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on June 9, 2017
The Underground (Second Edition) by Roxanne Bland is a blend of genres which include science fiction, dark urban fantasy and paranormal romance with an adult theme which includes profanity, violence and graphic erotic content.

It is not lions and tigers and bears, but rather werewolves, vampires, witches, and shape-shifters called “Exotics” that rule the night. You will either love it or hate it depending on your ability to meld into the author’s fantasy world and find something strangely different about her cast of characters.

Set in an alternate Seattle Washington where the night hours are more than bewitching, they are truly murderous. The book opens with Parker Berenson, alpha of Seattle’s werewolf fighting to stay in human form. Like many good stories, a love has been lost and someone or something must pay. Parker has anger issues and Garrett (Powerful Witch) is his former girlfriend and perhaps the only one who can truly see “the big picture”.

I always quote a passage to reveal the Author’s writing style without spoiling the story. With ninety-one chapters in this book, I chose an excerpt from Chapter 10.

“At nine a.m. on February second, a cinquet of five witches arrived to fetch Garrett for the first of her many ritual baths. They discovered her sitting naked in a half lotus on the floor, deep in a meditative trance.
Garrett had been awake for hours. She’d had too much on her mind the night before and hadn’t slept well. At five, she’d gotten out of bed and showered. After that, she’d meditated on the silk prayer rug next to the bed, hoping she could replace at least some of her lost sleep. The last thing she needed was to be incapacitated by fatigue when she channeled Goddess.
The cinquet waited in respectful silence until Garrett came out of her trance. Her gaze settled on Paul. “Good morning, Garrett,” he spoke for the other four witches.
Rising from the prayer rug, Garrett stepped over to Paul and kissed him on both cheeks, and then did the same to the others. Pinkie pre- sented her with a pair of soft indoor moccasins. Georgia held up a white, silk-lined satin robe and helped her put it on.
Paul smiled. “Ready, my Lady?” “I’m ready.”
The elder turned and with Garrett walking behind, led the group out of the bedroom to the purification room. The room’s most prominent feature was a square, white, marble Jacuzzi large enough for two people. One side was set into a wall covered with a slab of marble that rose half- way to the ceiling. Neck-sized indentations had been scooped out along the tub’s upper edge. From there, the tub sloped to its bottom, providing back support.
The rest of the wall to which the tub was attached, as well as the room’s other three walls, was covered in dense, dark blue carpet. The floor was laid with waterproofed linoleum in the same color. A series of wall sconces provided a dim light.
I love being in here. The room always evoked in Garrett a sense of inviolate safety, a comfort she never felt outside the Temple’s walls. This must be the way a baby feels in its mother’s womb.”

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Underground (Second Edition) by Roxanne Bland as an adult dark urban fantasy that will either grab and hold your attention or turn you off depending on your appetite for violent, graphic and erotic content. I purchased this book in a Kindle format on June 7, 2017 and this review was written on June 9, 2017.

The Underground: Second Edition
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on July 15, 2017
Not only in this world that is filled with all kind of fictional and historical creatures, but also a convergence of all types of genres in one big story, from science-fiction to fantasy-erotic like chapters, it’s one of a kind.
No introduction or prologue needed, all kind of races and creatures are here, they got their space in this story and they are so well-rounded characters you would like to imagine how our society or even better, how our current world will react and blend with this story. With some ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ vibes, there are some really intense moments here, erotic all the way so be prepared for some detailed action if you know what I mean.
Of course, with a story like this, is obvious there has to be some balance in there to avoid conflict, and that’s what this story is about, so get ready to one of the wildest stories I have the pleasure to read recently.
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on July 25, 2017
Roxanne Bland was born in Akron, Ohio, but grew up in Washington, D.C. She attended the Duke Ellington High School of the Performing Arts. After graduating from high school, she attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she majored in Government. From Smith, she headed to New York City, where she took a series of jobs as a paralegal. She lived in New York for over two years, then moved to New Orleans to attend Tulane Law School. After law school, she returned to Washington, D.C. where she worked for trade and government organizations. She now works for a trade magazine, where she is a regular columnist.
Roxanne Bland has been a fugitive from reality since forever. As a child, she constantly made up stories--some would call them lies--about her family, friends, neighbors and even strangers on the street. She had friends that only she could see.  Learning to read was a revelation. Words fascinated her. Whole new worlds opened up, and since her parents forbade nothing. She discovered horror, a little science fiction and fantasy and really got into high fantasy, like Lord of the Rings.   She was making up stories, but not writing them down. They were private. Besides, her family maintained she should be concentrating on her musical studies, and later, her college studies - she went to law school and after she graduated and entered the workforce, she finally started writing down her stories. Then she started writing a piece of fan fiction, though she didn't know that's what it was at the time. That piece of fan fiction fell by the wayside, but in its place came a manuscript that would eventually become her first book, The Underground. Slipping into that alternate reality for hours on end, there was a time in her life when it was called daydreaming and she got into trouble.

