Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review - Burn for Me

Burn for Me
by Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews, the husband and wife writing team of the Kate Daniels Series and The Edge Series, and just all around awesome couple who seriously interact with their fans on their blog and who do free serial writing projects (really check out their blog) have started a new series, Hidden Legacy.

The Hidden Legacy series is in a divergent world where in 1863 we discover a serum that unlocks untapped magic potential. Shenanigans ensue and the world decides this is much too dangerous to be let loose. Of course, there are all the people who have already had the serum, and these traits are passed down genetically to their offspring, so magic, and thus power, prestige, and money are concentrated into the hands of these families, known as Houses.

Nevada Baylor, so far as the world is concerned, is magically a null. She owns an investigation service that is mortgaged to a powerful House, and has a host of responsibilities from her family and the business. When a deranged pyrotechnic starts a series of crimes, and his family wants him peaceably captured, Nevada is conscripted, because her chief qualification is she's expendable. If only they knew she is an extremely powerful human lie detector, it would be so much worse.

Connor Rogan, also known as Mad Rogan, is the most powerful telekinetic known. He's a former soldier and something of a sociopath. But when his cousin who he hasn't contacted in a decade comes to him for help in getting her son who has been pulled into the plot into custody rather than dead, he decides to become involved.

Naturally this sets Nevada and Mad Rogan onto a collision course. I have to say, I did not like the way they met. Mad Rogan was in my opinion reprehensible, and his future behavior didn't endear me to him as we went along. I am typically cool with morally ambivalent and even to an extent, sociopathic ones, but Rogan really kind of irked me. And it didn't help that the POV was completely from Nevada's side, nor that Nevada started out displaying TSTL heroine characteristics with an overwhelmingly unsuitable hero and in the most inappropriate moments.  But, as the story progressed and they were in dangerous situation after dangerous situation where Rogan kind of shined, and where Nevada stuck to her guns about not going after what she wanted when it wasn't good for her, well I started to see it better. Then Nevada gave us a bit of insight to how Rogan looked to someone with such an unusual magical ability.

"Mad Rogan, unlike other people, rarely lied. I didn't know if it was because I would call him on it or if it was simply his way. When he said he would kill you, he meant it. He didn't make threats or promises, he stated facts, and when he wanted something, he'd do whatever he had to do to get it"

That, to me, really seemed to make it make sense. I mean, how seductive would it be to a human lie detector to be around someone who didn't lie to her?

When we hit the last chapter and I saw how much stronger Nevada was than she thought (it seriously closed the power differential between her and Rogan), and how she kept up her distance for the most part, despite her attraction and him pushing, I was ready to give it 3.5 stars or so and be cautiously optimistic about the rest of the series. Then, OH MY EFFING GOD, we got to the epilogue. There was a hellacious twist that I never saw coming and we finally got into Rogan's head. It immediately bumped up to 4.5 stars for me and I am extremely excited about the next book in the series. I can't wait to see how Rogan unfolds. Do I forgive him right now? Nope, but he's got all kinds of room for growth and interesting stuff.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review - Archangel's Shadows

Archangel's Shadows
by Nalini Singh

This is book 7 in the Guild Hunter series. If you haven't already been hooked into this series, it's a delightful blend of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. The world is controlled by Angels and Archangels who are the progenitors of vampires. These are strictly secular angels with evolutionary rather than religious origins. And both the vampires and the angels are extremely other, not just humans with accouterments strapped to them, which I adore. What's the point of having paranormal characters if you can't tell them from mortal ones? Vampires are naturally quite dangerous creatures and so a human organization, the Guild Hunters, have set themselves up as a sort of police organization. They must work with the Angels and Archangels, as they are the powers, but the Guild is largely an independent organization. The series primarily revolves around the Archangel Raphael and Guild Hunter Elena Deveraux; however, it sidles off to explore the lives and relationships of the more integral secondary characters. In that way it is more like Eileen Wilks' World of Lupi than her Psi-Changeling series (which is another excellent series if you haven't yet been sucked in).

