Friday, May 12, 2017

Cold Reign by Faith Hunter

I've had this book for a couple of months. I realized that I always need time to process a new Faith Hunter novel before I even begin to type out a review. Netgalley provided me with this book but I purchased the audio version when it was released because the narrator is phenomenal.

Beware: This contains spoilers.

Anyway ... The European Vamps are being sneaky and starting sh!t in New Orleans. A lot of Leo's coveted are going missing or are being forcefully removed from his care. Meanwhile, a crazy storm is raging and fights are breaking out all over the place. Jane has to deal with all of it.

If you've been a fan of Jane's from the beginning, then I'm certain you can see the growth in her. Jane is much more clever, smarter, and is getting better at what I like to call Vamp Speak. Vamp Speak being her negotiations with mithrans and dealing with them overall. It's almost as is if she's a completely different person, but not at all. Don't get it twisted, Jane hasn't changed, but she's adapted better than anyone could. Jane isn't the only one whose grown. The Kid (Alex Younger) is really becoming a man. There are many moments where Alex is morphing into someone who takes charge and when you think about where he started, it's almost like you feel this sense of pride. For me, because I'm nuts, it's like I helped raise him this way. Lol.

Finally, in this book, we get a small piece of Eli's past because he comes face to face with a reminder that will have you all in your feelings when he reacts.

If you haven't read the Nell Ingram (Soulwood) books, this book will explain what happened with Rick when he ditched Jane for Paka. If you're a fan of Rick (I'm not, but I still like the Soulwood series), then check out the Soulwood series. There's so much Rick related information there that can be applied here.

There are bigger spoilers that I will try not to mentioned but I will say ... Adriana ... Edmund ... Magical artifacts.

Overall, this book is phenomenal. A lot of questions are answered but more are asked. It's completely action packed. I even got to a point where I felt like Jane wasn't sleeping because she was just SO busy. My mind was spinning by the end of it and I'm so happy I got the chance to read it.

5 Stars

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Impending Possession of Scarlet Wakebridge-Rose by SL Saboviec

It took me several months to get through this ... Just to get to something good. But when I got there, I stayed right with it.

This book starts off a little slow. You meet Scarlet, her wife Eve, and daughter Mia. You also meet Father Angelo, Kelton (a douche), Dante and Zoe. The character list is small but I'm happy the author did this.

We learn that on her 50th birthday, Scarlet will be possessed. At some point, she promised a demon he could have her body but that isn't something we find out until quite a ways through the story. For Scarlet's whole life, she's felt some kind of presence around and  now that she's getting ready to turn 50, weird things are happening.  Zoe is a woman who is being used by a demon to help get Scarlet's body. We learn the nature of Zoe's existence, her connection to Father Angelo, AND have to deal with Father Angelo's indecisiveness.

By all accounts, Father Angelo is the weakest link. But in the same breath, he's exactly the way he should be and I wouldn't want the author to change a single thing about him. He's conflicted. He has a troubled past that involved dark magic and turned to God as a way to atone for all that. You always get a sense that he's not fully committed. No. He's committed, but always seems to be walking on eggshells and unsure about almost everything.

There's quite the contrast between Father Angelo and Dante. Dante dabbles in magic, is long lived, and will be there to help Father Angelo with Scarlet's exorcism. He's a small strange man whose primary purpose is to kick Father Angelo into gear. If there was no Dante, I don't see how any of this story could have progressed. He's that important.

Things didn't get interesting to me until around the 45% mark. Scarlet was getting closer to her birthday and learning how the demon had been effecting her personal life. She decides to see a psychiatrist, then turns to church and that's really when things change.

Although I'm not a huge fan of the book, I think it was written well. The world building was great. Character development was spot on. And honestly, it read as if I were watching a movie. Everything you would expect from a demon/exorcism type of movie, is in this book. Past the halfway mark, I really enjoyed it and couldn't put it down so I'm a little conflicted as to what rating to give it.

This is a standalone novel so I won't get to find out if anything else pops up in the future, but I am incredibly satisfied with the ending.

3 1/2 Stars

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cast in Godfire by SM Reine

When I tell you that I'm tired ... I'm completely tired.

This book has run me ragged.

Because SO MUCH happens and SO MANY loose ends are tied up and SO MANY questions are answered, I won't give away much. But I will say ...