Now Bland announced her latest fiction novel, 'The Underground: Second Edition', a spellbinding paranormal urban fantasy fiction novel set in Seattle. The characters in in the new novel include vampires, shapeshifters, elves, witches, demons and aliens. In her writing Roxanne is a builder of worlds. She takes readers on fantastic journeys that are extraordinarily different, yet somehow completely familiar. She blends topics such as forbidden love, political intrigue and bigotry into compelling storylines that allow readers to view their own culture and customs through the eyes of alien and paranormal races.

In this story, Kurt, the vampire Master, reigns over the exotics of Seattle, controlling the urban communities of shapeshifters, elves, vampires, and witches through cruelty, terror, and intimidation. Of all his enslaved "zots," no one hates the sadistic, insatiable vampire more than Parker Berenson, the alpha of the city's werewolf pack. Garrett Larkin, the beautiful mage of the Balthus Coven, was Parker's beloved freyja before the bloodsucker decided to claim her for himself--and now the wolf wants revenge. But he dares not upset the uneasy alliance Kurt maintains over Seattle's various factions of preternatural beings, because he knows the ensuing war would most certainly unleash the murderous rage of the humans who share their city.

Now, however, a stunning stranger threatens the fragile balance--an elite warrior from a distant galaxy on her own mission of vengeance. From the moment he first encounters the breathtaking interstellar assassin, Melera Shen'zae, Parker knows he must have her and that nothing else could possibly matter more. But the wolf's erotic hunger is blinding him to an all-devouring evil that waits in the shadows--for, in the name of revolution, a demon has been loosend upon the world.

Some strange scenes:

"Parker couldn’t take anymore. His wolf erupted. A lava flow of were-strength blasted through his arms, then through the rest of him. His human eyes glowed his werewolf’s green. He heard and felt his clothes rip. He was morphing."

Melera paced a circle around the planet’s image, inspecting the large landmasses hovering on the blue seas. Every so often, her body rippled and morphed into another being. Her czado enabled her to do this. Without much thought, Melera could morph into anything she wished, and she often did it simply because she could. “I want to go someplace temperate,” she said, scrutinizing the largest landmass. She morphed into a tyraticin, a two-legged beast of burden from the planet Mylatha. Then she morphed into a wakul, a winged monster inhabiting a nameless planet on the fringes of Maqu.

Rituals, spells, meditative trances, strange powers bending wills and elemental forces:

The main difference between a witch and a mage is that mages have greater powers to summon all of the elemental forces and bend them to our wills. Otherwise, witches and mages are pretty much the same.
Knowledge of ancient times relating to gods and goddesses and mythology is prevalent:

Does the cover image of The book relate to the following description? Excerpt:

"The warehouse’s wretched appearance was deceiving. Underneath the decayed siding, sturdy creosote-coated wooden planks an inch thick had been fitted together and nailed to the studs. The minute spaces between the planking had been caulked with sealing compound and then covered with tar, and the whole building, from inside the walls to underneath the raised floor, had been packed with dense fiberglass insulation. Far from being abandoned, the property was owned, as it had been for decades, by W.B.C., Inc. The letters stood for “Witches of the Balthus Coven,” although that name didn’t appear on any corporate documents. The coven had christened and dedicated the warehouse “Temple of Balthus,” a sea-god and principle deity of the Llachlan, an ancient seafaring people. Naming the Temple for the old god didn’t mean they were his followers. “Balthus” had been chosen because of Seattle’s proximity to the ocean."

A cinquet of five witches arrived to fetch Garrett for the first of her many ritual baths. Garrett’s astral body floated in and out of the magick being worked, getting lost in the sensations, smells, and sights of the ritual and the power in the room. Her synesthetic state made her dizzy. She felt/smelled/saw/tasted and heard the air pressure inside the circle growing denser, as was the pressure inside her head and deep within her womb.
Colonies of demons and interstellar travel, alien life, half -humans disembodied voices......, and the reader is welcomed to another dimension:

“Welcome to the third dimension, demon,” a disembodied entity says.
Where am I, Janice?
You’re in the third dimension. Inside my body.

