Review: The Demon Hunter

The Demon Hunter
The Demon Hunter by Lori Brighton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ellie has always been different, from playing with fairies as a child to fighting demons as an adult. She grew up wondering why no one else seemed to notice the oddities of the world that she came into contact with on a daily basis. When she is the only witness of a demon attack and the police suspect her, Ellie skips the country heading to England where she plans to keep a low profile. Everything is going fine, until Devon appears, stumbling around her garden like a drunken fool, and completely naked no less.

Six months ago Devon sacrificed himself to bind the soul of a demon and save the world from certain destruction. Thanks to a spell gone awry, Devon is back. But Devon hasn’t come alone. The very demon he tried to destroy has returned and is wreaking havoc on earth. When Devon meets Ellie, he instantly recognizes another supernatural being. Ellie may just be the only person who is strong enough to destroy the demon, if the demon doesn’t destroy her first.

A good follow up to Ms. Brighton’s The Ghost Hunter.

Once again we are taking back into Ms/ Brighton’s Paranormal England to pick up where she left off in The Ghost Hunter.

Devon, is a Victorian raised man brought back to life in the 21st century. Former warrior of god, he sacrificed himself to allow the h/h in the previous book to have their HEA. We finally get to learn what makes Devon tick, more about his family and also his ill-fated first wife. His backstory is important, because it explains how his feelings lead to his protection of Ellie.

Ellie is an American, who like in The Ghost Hunter, has come to England (but unlike the Ghost Hunter she’s avoiding the police). Ellie is a fun character who fights her attraction and eventually her feelings for Devon. Of course, the information she learns about her self at the same time, doesn’t help her confidence in their budding romance.

This book moves beyond the plot to destroy the demon and really focuses on Ellie and Devon finding their inner strength. Devon to not just accept a modern woman, but a meddling do it herself modern woman. And Ellie finding the strength to control her powers and save the day.

There are a few twists in the book including another romance, a death of a character, and betrayal, which keep the plot from slowing down. I was also happy with the final twist at the very end and look forward to more books along this series.

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Review: Haunted Warrior

Haunted Warrior
Haunted Warrior by Allie Mackay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kendra Chase is exhausted from her work as a ghost whisperer, so she’s been looking forward to her vacation in Edinburgh. But work awaits her as the tiny fishing village is being excavated, and supernatural uprisings have been reported.

Graeme MacGrath knows the source of the psychic trouble. The excavation is disrupting the protective veil between this world and darker, more ancient ones. He hates to admit it but he will need the fetching Kendra and her paranormal abilities to save the town he loves from unspeakable evil.

I have read Ms. Mackay’s previous paranormal books (Highlander in My Bed, etc) and really enjoyed them. This is a companion book (which does mention one of the other books characters) and a very similar concept as her previous books.

The heroine Kendra, is essentially a ghost whisperer. She goes into historical areas and crosses/soothes the restless spirits. Usually so that new construction of some sort can go on. Beyond her ghost abilities, I didn’t feel her character was well developed, unlike the heroines in previous novels. She’s pretty plain and forgettable.

Graeme is the more interesting of the two and you see more of his characters depth and strength. Especially in his love for animals, including his dog and the seals native to the area. You also understand how deep his conviction to safeguard his home and community runs.

There was great potential in this book which was undeveloped. The story built up the idea of a strong villain only to have the showdown between him and Graeme be so unremarkable, boring, and anti-climatic it leaves a pallor over the rest of the story.

While the romance is touching with good interaction and flow between the couple, the meandering path the plot takes hurts this book. You think your going to get a nasty villain driving this couple to the brink and all you end up with is an annoying fly to swat.

All in all, not one of the better books in these related series. Her earlier Highlander books are better with stronger plots. I am hoping she will bounce back with the next one.

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The Woman in Black – Movie *spoilers inside*

Went and saw The Woman in Black movie tonight.  While the story veers from the book in many places, I found the movie portray the gothic suspense better than the book.  Eel Marsh house as a setting was extremely creepy and foreboding both inside and out.  The film did an excellent job of keeping the suspense going by not overdoing things jumping out at you.

