Friday, October 25, 2013

Cathy Reviews: Delia's Shadow + Undead and Unsure

I'm thrilled today to welcome my mother in law Cathy back to the blog to share her thoughts on a couple books she was kind enough to read and review for me!

DELIA'S SHADOW
Delia Martin #1
Jaime Lee Moyer
Paranormal/Historical fiction
336 pages
Tor
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.

It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again.

And who is now aware of Delia’s existence.


CATHY'S THOUGHTS
Delia's Shadow is an engaging and charming historical paranormal romantic mystery. That might sound like quite a task to cover all those genres, but Ms. Moyer does not disappoint. This story is set in San Francisco several years after the 1906 earthquake. Delia has always been able to see ghosts but she feels compelled by her "shadow" to return to San Francisco. At the same time, Gabe, a police detective, is hunting a serial killer targeting the San Francisco area. These two stories eventually cross paths because Delia realizes her ghost was an earlier victim of this killer, and the killer then starts to toy with them as they become his targets.
 

Ms. Moyer is very descriptive in her writing and paints a vivid picture. You are literally dropped into the pages of the story, and can easily feel what it was like to be in that era. She makes you connect with her characters and you truly care about what is happening to them. I am a big mystery buff and Ms. Moyer gives you just enough information to get you a little frustrated, which in turn forces you to keep turning the pages to find out what happens. There is a very nice balance between the mystery and the paranormal; it doesn't feel forced even though we are talking about communicating with ghosts! And remember I did mention the word romance in the opening sentence.
 

There was a line in the book that I thought not only captured the ghosts but also the living characters as well:

They all had secrets or obligations from the life left undone, wrongs they needed set right before they could rest.

This book is well worth taking a little journey to the past. I hope I get to meet Delia and Gabe in a future book.
 

Rating: 4/5

Find Jaime Lee

 

UNDEAD AND UNSURE
Undead #12
MaryJanice Davidson
Adult paranormal romance
320 pages
Berkley Hardcover
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
It’s no surprise to Betsy that her trip to Hell with her sister Laura landed them in hot water. Betsy isn’t exactly sorry she killed the Devil but it’s put Laura in a damnable position: assuming the role of Satan (she may not have the training but she looks great in red)—and in charge of billions of souls as she moves up in the world. Or is that down?

But Betsy herself is in an odd new position as well—that of being a responsible monarch suddenly in charge of all things more earth-bound: like her vampire husband Sinclair who has gone from relieved to ecstatic to downright reckless now that he can tolerate sunlight. And if Sinclair isn’t enough to contend with, Betsy’s best friend Jessica is in her sixth (and hopefully last) trimester. Considering she’s been pregnant for eighteen months, she’s become a veritable encyclopedia of what not to expect when you’re expecting. Oh, the horror…

And speaking of growing pains, Betsy and Sinclair’s adopted little BabyJon is finally starting to walk. And if the increasingly unpredictable toddler is anything like his extended family, precisely where he’s headed is anyone’s guess.


CATHY'S THOUGHTS
I was so happy when Jenny gave me Undead and Unsure. This was a series that I loved but had lost track of (particularly given this is book 12) amongst all the stacks of books in my house. Betsy is now dealing with not only being Queen of the Undead, but since she killed Satan, she might be Queen of Hell! There are several side stories as well: her best friend Jess is mysteriously pregnant, her sister is mad at her for killing Satan and everyone in the house seems to be lacking focus.
 

 I was very glad to find the same sense of humor in this book as I had remembered in the past ones. Also I love how Ms. Davidson writes in first and second person, so you get the feeling that Betsy is actually talking to you about what is happening in her mixed up life.
 

I realized quickly that I was behind on a few details having missed several books between the last on I had read and this one. Ms. Davidson did a good job catching us up but I felt like I missed the nuances that might have occurred in the previous book. I just had the feeling that this book was an intermediate book; that something big happened in the previous book and this story was simply a set up for the next installment. I did enjoy the story enough to want to go back and catch up though, then I will be ready when the next one is published.

