: Kristen Rinaldo

Summary:

Mercy Thompson likes to spend her days working on cars at her shop in the Tri-City area of Washington.  Mercy is a walker and can shapeshift into a coyote. When Mac, a 16-year old werewolf on the run, appears asking for a job, Mercy pities him and decides to help. Strange men attempt to kidnap Mac and she is forced to take actions that involves Adam, the local pack’s Alpha.  Soon after, Adam is attacked and his daughter is kidnapped leading Mercy to become involved in werewolf business.

Favorite quote:

“In this house we eat out cookie dough like civilized women- with a spoon.”

Review:

I am not a frequent reader of graphic novels but I like Patricia Briggs so I decided to give this one a try.  While this is not as good as the book from which it is adapted, it is entertaining, gets the main story across and the artwork is generally appealing.

Artwork:

I realize that it is not likely that an artist’s interpretation of a character will match what he or she looks like in my head.  That being said, I thought that some of the male characters, particularly Adam, were strange looking and not nearly as attractive as they were described in the novels.   This will not be the vision of Adam that is in my head when I read about him in the future.

The drawings of the wolves and coyote were awkward. I imagine that the coyote should be slimmer and smaller than the wolves but it was hard to see the difference between the two species and they almost looked like the same type of animal. In some scenes the manner in which the animals were positioned and interacted with their surroundings was unnatural.  There was one scene where Mercy, as a coyote, was jumping over a fence and the position of her legs looked more like she was flying in a standing position rather than leaping.

On a positive note, the characters’ faces are expressive, adding to their personalities and enhancing the story. Nudity is tastefully done.  It is present in the sense that when a person shape-shifts their clothes do not shift with them, but it is not graphic or distracting.

While I am a novice graphic novel reader I was able to follow the setup of the panels once I realized how they were meant to be read.  The panels do not always follow a straight left to right reading pattern, which is not a problem once you realize the flow. The fact that it took some getting used to is not the fault of the graphic novel , as it was due to my personal inexperience.

Story:

The story is easy to follow and the basic plot elements come through clearly. The interplay between text and visual meshed well and enhanced one another.

In this adaptation the reader gets a glimpse of Mercy’s personality. There is a sense that she has an independent streak and a snarky sense of humor.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the other characters. However, this is only the beginning of the story and this is an introduction to the people in Mercy’s world.  Mercy, being the main character, is rightfully the most fully developed.

There is a “Bonus Chapter” at the end of the book that tells Mac’s story of the night of the dance when everything changed for him.  The story is very short, not terribly deep and the artwork is not good at all. It is nice to have a little more information about how Mac came to be in his predicament, but the artwork was a big turnoff.

Rating:

3 out 5 bookmarks.  The story was clear and hit the main plot points and the visual element interplayed well with the text, but the artwork was at times awkward and most of the characters felt flat.

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