Everyone is trying to kill Marion. It's unbelievable ... I didn't think things could be this amazing.

The Genesis warp is opening very soon. When we left the last book, Rylie was losing her mind because Benjamin was missing, Seth/Death had gone back to being a God, and Marion was still 'dealing' with Konig. I only say 'dealing' because we weren't exactly sure where her loyalties were. I've read a lot of books (more than what I've reviewed), and I can only think of maybe 1 or 2 series' that weave things together as well as SM Reine did with this. The amount of shit that she had to work through in order to put all this into a 5 book series is beyond me. There are series' out there with 10 and 15 books that aren't half as good as this one. I will say that everything feels like it's been dumped on our lap. Too much hit me too fast.

It took me longer than usual to get through a book in this series just because there's so much to process. I'm so tired!

This book mainly consists of Seth trying to figure out how to deal with Marion and the Genesis warp. Also falling into that is the Benjamin/Nathaniel issue. And wow is that a blow to my senses when I found out how that worked out. Charity and Arawn are still hanging out and it's ... Weird. As weird as you may think it could be. But thankfully, even though Charity is hanging out with him, she's still herself. And even without her magical glasses, and while in Revenant form, she's still our Charity.

One thing that stuck out to me that I really didn't like was Konig's physical treatment of Marion. In a previous book by the author there was a scene where this big man absolutely physically brutalized the main female character. I almost cried. Same thing happened here. Konig beat Marion so badly that I put the book down for 5 days. I couldn't handle it.

Moving on ...

I like how things ended up and how things were resolved. Even with SM's other series', she's a master at tying it all up. She's a master at character development, she's a master at making me fucking hate the shit out of someone and she's a master at making me wonder why the hell someone is dealing with the idiot I hate in the first place. And if you've read any review I've done on one of SM's books, you'll know that I hate Rylie with every fiber of my being. And ... Spoiler!!!!! ... In a previous book, Death told Rylie how she would be killed and who by. I want you all to know that I'll be cheering cause the killer is my best friend and twin. Thanks, SM. Lol.

Anyway ... this book is never slow, it's so action packed. I always feel like SM writes her characters correctly. There's a never a moment where I feel like 'this isnt something she/he would do.'

While every other paranormal series out there is focusing on sex, it's really nice to know that someone out there is writing a great story with awesome characters that you can get into, without using filler-sex to make the desired page count.

At the end of this, the author says the next series will focus on Dana McIntyre. I'm not how sure that one will work out considering that she's a forgettable character to me. But I suppose we do need to follow her around a bit, see what Benjamin is up to, and how the Middle Worlds are faring since the fallout fight between Konig and Marion.

Thanks to SM and her team for providing this book in exchange for a review and I look forward to more from her other series' in the future.

4 Stars

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Slowly Coming Back

Just wanted to put up a quick note and say HEY EVERYONE!!

I've been extremely busy and haven't had much time to read over the course of the last few months. I will be posting a new review in the next few days. But for those who have been waiting on a review, I still have your books, I will read them before I take on any more review requests. I have 6 books total that I need to finish and/or put up reviews for so they will come very soon since I think 3 have already been read. I just need to find my notes and type up the reviews.

Outside of that, if you have recently requested a review or blog post, please know that I won't be getting to anything new until I've finished the books on my list. The authors have been so patient and kind, waiting around for me to get my ish together and put those reviews up.

In short, I'm back to reading and reviewing but at a slower pace than before. I'm taking on less classes this semester than last so here's hoping!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Cast In Balefire by SM Reine

Despite the fact that I adore this series, I still hate Marion. That will never change. And now I hate her more than words can say.

This book is more of a rollercoaster than I imagined. There are so many twists that make it hard to explain and some unanswered questions as well.

This book starts with marital issues. If you remember, in the last installment, we find that Konig was being abusive to Marion and things only grow from there. Oddly enough, I found myself really interested in Konig. Before, he was just this man-child that was funny and messed up at the same time, now I'm intrigued by how he's handling his new found abstinence. On top of that, the whispers around the court are saying that Marion is cheating on the king, that they're not in love, and everyone hates her. It's this big scandalous mess that has me rooting for Marion. I wanted her to get some balls and go find Seth and leave.