This is one of those series that makes me wish for a time machine so I could sit in a library and devour ALL THE BOOKS! I can't savor these on the first read; I gulp them down and save the savoring for the re-reads. And I can guarantee you that I will be re-reading any of her books. So, that being said, this book is absolutely not the place to start with this series. The mythology and the relationship backgrounds are entirely too intricate to start in the middle. Go ahead, start at the beginning, I'll wait right here :)



So, this is nominally Janvier and Ashwini's book. We already had a peak into their relationship dynamic through other books and most particularly in the novella Angel's Pawn. Ash has been notoriously reluctant to become involved with Janvier and this book gives us a bombshell about exactly why. I don't want to spoil it, but it was excellent. This is not one of those little nothing turned into BIG MISUNDERSTANDING situations that I find so exasperating. It was a serious issue, albeit one which as this is a romance we knew would be resolved.

There was a bit of a mystery and investigation involved, but it really served more as a backdrop to the politics and world building, and to giving a platform to all the main characters. It was a good plot line, but honestly, I cared much more about the characters than the suspense part this time. We got to get into plenty of our favorite characters heads, learned more about Legion, and....Naasir absolutely stole the show and has completely supplanted my wish for Ilium to be next. Ilium just isn't ready, but Naasir is, and I am oh so ready for Naasir. I can't believe I hadn't previously seen the possibilities of a tiger-like vampire. That isn't to say Janvier and Ash were sidelined, they were front and center and much of the story is devoted to them, but they are so closely tied to the families they have made that it is impossible to separate them out.

5 absolutely breathtaking stars, and if it weren't for the fact Ilona Andrews' Burn for Me is up in my que next, I'd be re-reading it tonight.

ARC Review - Full Contact

Full Contact
by Sidney Halston

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

This is the second book in Halston's Worth the Fight series. My previous review can be found here.

I'll admit now, that in retrospect, a bit of my liking for this first book was because of the new buzz of actually being picked for a Netgalley Arc. If I read it now my rating may have been lower because I have become more critical of rough spots and pacing issues. That being said, Halston has really smoothed out in Full Contact.

We met Jessica Cross as a victim and Slade Martin as an eff-up in Against the Cage. In Full Contact, they are both trying to heal and get into some semblance of adult life. This is a Loveswept, so naturally in this fluffier line; we have a caricature villain, stupid misunderstandings, and a lack of communication. But with such relatively one-dimensional main characters, you've got to have something for tension and conflict. Where Halston really shines though is her humor. I had many laugh out loud moments and for the most part I really enjoyed seeing these two very different people get together. Plus, the rest of the ensemble is really enjoyable too. You just know that everyone else is sequel bait, but it didn't lessen my enjoyment in the slightest.

So I am giving it 3.5 stars and am ready and willing to read the rest of the series.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Undead and Unwary

Undead and Unwary
by Maryjanice Davidson

Here we are at book 13 with Betsy and the gang. She's still as snarky and vapid as ever, and that is excellent. I have to say though, while I enjoyed this one quite a bit more than 10-12, this may be here strangest and most disjointed book to date. Some of that is because rather than opening with a prĂ©cis of the series so far, she instead weaved snippets of past events into the current story. It wasn't badly done, but in my opinion, it made the story even jumpier than usual (and anyone who's read this series knows being in Betsy's head is kind scattered anyway). However, the upshot to this, is that if a person actually wanted to (and this is the first and probably last time I will ever say such a thing about a series this long) they could hop right into the series right now. I would really, really advise against this as the first books are the best of the series, but I think it would be possible.

Altogether I think we've reached a turning point in the series, wherein Betsy goes to hell and gets a clue, she finds out that her sister's less than charming traits may have come from her father rather than either of her mothers, and SinkLair seems to be just as lovably sneaky as ever despite his current embrace of light and joy. While I miss the less grown up incarnation of Betsy, I find myself somewhat refreshed on this series and genuinely curious where Davidson will be taking it next.

Monday, October 27, 2014

ARC Review - Beyond Addiction

Beyond Addiction
by Kit Rocha
I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

This is book 5 in the Beyond Series, a post-apocalyptic erotice/romance series. You can read my previous reviews here.

Trix was left hanging with one hell of a cliffhanger at the end of the last book. That is rather expeditiously resolved at the beginning of this story, when she lands right back into Sector 5 and the hands of her former lover, Finn. Finn is a man on the edge, a man who only wants a front row seat with no exit plan to the ruination of Sector 5. But, when Trix shows up everything changes. While he doesn't start out wanting to change his path, he does have a new goal.

