30 January 2014

Mini Reviews: Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by HP Mallory & Club Monstrosity by Jesse Petersen

Title: Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble
Author(s): H.P. Mallory
Genre(s): Chick-Lit, Paranormal Romance
Publisher/Date: Self-Published / February 20, 2012
Series: Jolie Wilkins (Book #1)
Life isn't bad for psychic Jolie Wilkins. True, she doesn't have a love life to speak of, but she has a cute house in the suburbs of Los Angeles, a cat and a quirky best friend. Enter Rand Balfour, a sinfully attractive warlock who insists she's a witch and who just might turn her life upside down. Rand hires her to help him solve a mystery regarding the death of his client who also happens to be a ghost. Jolie not only uncovers the cause of the ghost's demise but, in the process, she brings him back to life! Word of Jolie’s incredible ability to bring back the dead spreads like wildfire, putting her at the top of the underworld’s most wanted list. Consequently, she finds herself at the center of a custody battle between a villainous witch, a dangerous but oh-so-sexy vampire, and her warlock boss, Rand. (synopsis from Goodreads)
Summary Prognosis
Honestly, I don't even know where to start when it comes to this book. So much to say and none of it positive. What I thought might be an entertaining blend of Beautiful Creatures meets True Blood ended up being a train wreck of shallowness, misogyny and flimsy plots. Mallory is an ineffectual storyteller in that she doesn't show us anything, instead, we're smacked in the face with every little fact/detail, so frequently that it's somewhat insulting. She lacks the subtlety and consistency that is characteristic of more seasoned writers. And for the magic in the story to be believable there has to be a set of rules in that world and in this case, there are none. Everything happens too conveniently. There are no limitations and I just wasn't buying it. Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble doesn't deliver anything new in the genre. It's one of those books where you've seen it all before. 

My other big problem with this book was the characters. Every one of them is unlikeable because they're either stupid, vapid or utterly useless. Jolie, our MC, is the a-typical ordinary girl with extraordinary power who cares more about a man's looks than his actual personality. And the men, nearly every one of them is controlling, arrogant or evil. The best example of this is our main man, Rand, who stoops to using the temptation of sex in a vain attempt to control our MC. If I'm being frank, the only thing this book succeeded in doing was making me want to throw it at the wall. I bought this audiobook hoping for something craptastic --- light and fun --- instead, I got something that was TERRIBAD. So yeah. This series is not for me.

Rating: ½  

Read It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
Discuss It: Goodreads | Author's Website

Title: Club Monstrosity
Author(s): Jesse Petersen
Genre(s): Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Vampires
Publisher/Date: Pocket Star / April 29, 2013
Series: Monstrosity (Book #1)
Natalie’s one of Frankenstein’s creations and works in a New York City morgue. So of course she needs therapy. She and her friends—er, fellow monsters—have formed the world’s most exclusive, most dysfunctional support group. What could go wrong? Undetected in the modern world and under pressure to stay that way, Natalie Grey, Dracula, Bob the Blob, and others (including the fetching wolfman Alec) meet regularly to talk about the pressures of being infamous in the Big Apple. Topics include how long it’s been since their last sighting, how their “story” creates stereotypes they can’t fulfill, and—gasp—sometimes even their feelings. But when their pervy Invisible Man, Ellis, is killed in a manner reminiscent of the H.G. Wells novel, it’s clear someone’s discovered their existence and is down for some monster busting. Led by Natalie—and definitely not helped by Hyde’s bloodthirsty tendencies—the members of Monstofelldosis Anonymous band together for security and a little sleuthing. And maybe—maybe—if they don’t end up dead, they’ll end up friends somewhere along the way. (synopsis from Goodreads)
Summary Prognosis
I've been a long-time fan of Jesse Petersen's Living with the Dead series. Her books are some of my go-to reads --- witty, entertaining and snarky as hell --- so it was a no brainer for me to pick up Club Monstrosity. The concept of monsters in a self-help group is so great. C'mon, it's MONSTERS IN A SELF-HELP CLUB! We get to see how a Frankenstein's monster, the Blob, the Invisible Man, a mummy, Dracula, a werewolf, a swamp monster and Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde are all coping in modern day America, that is, until they start being offed in the same fashion as in their horror stories. Hell yes! Where do I sign up? This book was pretty much what I expected it would be --- quick, easy and fun. While it wasn't quite as gripping as Petersen's other series, I definitely enjoyed reading it. The only real quirk that got me were the random POV swaps between two of the main characters. They occur right in the middle of scenes so it makes it difficult to discern who's speaking. Other than that, I found it to be a quirky concept with some really cool characters. While I do prefer Petersen's other books, I will definitely continue reading this series too.

Rating: ★★

Read It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Discuss It: Goodreads | Author's Website


  1. ugh about ire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, that's too bad. About Club Monstrosity, monsters in self help sounds like fun though. Happy weekend.

    1. It was so frustrating and, honestly, the only reason I finished it was because I was stupid enough to buy the audiobook. GRR! Club Monstrosity was fun enough, though.

  2. I don't think there's anything more annoying than magic that comes without rules. If you're going to incorporate magic into your novel, you need to understand that, hey, nothing can happen ~just because. It drives me insane, and it's why I've been staying away from books with magic themes in them lately. Even high fantasy is guilty of this! Sheesh. Sorry about the disappointment. :( And to buy the audiobook! Damn. Happy reading, otherwise. Find something to chase down the bad book! :P

    1. EXACTLY! I feel like paranormal/magic books are very hit or miss these days. There has to be some sort of structure to them or they're not going to be believable. I'm still kicking myself for paying all that money for the audibook, dammit!


You stay classy now! And thanks for stopping by. But mostly stay classy.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...