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Review: Hellborn by Dana Cameron

Hellbender front cover.pngMy reviews often start with pertinent quotes, and Seven Kinds of Hell was no different.

You see what we do to each other over the slightest differences in religion or politics? We beat each other up over baseball games. We’ll kill over the wrong-colored bandana. What would we do faced with the Fangborn? – Adam Nichols, Seven Kinds of Hell

This one quote, more than any other, describes the heart of Dana Cameron’s Fangborn Series. Of course, many Urban Fantasy series address the question of the introduction of hidden beings, whether they be were, vampire, ghoul, or all the other “other” beings of the mythological pantheons. Ms. Cameron addresses the issue in her series – but more than that, especially in this third edition, Hellbender, she goes beyond simply the ‘introduction’ of the mythological to the Normals, but also the whole concept of how reality is designed.

“You’d said you’d been studying . . . the physics of Fangborn abilities?”

“Yeah. Bit o’ this, bit o’ that. Whether how the Change transformation the vampires and werewolves can do is a quantum entanglement of some kind . . . Spooky action at a distance, you know?”

Blood and agony. Fear and death. Zoe never asked for, never wanted, to be a monster, a savior, a weapon beyond comprehension. But she is – and as IDay – Identification Day, the day the Fangborn “come out” comes closer and closer, as those who wish the Fangborn nothing but death gather their forces, danger now comes from an even more deadly direction, as The Makers join the fray. The Makers – beings so advanced they stretch the boundaries of times and space. Did they really create the Fangborn? And for what purpose? To protect the humans, as the Fangborn have always believed and worked towards? Or to destroy them?

Hellborn is, literally, amazing. The story has developed over the last two books with intelligence, exceptional writing, and creative character and world development to match any UF out there today. Yes, even my beloved Kate Daniels series.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own, and this series is well worth your time! Is Hellbender the last in the series? Well, I looked on Dana’s site and didn’t see anything, and it did wrap in such a way that it could be the last – but I certainly hope it isn’t!!

Seven Kinds of Hell http://bit.ly/1DqyMbC

Pack of Strays http://bit.ly/1FqSQdw

Review: Pack of Strays By Dana Cameron – Second From The Fangborn Series

seven
You have GOT to read the Fangborn Series! But start with the first, Seven Kinds of Hell. You will be thrilled you did!

When I received Pack of Strays”  from Netgalley.com I didn’t realize that this was actually the second book in the “Fangborn” series. I had heard very good things about “Fangborn” on-line at goodreads.com, and I was excited to try it. However, finding this was the second, well, what could I do? I ran over to Amazon and grabbed the first, Seven Kinds of Hell.

What can I say, but WOW! The first paragraph of my Seven Kinds of Hell review shows how excited I about the book:

One thing you must know about this book before walking into the story is this – you hold in your hand not some simple, See Jane Run, Run Jane Run novel. If you are looking for minimal world building, simplistic answers, and only two or three characters with clear-cut goals, this book isn’t for you. It is so far out of the “let’s just do mindless entertainment” wheelhouse you can’t even see it from the top of the Pharos Lighthouse.

I love, well, adore actually, books with depth of world building, complex questions and characters, and far-from-mindless entertainment. Well, not always – sometimes we just want to have fun, right? But with “Seven Kinds of Hell,” the excitement kept me engrossed from the first page to the last. And Pack of Strays? Oh, yes. Zoe Miller’s life isn’t getting any easier. If anything, her life is becoming more and more complicated as she not only learns more about who she is, and why, but also how important she apparently is within this weird, wild world she now inhabits.  A deadly world.

Ms. Cameron once again amazes with her depth of historical and archaeological knowledge. While Zoe stayed mostly on the East Coast in the last book, this time she globe trots to some of the most beautiful, and fascinating, cities in the world. Copenhagen to Istanbul, her search for the artifacts which call to her lead her to mysterious places and people, while transformations to her very being change her in such a way that even the other Fangborn do not understand what is happening – but they do know they don’t like it. But why?

If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul. – Alphonse de Lamartine

The ending was both shocking and startling, and the worse part of it is that now I have to wait for the next book! Zoe started out the series as just another budding archaeologist, doing the grunt-work, labeling and storing and basically living in the basement of the Boston Museum. What a terrifying change, as she discovers not only that werewolves and vampires and oracles (oh, my!) are real, but they are nothing like Hollywood would have you believe – and she just might be the only hope of saving them all.