Rating: 3.5/5
 

Find MaryJanice:


These books were sent to me by the publisher at BEA  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my (or in this case, Cathy's) honest opinion.

40 comments:

  1. Delia's Shadow sounds really good. I think I will enjoy the historical setting.

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    1. Ms. Moyer was very descriptive and really gave you a feel for the times. I hope you like it

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  2. I loved that quote from Delia's Shadow! And I loved the writing, and the San Francisco setting and everything else about it. The romance was mostly drama-free and the killer truly frightening. I love that Cathy and I often like the same books (Written in Red, just to remind you. :)) Jenny, you have to read this. Romance! Ghosts!
    I lost track of Davidson's series as well. Somehow I'm in no hurry to go back to it.

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    1. A kindred spirit! I love that we have similar tastes. Hopefully I will have more books to add to our piles.

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  3. These are both books that I haven't read yet, but I think that Delia's Shadow would be more my sort of read, even though it isn't something that I would typically pick up. I like the sound of how the author brings everything to life and has you flipping through the book to find out more. Lovely reviews Cathy! :)

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    1. Thanks. If you have to pick one, pick Delia's Shadow. It was well done in all ways. I really enjoyed it.

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  4. I've been hearing so much about Delia's Shadow lately, so I know I just have to read it! I'm so glad you enjoyed it as well - great review!(:

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    1. Glad the review helped you decide on reading Delia's Shadow. Enjoy!

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  5. Hi, Mom Cathy! *waves* Great reviews! That first one, with the crazy mish-mash of genres, definitely sounds intriguing. Love that the author was able to pull it off. The second...was a DNF for me. I loved the first bunch of these books but Betsy's lack of any sort of development and egocentricity did me in. *sigh* I'm now broken up with that series. But I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Mary, thanks for your support. I think you will find Delia's Shadow charming and well written. With the stack of books I know that we both have :} I wouldn't rush on the other either.

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  6. I have heard nothing but glowing reviews for Delia's Shadow, I really want to try it now!
    I haven't read the Undead series yet but I have been really curious about it. Good to see that after 12 books for the most part the series is still doing well. That is hard to come by.

    Have a nice weekend Jenny!!

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    1. Delia's Shadow is charming and engaging and I hope you get to read it. It looks like a long winter so that might give you time to catch up on all 12 of the Undead series :}

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  7. I need to catch up on the undead series. I think I left off on book 7 or something like that. But..GAH! I adore those books. There funny. Awesome review Cathy :)

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    1. I liked how quirky this series is but felt like I missed something by not reading book 11. So I would recommend catching up in order.

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  8. Cathy, I'm so glad you enjoyed Delia's Shadow. A blogger friend of mine recently reviewed it and loved it as well. It seems to have a great balance of genres and a well-written murder mystery sounds right up my alley. I should be getting a copy soon.

    I'm not sure the Undead series would be for me because how incredibly long the series seems. I would never be able to catch up on it. I'm glad to hear that you liked it enough to want to go back to the books you haven't caught up on yet though.

    Lovely reviews! :)

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    1. Thanks Nick, I appreciate the thoughts. If you like murder mysteries you will enjoy Delia's Shadow. I am lucky to have Jenny pass along these good books I might otherwise miss.

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  9. Undead and Unsure look pretty awesome. I mean I havent heard of this series and its 12 books in, I wonder if its anything like Morganville with the number of books. Avtually it reminds me of the Anita Blake books, love those. So glad you enjoyed them, Cathy. Lovely to meet another book lover as well.

    I'm blogging over at my other blog Girl's of YA, Check out a Halloween Event kicking off with The Girl's Paranormal Boys http://girlsofya.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/the-girls-paranormal-guys.html

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  10. Undead and Unsure sounds interesting. I haven't heard of it before, and might check it out. Great review!

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    1. It might be a long winter so a great time to start the series.

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  11. Great reviews Cathy. You have me curious as both of these sound very good.

