Sweet Vernal Zephyr

Succinct Book Reviews
(aka Creating & Whit)

Hello & Welcome to Sweet Vernal Zephyr Reviews

Breeze with me across the pages of fantasy and romance...

I AM NO LONGER REVIEWING but please enjoy my past reviews. SVZ 2014

Below is an outline of my current review format.

Please Note: My reviews can appear slightly caustic, but take heart dear berated authors...
I only review books that stick with me! <--- This is a compliment. *wink*

Title & Author

Promotional blurb & Illustration

• with hyperlink

Cover art critique
• As a graphic artist, I just can't leave the darn covers alone.
• Some of them BEG for comment.
• I also am aware that authors usually have very little control over cover art, so enjoy my snarky comments and smile.

• Listing by importance of paranormal elements throughout

• When paranormality is not relevant, usually in a historical

• When paranormality is not relevant, usually in a contemporary

• 'Cause a girl's gotta know what to expect!

Audio Review
• Observations on the style of oration during an audiobook

• Not a synopsis
• Constructive criticism <-- b="" note.="" please="">
• A review of outstanding points with limited spoilers

Favorite Scene

Various Excerpt Links

My work "book club" is active once again. It's not really a book club in the traditional sense, more like a book club on steroids. We work at a college and choose a book for incoming freshmen to read. So at any one time I am reading 3 books out of a selection of 35 being read throughout the group.

Currently, I have The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains by Nicholas Carr running on audiobook. This scientific theory on technology influencing our mental evolution is pretty darn informative but the backstory/corroborating evidence meanders for hours. If you are engaged in the subject, you willingly trip down those bunny trails, but a high school senior on summer break - no way. This non-fiction has a high skim probability.

Also on my coffee table is the memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Trail by Cheryl Stayed in hardback. Initial conversation in the group had me on the fence, but now that I am digging into the story I'm sure I will fly through it once I give myself a nice chunk of time to sit and read. It has the potential to be dark and dirty, but even though there is some underside of life stuff mentioned (sex, drugs, adultery, abortion), the focus is on the journey (so far) and her mental evolution. Still not sure the freshmen will love it but it's a maybe at the moment.

Anyone else had a taste of these two books?

BLURB: It’s a typical day at work for Anita Blake, if your day job is raising the dead, and being a U. S. Marshal for the preternatural branch. One phone call changed everything. It was from the mother of one of her live-in boyfriends. Micah Callahan’s father was in the hospital and he was dying. Micah had been estranged from his family for years, but now, his mother wants Anita to bring the prodigal son home for a last good-bye.

Anita thinks it’s going to be a tearful trip down memory lane, until she learns that Sheriff Callahan was attacked on the job by a zombie. The bite is rotting him from the inside out, as if it’s turning him into a zombie while he’s still alive, but Anita knows zombies and they aren’t contagious. But something is killing Micah’s father, and he’s not the only victim. And there are the missing persons, far too many to explain away. While Micah deals with his family, Anita is pulled into a case so terrible she has to call for back up from friends and lovers that are no more human than the some of the monsters they’re hunting, and even that isn’t enough. Edward, Death himself, comes with badge and flamethrower to watch over his friend, Anita Blake, while she fights for her life and the lives of those she loves.

Normality: Family crisis, Police, Relationships, Politics

Paranormality: Zombies, Vampires, Weres

Violence: Graphic Gore, Guns, Fire

Sexuality: MF, MFM, MM kissing
*A personal preface: I'm an Anita Blake junkie. I've reread her series twice now and am planning on make a third round.  

Initially, I was driven by my love of the characters. Then, I just felt a need to refresh the complicated mess of plot lines. Now, I kind just want to see what I've been missing - chart and graph style. That's right. I'm gonna tear this series apart.  

There are holes, lots of them. Kinda like real life, but I so don't like being left hanging. For years. 

This newest installment is pretty trendy with a heavy focus on zombies. For those of you not familiar with Anita, she's always played with zombies. That's her natural born talent. Luckily, zombies are hot right now.

Unfortunately, the cover is in synch with the rest of the latest redesign on her series and does nothing to draw in those new trendy readers. No gory blood, or rotting zombies chasing beautiful pulpy girls.

* Even though it has been well over a year since I've picked up Anita Blake and her paranormal harem, I was immediately weighted down by the glaring formula and repetitive backstory.

Hamilton has gotten a little better with her backstory, not quite smashing loyal readers over the head with it and integrating it into the current story more smoothly than in the past.

* But the formulaic writing, ugg! You gotta have a plan. I totally understand that. But why can I see it? Perhaps, I'm not being drawn in by the little details. I've already heard them over and over again. They are part of the Anita-verse in my head.

* And it's not just the backstory that's reptative. It's Anita! The same issues come up over and over again that have been solved over and over again. *sigh*

I know this sounds like a rant, but only partially. I love Anita and the gang. And this round gets extremely gory and mushy. A large number of our key players are in action along with a few newbies that I have a feeling are going to be staying around.

* But even with all the backstory, I was a little lost. If you are fan of the series, I advise re-reading Kiss the Dead first to give yourself a catch up on the inter-relationship stuff. It moves so fast!

Go out and buy this hardcover, read it, and pass it on to your girl and guy friends. I know I am!

* These comments are reflective of the series as a whole and not necessarily a heavy weight on this book as a stand alone, which it does very well.

I just borrowed an audiobook from my library. But it's not quite that easy for the first time...

Its an MP3 file through OverDrive.

So I downloaded the OverDrive Android App.

Located my library.

Signed in with my library card.

And downloaded my audio book.

Except it was in 6 parts and blew up my data plan! OOPS, gotta find the wifi download only setting. *cringe*

I've got 7 days to listen to the book. Feels like a tight deadline, and I've already used up a couple of those days figuring out HOW to get the file...

I'll keep you posted.


"I suggest you try the sex toys on her today, Callex."

"The sex toys," Carron repeated. "The Doll is programmed to respond well to them. This might be your last chance to try them. Tomorrow your week here is up."

Read my review!

Programmed for Pleasure

Tau Cetus police agent Jai Turner is being sent undercover as a Beautiful Dolls sex robot in order to bring down the planet's most notorious arms dealer, Marque Callex...

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I'm Miranda and I very
v e r y   s l o w l y review
Fiction & Fantasy & Erotica