In the author's own words:

"Writing is a like a drug. Stumbling across whole new worlds lying dormant in my head and bringing them to life is an incredible high. I'm definitely an addict. I can't imagine not writing."'The Underground: Second Edition' is Bland's third novel. Her second novel, 'The Moreva Astoreth' was praised by readers and reviewers alike. Very few authors have the special gift of creating strangeness. A challenge to read but no challenge to write, as all comes so natural to her.

Scarlett Jensen
18 July 2017
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on July 21, 2017
This is the book of the night involving dark characters (zots)- vampires; werewolves, (and other categories of weres), witches, and elves which inhabit Seattle, mixing with humans, but doing their work ‘in the night’ in fear of humans. At the top of the groups, the wolves have an Alpha, Parker; the witches have a Mage, Garrett; and the vampires have Kurt. All have their own special interests.
The actions are also dark Kurt hypnotizes Parker and his girlfriend, Garrett, and forces Parker to watch him seduce her. Kurt also sends Parker images of him seducing a minor member of the wolf pack. The witches seek for peace from the darkening relationships between humans and zots, and among the group leaders. Parker swears revenge on Kurt. A young activist witch, Pinkie, is publicly promoting that zots should revolt for same legal rights as humans. A demon summoned from another dimnension is killing zots and humans, and the news of a ‘Slayer’ spread a cloud of fear among the zots that the humans would respond against them.
Meanwhile Melera, a warrior queen of the Third Galactic Sector, captured for treason against her rulers, escapes and coming through a wormhole, lands in Seattle. Parker has a fighting, exciting encounter with her while on a duty patrol. She starts sneezing, and disappears from his sight. She thinks that Parker is sent from her enemies to find her and if so reported, earth would be defenseless.
Parker meets her again but this time unintentionally running her over, he takes her to his home. She has lost her memory, but deduces that he is not her enemy’s envoy. He in turn decides she could not be the so-called Slayer. Her allergies pitch in again; he gives her three joints, not knowing that weed awakens her raw sexual hunger.
The murders continue, and Garrett and Kurt conveniently start a rumor that Melera is the Slayer as a means of sucking Parker into the tryst. Parker has to hide her in the Underground, a Kurt building.to which all zots had access anytime. Kurt tries to kill her through Parker, but is unsuccessful. Melera starts remembering, and as she had promised whenever she did remember, she must go. She cannot allow Parker to go with her, which leaves him distraught
As humans react, ther is confusion among the zots. In the Underground,there are accusations of neglect by the leaders. Pinkie is killed by the demon, which now feasts on the near dead in the streets. Loss of members of his wolf pack is enough for Parker join the tryst with Garrett and Kurt. The demon’s demise if left to a happy ending for Melera and Parker.
The book is full or deception, murder, power manipulation, violence and raw sex. Nearly everything is raw. From these standpoints, however, it is not the worse written book. If you find it objectionable, bear in mind that it could have been more objectionable if Melera’s English was better. But it is fast paced, action oriented and suspenseful. I found that Parker’s fight with the demon was extended, and yet ended abruptly. Maybe there is a sequel coming.
Recommended as a riveting read, but not for all.
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on August 9, 2017
The Underground by Roxanne Bland is a fun piece of fiction with lots of different genres mixing together into a stew of interesting and exotic characters. Our story takes place in Seattle, Washington. Or, at least a different version of Seattle. Not only do humans live there, but so do werewolves, vampires, witches, mages, and many other types of "exotic" creatures. These creatures have found ways to live in the city relatively unnoticed, but the human population is aware that they are around and has their eyes open to find them. Once they are found, they are carted off and never seen again. Parker, the alpha werewolf and servant of the exotic leader Kurt, is reaching his breaking point. Not only has Kurt taken away the love of his life, but he has also started molesting a young cub in his pack. Through mental projection, Kurt forces Parker to watch when these horrible abuses take place. Now, Parker has changed into his wolf form and has torn off into the night in search of Kurt. Thousands of miles away, beings from the furthest reaches of space are colliding with one another causing a chain reaction which will lead Parker to join forces with a being from another planet to try and stop a war that no one will survive.
This was a lot of fun to read. All of these creatures wrapped up under one title is lots of fun. I didn't know which direction the story was going to head in next, and the characters felt as real as they could be in this sort of fantasy land. I could do without the sex stuff that was in the narrative, but I can also understand how it helped to develop both our protagonist and antagonist. I am sure the author can find ways to expand on this universe and give us more stories with these and new characters.
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on July 17, 2017
The Underground: Second Edition by Roxanne Bland is a unique science fiction and fictional Gothic thriller that combines together, in the City of Seattle, all of the supernatural, mythical and monstrous legends that one can think of. Those monstrous legends include vampires, werewolves, elves, witches, aliens and demons. When you combine these dark and shadowy figures with the human race (the people of Seattle know that they are coexisting with these entities), humanity sits on a very dry tinder box and constantly experiences a very fragile peace.

However, when a rogue witch casts a spell and "introduces" a blood thirsty demon into the mix, a spark may be introduced that will cause a revolution between humanity and the residents of darkness.

The Underground: Second Edition by Roxanne Bland is a complicated book, in a good sense of this characterization. It brims with suspense and follows a well thought out narrative and plot. It is very imaginative and leaves the reader wanting to catch their breath at times because of the action it depicts. It truly is a page turner as the writer expertly draws the reader into this fictional account with plot development.

As a word of caution, it may not be a read for everyone. This is due to the fact that it is very graphic in nature when describing sexual encounters and the narration of violent scenes.
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on July 20, 2017
The Underground is a one in a kind book as it has exotics, drama, erotica, adventure, science fiction, romance and much more. The story revolves around the Alpha male of the city Parker Berenson who hates his vampire master the ruthless, insatiable Kurt with all his heart, but, in incapable due to the vampire's hypnotic powers to do anything about it. Parker is a caring, strong and intelligent werewolf who seems to be burdened with much responsibilities of saving the city from the clutches of Kurt. However, there are innumerable difficulties (besides the vampire's powers), such as being recognized for an exotic and punished by the humans.

While the story is fascinating enough, what intrigued me more was presentation of Parker's life as a werewolf. Parker seemed to have immense control over his wolf persona who (the wolf) tried to take over in moments of intense emotions. The protagonist also had to suffer physical pain during his transformation from a 6.6 feet human to an eight feet wolf. Plus there were numerous other challenges.

However, readers must adhere to the warning by the author as the book is thoroughly adult and has numerous instances of sexual references.
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on July 18, 2017
Amazing! Reading this book reminded me of my favorite series “The Mortal Instruments” by Cassandra Clare. It’s because different kinds of fictional creatures are featured here—vampires, werewolves, witches, elves, shapeshifters… It’s overloaded with all things fantasy.

What I loved about this book was the world-building. It was spectacular and really pulls the readers’ attention. The descriptions of every character and event here were not accomplished flawlessly though, but it was done decently.

There were lots of action going on and I have some favorite scenes, too. One of the things that also made this book a total stand out was the science fiction aspect. I loved that it very well blended with this urban fantasy.

As a fan of urban fantasy books, I find “The Underground: Second Edition” an enjoyable read. I’ve had a lot of adjustments in the first parts of the book because of the different fictional creatures that were introduced but as I went through the following chapters, the flow was already easy to follow.
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on July 19, 2017
Roxanne Bland puts the chips on the table when she tried to blend a vampire, witch, and werewolf together in a tryst to bring peace to a city that doesn’t even want it. The humans are content pretending there aren’t “exotics” living among them and the “exotics” want to live in peace. All that changes when a serial killer targets both start a war that makes losers of all involved.

The complex life of leading a pack of werewolves in Seattle would have been welcoming to Parker Berenson. But the responsibility of leading a pack also makes him a servant to the ruling Vampire, Kurt, who happens to be infatuated with Parker. Betrayal of a witch leaves Parker angry, almost angry enough to lose control of his pack. With built up anger he doesn’t see the real enemy that threatens his pack, his city, or his life. The Slayer will come for him again, it must he saw it, but in what form and will he recognize it? Could it be the beautiful alien he is falling in love with?
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on August 13, 2017
Very little is held back in this paranormal/sci fi novel. It has all of the tension of creatures living among humans in a urban setting and the threat of extraterrestrial dangers. Even though the zots who are ruled under the watchful eye of vampire Kurt generally keep to their own kind, they must come together when there is a strange serial killer on the loose. Mostly the story revolves around alpha werewolf Parker, but there is also plenty in regards to his love interest Garrett, a lovely mate with her own agenda. There are moments of graphic violence and strong erotic themes, but there is also strong development of characters and their internal conflicts. There is also a smooth flow of all of the sub stories as they come together. This novel is not for every reader, but it is a satisfying read for those who enjoy the thrill of a mystery with strong paranormal characters in a modern world.
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