Despite the action, this book seems both more relaxed and introspective. Overall, I'd say this book was less about Trix and Finn (though don't get me wrong, there was plenty of sizzle), and more about expanding the world building. And that is the thing about these stories; they are creating such a novel, raunchy, post apocalyptic-dystopian world, that these books just aren't stand alones. While this is absolutely not my favorite story or couple, I still enjoy the world that is being built and can't wait for the next one.

But one more thing, I'd love to find out more about Ryder.


3.5 stars

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pamela Clare Breast Cancer Fundraiser Anthology

Here's a novel way to fund raise for breast cancer treatment.

"Enjoy 11 emotional stories - 2000 pages filled with all types of heroes from small town to international action-adventure who earn and protect those they love.

PLEASE NOTE: All proceeds go directly to the medical fund for box set author Pamela Clare, who is in the midst of her own battle with breast cancer."

Last Hero Standing: Eleven sexy heroic stories by bestsellers is available for $0.99 by pre-order:




Thursday, October 9, 2014

Review - Unbinding

Unbinding
by Eileen Wilks

Eileen Wilks' World of the Lupi series is sort of an alternate history, slightly post-apocalyptic, urban fantasy romance series. In this world, we have Lupi (sort of like hereditable werewolves who are only male and have a deeply religious bent), Sidhe, humans with Gifts, witches, dragons, demons and various other mythological creatures. Needless to say, with all of that going on, this is NOT the place to start this series. This is a richly textured world and mythology, but of late I had started to fear that it was making the mistake other series I've read has, that of building the world in inorganic ways merely to drive the series. I am so happy to see that that is categorically not the case here. I had a moment of tummy butterflies when I saw this story would feature Kai and Nathan rather than returning the Rule and Lily, despite the fact that I enjoy them as characters, because it felt like one more piece of evidence that the world and the series were devolving. Honestly, I shouldn't have doubted Wilks. Kai and Nathan's involvement with the god of chaos makes perfect sense, as does the god's actions in the previous book and this one. By the end of it there's not only a nice little resolution to some previous plots, but the diverging worlds Wilks seemed to be building have much more firmly been shown how they are really more of a tapestry than spin offs. It all felt really organic, and except for the fact that they reference quite a bit of stuff that obviously happened of the page, I was really pleased. More specifically on the relationship, Kai had some major personal growth that I enjoyed seeing, Nathan had a bit of relationship growth himself in realizing he can't just go it all alone, and it was really nice to see how their relationship is shaking out. I'll look forward to seeing more of them in the future. I'm already lusting after Mind Games, and the teaser at the end of this book doesn't even have any of our recognizable characters in it.

5 stars

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dear Author Legal Defense Fund

Sarah over at SBTB is administering Dear Author's fund, you can read about that here.


If you are interested in donating, just follow the link.

http://www.gofundme.com/DA-DefenseFund

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Review - The Witch With No Name

The Witch With No Name
by Kim Harrison

Ok, so it took me a bit to write this review, I've been following Rachel Morgan, Jinx and Ivy for a long time, and it is tough to let go. On the other hand, it is good when an author knows when to let go too. Rachel and the gang have come a long way since they started, so book 13 was less about the action and the exposition, and more like an epilogue for the series. Yes, there is some action and drama, but this book was all about tying up the loose ends. Overall, the plot seemed frequently disjointed, as if Harrison was trying to cram everyone in there and tie all their threads too. I guess I just have mixed feelings on this. If this weren't the finale, I think I would have hated it because there were (in my opinion) too many deus ex machina. On the other hand, I will admit that when a series is completed but doesn't feel like everything is all tied up, it will piss me off, so I would have probably been madder if the book hadn't turned out the way it did.

So I am giving this 3 stars, while the series didn't end on a high note, it is probably about the best we can hope for with such a long running series. If I can kind of compare this to anything, it would be the feeling I got reading the last Harry Potter book, but maybe a little worse since The Hollows peaked for me a few books back. And while everything was just a little too neat for me in the epilogue of this epilogue, I am hoping Al's last word clears it up for me and lets this thing actually end on the high note I was hoping for.