With friends becoming enemies, and enemies becoming possible friends, Zoe is stretched beyond anything she has ever believed possible. Will she learn who, and what, her mother was? And is her unknown father possibly still alive? The suspense, action, and depth of the characters will keep you reading into the wee hours!

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Five stars? Nah – read them both, one after another and if you love the same kind of books I do, I absolutely expect you to give it a Perfect Ten!

Highly recommended. This book was provided to me by Netgalley in return for a realistic review, and I very much appreciate it!

Review: Seven Kinds of Hell – Dana Cameron – Archeological Thriller

This is a gift, it comes with a price
Who is the lamb, and who is the knife? – Florence & The Machine, Rabbit Heart

“This belonged to my sister-in-law,” Prometheus explained. “Pandora.”

A lump formed in my throat. “As in Pandora’s box?”

Prometheus shook his head. “I don’t know how this box business got started. It was never a box. It was a pithos, a storage jar. I suppose Pandora’s pithos doesn’t have the same ring to it.” ― Rick Riordan, The Last Olympian

 You see what we do to each other over the slightest differences in religion or politics? We beat each other up over baseball games. We’ll kill over the wrong-colored bandana. What would we do faced with the Fangborn? – Adam Nichols, Seven Kinds of Hell

seven
Click to purchase the book – that is, if you are ready for it – – – this is one kick-ass ride!

One thing you must know about this book before walking into the story is this – you hold in your hand not some simple, See Jane Run, Run Jane Run novel. If you are looking for minimal world building, simplistic answers, and only two or three characters with clear-cut goals, this book isn’t for you. It is so far out of the “let’s just do mindless entertainment” wheelhouse you can’t even see it from the top of the Pharos Lighthouse. Instead, this is a book of complexities. Of unknown alliances, political convolutions, archeological mysteries, and xenophobic hatreds worthy of any Shakespearian play. Families destroy one another, blood is spilled, and there is avarice, sociopathy, vigilantism, viciousness, and political infighting enough to fulfill any Roman Senate chamber. No, if your idea of a good book is simplicity, walk away now.

Ah, but if you are like me – if you long for convolutions, for amazing world-building, a plethora of characters with both known and unknown agendas, a modern storyline with tentacles reaching back to the beginnings of time, a deep understanding of the history, archeology and stories of the cradles of civilization, rejoice, my friend! For Dana Cameron’s words will reach out to you, grab your mind and inject it with adrenaline, force you to pay attention, to learn, and to madly mark up whole paragraphs in order that you might research the lands and stories she portrays. It. Was. AWESOME!!!

Of course, the idea that there are creatures in this world, those who call themselves the Fangborn, calls to my love of all things fantasy. And Ms. Cameron’s concepts of fantastical creatures are not simplistic either. “Vampires” harken back to the snake goddesses of Knossos and Minoa rather than being the more Germanic wall crawlers popular in modern literature. There is no disturbing of the laws of physics as werewolves retain their mass when changed, and, gratefully, their clothes! Rather than burning in the sun, these vampires crave the sunshine, as do their snake cousins, and use their fangs to heal, and their powers of mind control to protect. Very different than what one normally would expect – but then, Ms. Cameron also makes grand use of various animal entities from history, from the Egyptian Anubis to the Greek Medusa.

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. – Mahatma Gandhi

History is about to change, worlds are set to collide, and humans are, of course, acting like humans – and not exactly in a good way. No, you will not learn who all the characters are and what their alliances are in this volume of the story. Who exactly are the Fangborn who first approach Zoe? Who, or what, is Download and from where do his powers spring? Is Adam really to be trusted, or merely a mercenary, willing to change sides on a whim? More importantly, exactly who and what was Zoe’s father – and apparently more importantly, her mother? The book ends with the answers in Zoe’s hands, in a thin, coffee stained folder. Is it the truth? Is it a lie? Only time will tell. Well, and the next volume, should help of course! Pack of Strays comes out on April 15, 2014 (only a few days away, Hooray!) and my finger was hot on the preorder button. Shh, don’t tell anyone, but no matter what book is next on my spreadsheet, that one gets moved to the top!

I received this book from Justin Golenbock at 47North and Netgalley in return for a realistic review. All comments are my own and reflect my own interests. I want to thank Justin for this marvelous opportunity and look forward to reading the next book in the series!

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