I am looking for authors, traditionally or self published, to write guest posts on writing or publishing tips to post on my blog. Contact me: readingurbanfantasy(at)yahoo(dot)com

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Review: Seven Kinds of Hell by Dana Cameron

Seven Kinds of Hell

Fangborn Series, #1

by Dana Cameron

Publisher: 47 North (March 12, 2013)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: ARC Paperback (365 pages)
Source: Review Request by Publisher
Purchase: Amazon Print | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Rating: ★★½☆☆ (2.5 stars)
Archaeologist Zoe Miller has been running from a haunting secret her whole life. But when her cousin is abducted by a vicious Russian kidnapper, Zoe is left with only one option: to reveal herself. Unknown to even her closest friends, Zoe is not entirely human. She's a werewolf and a daughter of the Fangborn, a secretive race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles embroiled in an ancient war against evil. To rescue her cousin, Zoe will be forced to renew family ties and pit her own supernatural abilities against the dark and nefarious foe. The hunt brings Zoe to the edge of her limits, and with the fate of humanity and the Fangborn in the balance, life will be decided by an artifact of world-ending power.

At A Glance
I had a lot of trouble getting into Seven Kinds of Hell, but by the end I was pretty happy I stuck with it even if it wasn't my taste.

The Good
What stands out about Seven Kinds of Hell is that it has a little something for everyone. It has a lot of action. It has the kind of mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. The suspense is intense for most of the book. The paranormal aspect is expertly woven within the story so you don't even think of it as fantasy. And a little dash of romance to keep things interesting. If you are looking for a loaded urban fantasy book, you can find it in Seven Kinds of Hell.

If you are into archaeology at all, this is the book for you. It is packed with rich history, artifacts, supernatural politics, and mythology. Then the paranormal aspect was fascinating. Werewolves, vampires, snake shifters, oh my! I love how Dana incorporates mythology and archaeology into her supernatural creatures' histories. And learning why these beings inhabit the planet and how they differ from the supernaturals I have read in other books was the best part.

I did enjoy following Zoe on her adventures most of the time. It seemed like she could never catch a break. I couldn't help but feel bad for her. She actually stayed pretty strong through the whole ordeal. Zoe had a way of assimilating to each new situation, each new threat. And her friends were with her every step of the way, even when we weren't sure they could be trusted.

The plot was very complex. I liked the twists and turns that caught me by surprise. And the writing was well done.

The Bad
I don't know why but I just couldn't get into Seven Kinds of Hell for the longest time. This book took me way longer to read than any book has in a long time. But it wasn't that it was bad, it just wasn't catching my attention like I hoped. I think around page 200 I finally got into the swing of things.

I think the characters didn't really capture my attention enough to keep me wanting to read about them. They all lacked the spark that makes characters truly interesting.

There was a little too much archeology and history lessons that slowed down this book a lot. They were too lengthy for my taste. I like heavy information dumps in small doses. This book rang more like an archaeological thriller.

Some plot points and inner monologue seemed to repeat a lot. For example, there is a group after Zoe, then there is another group after Zoe, then another, and another. She couldn't trust anyone and she said so over and over again.

The Snuggly
There is a minimal sex scene and minimal romance. Zoe and Will have an unfinished romance that sparks up a little in this book. But they weren't together enough to say the romance was satisfying, but it was enough for the theme and pace of the book.

Final Thoughts
I almost gave this book 3 stars, but after some thought, I don't think I am going to continue the series. It wasn't bad but it didn't blow me away. I do, however, think this book has an audience that will love it. So I recommend it to some people but not all. My review should help you decide whether this book is for you.
The darkness was almost absolute, but I didn't need a light to sense the knife just below my chin.

Neither man spoke until we were deep in the shadows.

"We won't be need this," one of them said. I felt my shirt tear.

Now, the Beast whispered.

The oblivion I'd been seeking all night came as the Beast rushed in and I was suddenly a wolf. If I hadn't been resisting the rapists, it was because I hadn't been resisting the Beast.

I snapped my head around, seizing the wrist of the man with the knife. I bit through flesh, snapping fragile bones, feeling blood--dark, coppery, and filthy--rush out as I severed an artery. As his blood hit the floor of that dank basement, I felt a glorious satisfaction: his blood was better outside his veins. The more he bled, the better I felt.


  1. Thanks for the review. It sounded so interesting when I saw it on my Facebook feed, but now . . .
    I think I'll read something on my TBR!

    1. Awww, I feel bad. I hated saying bad things about this book but I couldn't help what I felt.

  2. Great review! From the blurb, I would have picked it up for sure, but based on the archaeological aspect and the lack of character spark...I I am one of them that this one wouldn't be for. Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven

    1. Yeah, I would have to agree. I don't see you liking this anymore than I did.

  3. Glad you enjoyed overall. It doesnt sound like my kind of read, but it seems like they did their homework with the archealogy.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  4. It seems like something I would enjoy, I like mixing my UF with science and stuff, but not sure. Probably will get to it at some point though! Great review

    1. So happy this might interest you. I actually see you liking this one with the kind of stuff you read.

  5. Oh dear, archeology would have me falling asleep! Glad you enjoyed it overall though!

  6. This does sound kind of cool and like it has a lot of everything. I love suspenseful reads that keep you guessing (which is rare I usually always predict what will happen--I think I read too much lol) Not sure how I would like the history lessons I usually get kind of bored when those pop up but it's good to know the slow pace gets better after a bit it could avoid a DNF to know in advance. Great review, chickie!

    1. Yeah, this is a bipolar book. Big highs and big lows. It all depends on what you like. It is suspenseful, that's for sure.

  7. Books that have both action and mystery end up being interesting even though they seem otherwise initially. I'm glad you liked Seven Kinds Of Hell by the end of it, Jennifer! Great review! :)

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

    1. Thanks. It definitly has great aspect that many will enjoy.

  8. Hmmm, sounds like one I need to check out. I know you couldn't get into it in the beginning, but might be one for me. :) Thank you!

    1. Actually, out of anyone, you would love this one. This is the book for you.


I appreciate all comments and read every one of them. I also make sure to visit your site as well if you have one. Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings.