Thursday, October 3, 2013

COLD BLOODED by Amanda Carlson

Rating: A
Release Date: 10/8/13
Jessica arrives back in town to find her best friend missing and the most powerful witch in the country is blaming her for it. But before they can move to save her, the group is attacked.

On the run, Jessica and Rourke head to the mountains. Several surprises await them, but in order to save her father they are forced to leave for New Orleans early.

Arriving on the Vampire Queen's doorstep unexpectedly, and bringing trouble on their heels, the Sects are thrown into an all out war. The vicious
skirmish ends up forcing the vamps and Jessica to fight on the same team.

The Vamp Queen ends up owing Jessica, but what Jessica doesn't realize is just how soon she'll have to cash it in...

My thoughts on the book:
I had high expectations for Cold Blooded because every book in this series is better than the last. This installment did not disappoint! Aside from a couple of copy editing mistakes (copy editors seem to be getting lazy lately. Every book I read has mistakes), this novel is a perfect continuation of Jessica's story. We get to know more about our favorite characters while being treated to tons of action, romance, and adventure. Cold Blooded will keep you on the edge of your seat from the first page to the very last, and you will be begging for the sequel when you are finished. This is one book you can't miss. 

One of the things I love about this series is that Carlson lets us get to know all of the characters, including secondary characters. Every single character she introduces has his or her own personality, and is a well-developed individual. As the series progresses, Carlson tracks the growth of everyone, not just Jessica. That is not an easy task, and this really shows what a good writer Carlson is. Jessica is a fantastic heroine. She's strong, loyal, and caring. She hates killing, but she will do what she has to do to protect those she loves. However, she always feels remorse afterwards, even if she doesn't regret her actions. She's stubborn, but she also listens to others. She's well-balanced and likable. Rourke is an interesting male lead. As we uncover his mysteries, and we learn quite a bit about him this time around, he becomes more and more complex. While he is heartless in some ways, he shows a lot of heart in others. It's clear he really cares about Jessica, and I am interested to see how he evolves as the series progresses. Naomi comes into her own a bit more in this installment, and I enjoyed getting to know both her and Ray more. Ray is turning into an extremely interesting character, and I can't wait to learn more about him. Each character shines, and I love learning about them all. 

This novel is tightly plotted, and there are no plot holes. The pacing is perfect, and the story itself is action-packed. I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time because I knew every time Jessica got a moment's peace that all hell was about to break loose again - literally. Jessica has a lot of creatures gunning for her, and this leads to a lot of fight scenes and a sense of urgency that carries the reader from one attack to the next. Carlson does a good job of balancing character and relationship development with the action, which makes this novel very well-rounded. We also get introduced to some new creatures, which is nice. The world-building continues and is woven into the story perfectly. Carlson's writing is top-notch. The ending is a cliff-hanger, which I hate because I have no patience. However, I can't wait until the next installment. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book and series to fans of Kelley Armstrong's the Otherworld series, Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series, Kim Harrison's The Hollows series, and Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires series. If you love good Urban Fantasy, then this is a series you don't want to miss. 

Pre-order Cold Blooded!

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