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    1. Thanks, I am glad I peaked your interest :}

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  12. I'm so behind on the Betsy books! I think I need to keep them in order. As funny as it sounds, I think those do need to be read in order. I so understand why you missed the nuances.

    I agree with you on Delia's Shadow. Did enjoy that one as well. Loved the romance too. I am also looking forward to the next ones. Great reviews!!

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    1. I'm with you on reading that series in order even though the main story is a stand alone, I did feel I missed something. Glad you liked Delia's Shadow and I hope its the first of a series, I loved the characters.

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  13. Oh, Cathy, I really want Delia's Shadow after your lovely review! I'm a huge mystery fan, as well, and if there's a nice romance in it, even better!

    It's nice to see you're still enjoying the Undead series after twelve books! Wow. I think the only other series that's as long that I continue to enjoy is Morganville Vampires which is about to end.. *sobs*

    Great reviews, Cathy! :)

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    1. I always hate it when a good series ends, I just hope to find another to take its place.

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  14. Oh Cathy--you made me really want Delia's Shadow! I think it would be up my alley :)

    I gave on the MJD series awhile ago. Some day I might go back to them but your review made me wish I had stuck with them :)

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    1. It makes me smile that I could share the review, thank you Jenny, and was able to draw you in to read the book.

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  15. I have Deliah's Shadow and this is the third glowing review I have read for it I wanted to feature it for Wicked but it fell through. I will be reading it very soon, though. MJD is a series I want to try, I like that you were able to slip back into the world after skipping a few and you weren't lost. Great reviews, Cathy!

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  16. They both sound like great books, but I really like the sound of Delia's Shadow. A paranormal historical mystery that deals with ghosts? Sign me up. I'll be adding that one to my TBR list immediately. Thanks for the great reviews, Cathy!

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  17. Delia's Shadow is one I really want to read, especially after seeing all the great reviews recently.
    I read the first three or so of the Undead series and it was a series that really didn't work for me. My taste has changed, so it might be different now, but at the time I just thought it was ridiculous. I have enjoyed a lot of humorous PNR or UF since though, so it might be worth trying again.
    I'm glad you enjoyed these!

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  18. I really but really want to read Delia's Show. It sounds so good and San Francisco is a city that has always fascinated me. I would love to see how it looked in the past.
    For the Undead series it does sound really good but I think I'll read it when I get a bit older to enjoy it better.
    Great reviews :)

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  19. Delia's Shadow sounds exactly like my sort of book! You have me eager to pick it up now, Cathy. I especially like the sound of the mystery and how it keeps you turning the pages. I don't think I've heard of Mary Janice Davidson before, but I'll have to check out the first books in the series one day. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  20. I really like the cover of DELIA'S SHADOW for some reason, it's really creepy! I love books set in historical San Francisco, so that's a plus, and the fact that the mystery kept you guessing, is always something I look for. As does romance. I cant' get enough of that :).

    However, I'm not sure that I could ever make it to book 12 in a series! Glad you enjoyed UNDEAD AND UNSURE overall though.

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  21. I haven't heard much about Delia's Shadow but I love its cover. I love historical fiction novels where the author makes you feel as if you're a part of the era that the book is set in so the added paranormal and mystery aspects are just a bonus. I'll be adding this one to my wishlist, Cathy!

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  22. Delia's Shadow is on my review list for November and I am delighted that you enjoyed this trip back in time,. I am rather excited to start it. Undead and Unsure sounds like an ok installment in the series, this is new to me so I will check out the earlier books. Wonderful reviews Jenny!

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  23. Ooh I love that line from Delia's Shadow. It sounds like my kind of read for sure, and the fact that all my trusted blogger pals approve of it makes me all the more excited to read it! And wow, Undead and Unsure is #12? I'm clearly so far behind I can't even see that far ahead right now. It's great that you were able to pick it up after losing track of the series, but I totally understand wanting to go back and catch up. Wonderful reviews Cathy!

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