Friday, March 1, 2013

Series Review - Diaries of an Urban Panther - 5 Star

Title: Diaries Of An Urban Panther Series
Author: Amanda Arista
Source: Self Purchase
Genre: Urban Fantasy/thriller/bit of PNR
Length: 3 Novels - approx 1200 pgs
Reviewed by Douglas C. Meeks

Reading Diaries of an Urban Panther Series
Diaries of an Urban Panther Book 1
Claws and Effect Book 2
Nine Lives of an Urban Panther Book 3
A followup story from this world but not officially part of the trilogy "First Dates Are Hell" from Vampires Gone Wild


Violet Jordan Rule #1 of being a superhero: No tights.
Violet Jordan Rule #2 of being a superhero: Find reliable sidekicks.
Violet Jordan‘s Rule #3 of being a superhero: Family first, fur second.

Dear Diary,
By now you know I'm hardly a normal girl. Last night I woke up naked in an alley after fighting off some werewolves. All in a day's work, I guess. I thought I was dealing pretty well with the whole Werepanther thing: the training, the apocalyptic prophecies. And the hot guy following me around, protecting me at every turn is definitely a bonus. I'm even starting to become accustomed to the bloodshed and the violence—and that's what scares me. What will tomorrow bring…

I thought life was going to get better. After four assassination attempts, I'm thinking not so much. The pack needs a new leader, and I've just about run out of reasons why I'm not right for the job.

Besides, having loyal followers would definitely help me fight off whoever's out for my blood. Especially since my boyfriend is always busy playing White Hat to every wanderer except me. I'm glad he thinks I'm tough enough to handle my own business, but a little extra backup would be nice.

With new supernatural creatures popping up at every turn (Ghouls? Really?), the city divided, and my long-lost cousin blazing into town, I've got a lot on my mind. Oh, not to mention I'm supposed to be planning a wedding. Chaz has got to be the best, most patient (and probably clinically insane) boyfriend around.

But defeating my sworn enemy in a battle for the souls of Dallas is going to require more than just my full attention. It means learning to depend on everyone—especially Chaz—if any of us are going to make it out of this alive. Because if Plan A doesn't work, I'm going to need them for Plan B. And Plan C . .




Violet is hardly normal, she has went from being a script-writer for horror movies to being a shapeshifter but there is something special about Violet, something that an old prophesy says will help all of the shapshifters in Dallas have a better life …. If she lives that long and overcomes more problems than you could list with Excel.

This series was a bit of a surprise since I had the first 2 books buried in my “to-be-read” stack of paperback books for over a year and that is where they would still be if I had not been given a copy of Vampires Gone Wild to review and in that anthology the best story was one called “First Dates Are Hell” which was very good and it came from the Urban Panther series (actually in the timeline it was after the trilogy of books).

So after enjoying that story I grabbed the paperback books I had, put them up for sale and then bought all 3 books in Kindle format (because I am that kind of geek these days) and started reading and was totally hooked into this story, I am not sure if the author was writing a trilogy when she wrote Diaries of an Urban Panther but these 3 books have to be read together to really get the full impact (who wants to read 1 book of the Lord of the Rings?) and while each book has an ending of sorts the real story that threads through all of them is the one that ends in the last book of this trilogy.

While I do not want to give away too much of the story, I can say it was one of the best reading experiences I have had in several months, but while I am extolling this series greatness I need to point out that if you are OCD about editing then book 2 may pose some problems since her editor must have jumped ship during the writing/publication of Claws and Effects (book #2) but I was still able to enjoy it and continue on but be forewarned.

The ending of the main story arc threading through all the books coming to an epic end in book 3 and one of the best endings I have seen in awhile to be honest. The characters were fleshed out very well, Violet was an awesome heroine and her humor was what made reading this series a much more pleasurable task.

Let me just say that as a full time reviewer as a hobby, I get dozens of free books every month and I went and BOUGHT all of these books after reading the story in Vampires Gone Wild and in spite of some bad editing and stumbles along the way, this story was so good I could care less. I give it 5 Stars not because it is an awesome piece of writing but because it was the best story I have read in a long time AND I liked the way it made me feel when it ended. You don’t get many of those type stories.

My hope is that she may come back to this series since I loved it but the ending was good enough I can live with this being all these is, get these books and enjoy a great story and ignore any stumbles along the way to an awesome ending. The story in Vampires Gone Wild was just a bonus to close a loop on one of the characters and it was done exceptionally.

UPDATE: As I wrote this the author gave me this email reply which I take to mean there will be more stories similar to the one in Vampires Gone Wild with the secondary characters:

"Dear Douglas,
Thank you for the compliments. Makes a girl glow with happiness.
As for right now, the Urban Panther series will remain a trilogy. But I love that universe and am working hard at expanding the Those Who Wander line. Valiance and Esme were just the beginning and I think we both know that Violet can't mind her own business to save her hide, so we will probably see her again in come incarnation.

Thank you again for your kind words and if you need anything in the future, let me know!

-Amanda Arista"

Let me say, thanks to you Amanda for one of the most delightful stories I have read in months. I hope to see more very soon (yes that is a hint)

Your Reviewer

View all my reviews


  1. Just those covers alone would make me get those for my book shelf. Sounds like great reads. Thanks for the review.

  2. Getting people to read excellent stories like this is rewarding in itself. I love being surprised by books I expected little of (hence the fact they laid in my TBR pile for over a year), these knocked my socks off and made me feel stupid for waiting so long to read them.


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