The creepiest part of the film though was the way they portrayed the children dying.  In fact, the horror of what is going on with this town starts right from the opening scene of the Inn’s triplet girls playing in the attic.  Then blank looks take over their faces, they tromp over their china dolls, breaking them, open the windows and jump out of them.  It really sets the tone for the rest of the film.

I did not prefer the end of this film.  I actually thought that the ending of the novel, as well as how the premesis of the novel with the main character telling the story years later), conformed more with the gothic horror theme than the film.    The film showed the woman in black collecting the children’s souls (ghosts) as the aim of taking their lives.  At the end of the film, both Arthur and his son are killed by a train and reunited with his wife (who in the film dies in childbirth), thus not allowing the woman to collect his son’s soul.

I am not one for horror movies, but I am a sucker for a good ghost story, along the lines of the 1944 film The Uninvited, The Lady in White (I remember watching the 1988 film as a youngster), and even Poltergeist.  The Woman in Black is worthy of being put in the same category as The Uninvited.  If you are a fan of gothic movies or good ghost stories, this is a must see!

Review: The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I thought this book was okay for a gothic horror. The first half of the book was very detailed and a bit wordy, which made the story move along slowly. The second half of the book moved much better, but was neither scary or suspenseful. I just kept waiting for more to happen. The ending was given away due to the excessive amount of detail given by the author. Thus I was sitting at the end of the book saying don’t do that, knowing exactly what the outcome would be.

I can see how someone could take this book and make a good movie adaptation from it. In fact, I would expect the movie to tap much more into the gothic horror genre then this book has. The book, sadly just fell flat. No need to worry that this ghost tale will keep you up at night, the book shouldn’t inspire any fear.

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Define addiction, Legacy Book Review

ADDICTION: continued involvement with a substance or activity despite the negative consequences associated with it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addiction)

Of course this is what books have always been for me.  Why else would I still be up until 2:30am, engrossed in a book and unable to put it down?  Thankfully, not all books do this to me, but when a story grips me, it’s impossible for my mind to let go and relax without seeing the ending.

Hence Legacy by Jeanette Baker. Along the lines of The Face of the Maiden, this is another ghostly tale (albeit set in the early 1990’s) where the story appears through dreams/visions to the heroine. The book tells the story of 4 women, related by ancestry, a curse, and the Famed Destiny Stone of Scotland. Essentially, it seems like the same set of lovers repeating their tragic lives over and over until they get it right. While I found the first tale to drag on, it was understandable as the focus was also on the present day hero/heroine. The book was very well written and did not give away some of the twists immediately when they appeared (though many will figure them out before they are completely revealed).

In comparison to the previous night’s book, I felt this novel was a better rendition of a way to bring a romantic ghost story to life. I was completely engrossed and couldn’t devour the page fast enough. Of course I created my own atmosphere with a thunderstorm outside and rain/lightning program on my lightning bug.

Even better, this was a book I picked up for free for my kindle. It’s nice to take a no lose chance on a book and get rewarded with a home run!

Never read a ghost story when spending the night in a strange place, The Face of the Maiden book review

As it just keeps you up way to late.  But alas, it was time to finish reading The Face of the Maiden by Emma Wildes.  It is a more classic gothic romance, complete with ghostly attacks, long-lost lovers, and of course, with all romances, a present day (regency era) hero/heroine.

I loved the ghost story and the way the author moved through this story line.  It made me look forward to each new chapter and further development of the ghostly adventure.

As for the hero/heroine, I found their story  less developed and the focus more on the secondary characters.  I didn’t feel this plot (jealous brother and an almost fiancée) added much to the story and seemed like filler.  I instead would have liked to seen the plot stay focused more on the ghostly encounters and the history of the family.  There was much more that could have been done to delve deeper into the more gothic/paranormal elements of the story, especially with a very rational extremely responsible hero and a young impressionable heroine.

All in all I enjoyed the story and it reminded me of why I have always liked reading this genre.