Broken (Women of the Otherworld 6) by Kelley Armstrong Monday, Feb 20 2012 

Title: Broken (Women of the Otherworld 6)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
ISBN: 1841493422
Publisher: Orbit
First Published: 2006
No. of pages: 444 pages

Rating: 4/5

Book 6 in Kelley Armstrong’s supernatural series marks the return of werewolf Elena Michaels from Bitten and Stolen. When half-demon Xavier calls in the favour Elena owes him, it seems easy enough – steal Jack the Ripper’s ‘From Hell’ letter away from a Toronto collector who had himself stolen it from the Ripper evidence boxes in the Metropolitan Police files. But nothing in the supernatural world is ever as simple as it seems. Elena accidentally triggers a spell placed on the letter, and manages to tear an opening that leads into the nether regions of Victorian London. Toronto may be looking for a tourism boost, but ‘Gateway to Hell’ isn’t quite the new slogan the city had in mind…

This was a very welcome return to the lycanthropic inhabitants of Stonehaven (they have been relegated more to the background over the last three installments in the series) and although I didn’t feel this quite lived up to Bitten and Stolen, it came pretty close! There were times that I felt Elena was perhaps being a little reckless for someone who is pregnant and very vocal on the subject of being careful whilst carrying her child and this detracted a little from the reality that Armstrong has carefully constructed as a home to her characters.

The supernatural aspect of the Ripper legend was a nice twist on an old and well-loved theme, and there was the element of sleuthing as well as the usual thrills, chills and spills you’d expect from the Women of the Otherworld series.

All in all, Broken is an excellent addition to the WotOW catalogue and I very much look forward to seeing how Armstrong further develops her characters in future novels.


Undead and Unwed (Undead / Queen Betsy 1) by Maryjanice Davidson Monday, Feb 20 2012 

Title: Undead and Unwed
Author: Maryjanice Davidson
ISBN: 0749936452
Publisher: Piatkus
First Published: 2004
No. of pages: 280

Rating: 3/5

‘The day I died started out bad and got worse in a hurry…’ It’s been a hell of a week for Betsy Taylor. First she loses her job. Then she’s killed in a freak accident only to wake up as a vampire. On the plus side, being undead sure beats the alternative. She now has superhuman strength and an unnatural effect on the opposite sex. But what Betsy can’t handle is her new liquid diet…And whilst Betsy’s mother and best-friend are just relieved to find out that being dead doesn’t mean Betsy’s can’t visit, her new ‘night-time’ friends have the ridiculous idea that Betsy is the prophesied vampire queen. The scrumptious Sinclair and his cohorts want her help in overthrowing the most obnoxious power-hungry vampire in five centuries. (A Bella Lugosi wannabe who seen one to many B-movies.) Frankly Betsy couldn’t care less about vamp politics. But Sinclair and his followers have a powerful weapon in their arsenal – unlimited access to Manolo Blahnik’s spring collection. Well, just because a girl’s dead – er…undead – doesn’t mean she can’t have great shoes…

Betsy is exactly what you want in a Vampire Queen – smart, sassy, sexy and a whole lot of other words beginning with “S”. Davidson’s sense of humour is dark, wicked and verging on the ridiculous, but it never seems forced and the tone is always kept light. The plot is fast-paced and the characters are engagingly quirky and all too human – even the ones who aren’t human any more.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted giggle on your holiday, you could do a lot worse than to pick this one up at the airport. And look out for the rest of the series, as it looks set to be well worth a giggle!