‘I’ve got you, under my skin….’ tough travel

Posted On 21 August 2014

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments Dropped 22 responses

This Thursday Nathan of the Fantasy Review Barn is taking us travelling once again through the tropes of fantasy.  The theme this week is:

‘SHAPESHIFTING is frequent among both WERES and MAGIC USERS. The usual form taken is that of a WOLF, but lions, eagles, serpents, owls, and cats are common too. In all cases the rule is that the shapeshifter cannon stay too long in animal form without actually becoming that animal.’

  1. The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne.  This is an incredibly entertaining series.  The main characters being Atticus and his dog Oberon.  There’s a little bit of everything in this series and it’s all written with a great sense of humour that make it easy and quick to read.  I’m choosing Atticus for this as he is able to shapeshift into a bird or a dog.
  2. Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier – an interesting take on the werewolf theme involving magic (that can only be used by ‘pures’.  The shapeshifters in the story are more like very large dogs than wolves.  The world they inhabit is unknown to most humans.  Vampires have been destroyed and there are few original Weres left.  The ethos here is different as the moon is not the significant ‘changing’ factor.  The people who shapeshift are constantly struggling between their human and inner beast with emotions usually dictating who the winner will be.  I quite liked this and I’m interested to see where it goes next although I did have a few issues  – the age of the young girl being one bone of contention for me.
  3. Firelight by Sophie Jordan – now, I liked this but I didn’t love it but I had to include it this week (this comes from my ‘mainly reading YA years’) – the book is based on an unknown race of people known as Draki – who basically can shift into dragons.  I love the concept.  DRAGONS!  However, I did have issues with this book.  I struggled with the whole physics of the thing but more than than there is the inevitable love triangle!  I think this is probably one of the main reasons why I now avoid books with romance!
  4. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce – A fairytale retelling based on Little Red Riding Hood.  Another YA (lets just face it – vampires and shapeshifters became only too popular after a certainly spangly bloodsucker hit the shelves!).  I did like this one though.  I like retold fairy tales and this one has some really gross, nasty, smelly and vicious wolves – known as fenris – who attract innocent young girls with their handsome exteriors, until they change into monsters!
  5. The Last Werefolf by Glen Duncan – Jake Marlowe – is he the last werewolf?? Maybe.  He kicks off the story with a large dose of depression – as only being the last in your species can inspire!  I had mixed feelings for this book I must confess.  I think i was probably harsher on it than it deserved but I wasn’t overly keen on Jake.  Part of me wanted to really like it and part of me just didn’t.  On reflection I think that a few of the bigger problems I had were supposed to be a reflection of Jake’s nature – so one minute fairly lucid and well spoken, the next a sex driven beast who must go in search of victims.  It’s definitely a dark and bloody read.
  6. Patricia Briggs Mercedes series – I had to go there!  I’m trying to find different weres and Mercedes becomes a Coyote after all.  This is a really good dark fantasy series that I really enjoy.
  7. The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger – Victorian steampunk with dirigibles, parasols with gadgets, vampires and werewolves.  Very funny and well told tales following Alexia – who has the strange ability to reverse (temporarily by using touch only) magic and supernatural abilities – which is sometimes inconvenient given that the main man of the story (and love interest) is a shapeshifting werewolf.

Honourable mentions:

Harry Potter – Sirius – becomes a large black dog,  It’s become a ‘thing’ – I have to mention either HP or LoTR every week!

22 Responses to “‘I’ve got you, under my skin….’ tough travel”

  1. jessicabookworm

    Sadly can’t really mention Lord of the Rings in this category but could have Beorn from The Hobbit 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      I cannot believe I forgot Beorn!! Kicking myself for that one.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    Another Soulless entry! 🙂 That’s the only one of these I’ve read. Absolutely love the cover for Sisters Red!!

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it’s a very striking cover. It’s not a bad fairy tale retelling and the wolves in the book are pretty horrible!
      Lynn 😀

  3. Nathan

    You have three series that I have read the first book of and stopped: Souless, Iron Druid, and Mooncalled. And I have read nothing else from your list. Except Potter of course.

    • lynnsbooks

      Of course to Potter – I was well pleased with myself for getting Rowling on the list – but then I was equally kicking myself for not getting Beorn from The Hobbit – a chance to have Tolkien goes by!!!
      Lynn 😀

  4. lipsyy

    I’ve had The Last Werewolf to read for ages but I keep forgetting about it. You just reminded me!

    • lynnsbooks

      I’ve only read the first one. I found it annoying in places but then having thought about it after finishing I think a lot of the things I found annoying were meant to have that effect – which I suppose is quite cunning of the author really! I’ll be interested to see what you make of it if you do pick up.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Bookwraiths

    No fair. As a non-UF reader, this category has just stumped me all week. 😦 Great list though.

    • lynnsbooks

      You realise that we could have had Beorn from The Hobbit – kicking myself over that one!! Towers should be fun next week.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Such a huge variety of titles this week! I’m surprise Parasol Protectorate seems to be making a lot of the lists including mine, but I’ve only read the first one too. Mercy Thompson and Iron Druid Chronicles are also UF shapeshifter awesomeness. Haven’t read a lot of the others on the list, but I do have Black Dog I want to check out!

    • lynnsbooks

      I do love Mercedes and Atticus – they really are excellent series!
      I quite liked Black Dog – it definitely is YA and I had a bit of irritation with one aspect but otherwise I’m still probably going to continue with the next one and see how it continues.
      Lynn 😀

  7. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

    I have to admit I did not like Sisters Red. I did enjoy Black Dog – I didn’t have an issue with the girls age but I think I’m kind of strange in that respect since most folks did have an issue with her age and those of the men that were after her.

    I want to read those Gail Carriger books – I just need to get on with it!

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I think it’s not a problem with her age – more the decision that she HAS to reach by the time she’s 16 and the bossy men that she seems to be surrounded by! I wanted to slap them (sometimes at least!)
      You should read the Carriger books – I think you would like the witty writing.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Danya @ Fine Print

    I read Firelight too! And yes, that love triangle was horrible.Although I did get a perverse thrill from the moment when the protagonist (can’t remember her name) is in her would-be bf’s house and see the lamp made out of dragon skin. So gruesome.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I’m about all done with love triangles now! REALLY HAD ENOUGH OF THEM! And yes to the gruesome dragon skin! eugh
      Lynn 😀

  9. Kathleen

    I started the Parasol Protectorate series… still reading the third book!

    • lynnsbooks

      I never finished the series – which I really must do – the first 2 or 3 were the best I think.
      Lynn 😀

  10. jenclair

    I got through the first three books in the Parasol Protectorate, but only really loved the first one. I will have to look into the others–I’m fond of shape shifters 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      I’m fond of shape shifters too. I read up to 4 of the Gail Carriger series – the first three were the best. I haven’t finished it to be honest but probably will at some point.
      Lynn 😀

  11. Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens

    Ahh! All of these books are new to me. But I am really interested about Sisters Red, The Last Werewolf and Black Dog. Would have also considered Firelight but the love triangle immediately stopped me. No! No! No! But it’s about DRAGONS! Darn it!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, stick with the 3 you’ve chosen. I like the Little Red Riding Hood retelling because the wolves are handsome men who turn into really nasty beasts. The last werewolf is very dark and gritty. Black Dog is a whole new concept. The dragon idea is good but the love triangle is a turn off. So sick of love triangles.
      Lynn 😀

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