Instead of her doing what I want, lol, Ariane (Marion's mother) appears and starts f****** things up. Now there is an elaborate plan to restore her memories that involves Marion going to Sheol and reuniting the Seth.

By the end of the book, you are more confused than you ever were in your entire life and you want to cut Marion into tiny pieces and feed her to Arawn. You find out plans that were made weren't made by who you think they were and it really messes you up!

I'm fucking flabbergasted. Like ... I want her dead. But ... At the end, there is a tiny shred of hope. Unfortunately it will lead to more of a cat and mouse mind game between Marion and Konig in the next book.

As usual, SM delivers. This is my second favorite series of hers and I am definitely looking forward to the next book.

4 1/2 Stars

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter

Soulwood, Book 2

I've been sitting on this for a while. I've read it twice but wasn't quite sure how to put the review into words. Faith gets me all flustered sometimes. Lol.

Nell is a Psyled agent now and Unit 18 has been given their first case. It starts off with them investigating some strange animal occurrences while having to deal with Occam and RickyBo acting weird around the full moon. On top of that, Brother Ephraim is still 'swimming' around Soulwood trying to cause trouble but the land isn't having it.

I'm sure you've read a million reviews on this book already so I'm cutting to the chase.

Paka is a queen! Paka is my queen! Paka is your queen! PAKA IS THE QUEEN TO BE!

If you take nothing else from this, just remember that the queen of petty is Paka. In this book, you find out what the deal between RickyBo and Paka is. And it is glorious ... Simply glorious. Like ... Everything I've said or felt about Rick in regards to how things went down with Jane ... like ... I feel like a new person and Paka gave me this incredible feeling.

Ok ok ok ... This book isn't about Paka but there was so much satisfaction there. Anyway ... Nell has grown stronger, more confident and is much more likeable than before. I finally get a better since of all the members of Unit 18 but I have a bit of a bone to pick with Jojo and her attitude. Outside of that, I'm still excited about the series as I have been before book 1 was even finished.

4 Stars

Sunday, September 4, 2016

#BlackSpecFic Month

Author Constance Burris is co-hosting a giveaway and is looking for Black authors to participate!

There will be a $5 charge for the purchase of an amazon gift card, and you'll have to contribute an ebook or paperback of your choice. In order to enter the giveaway, participants will have to subscribe to our mailing lists. September 15 is the deadline.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Kate Daniels #9

I've had this book for over a month. Thank you, Netgalley. I gave myself ample time to re-read it for a 3rd time before posting on my blog. For one, it's one of my favorites out of the series now, dethroning the Black Sea trip and the Midnight Games. Second, when I enjoy a book so much and then post right after (see a ton of reviews on random Jane Yellowrock books), it's a mess of  'OMG OMG OMG OMG' and not much else. So taking my time to review it gives a better review in the end. Here we go ...

With Kate and Curran now separated from the Pack, they're getting their own private affairs in order. Curran has the Guild and Kate has the entire city of Atlanta. Now, the witch oracle has foreseen the death of Curran and/or the son he and Kate would have when they go to war with Roland. So of course, the entire book revolves around trying to prevent that battle, failing at that part, but at least preventing the deaths. I'll touch on scenes from the book during the review. Let's do this.

I can't give a proper review about the actual book itself without my feelings getting in the way. For me, this was the most emotional but not in a way you would think.

***Prepare yourself for spoilers***

Saiman has been kidnapped by Roland and it starts off a chain of events.

In this book in particular, Roland is basically poking at Kate with a long pointy stick. The stick isn't sharp enough to stab but if you keep making knicks, blood will be drawn. And it's really incredible to see how Roland purposefully does this to push Kate. He tries to talk his way out of things with her or talk his way into things with her all the same. But the thing that I hate about it is I'm so drawn into the picture of Roland that Ilona Andrews has created for him that I want to give in to his whims. I want to do everything he wants me to do if I were in Kate's shoes. Roland has been described as being so fatherly and loving-looking that any child would want him as their dad and desperately want his approval. Apparently, when you are favored by him and he smiles at you, the sun shines. And I've become so drawn to that when Roland is in the scene that I get so sucked in that I'm wondering whose side I'm on. It's ridiculous! I've read this and wondered ... Would it be so bad to go over to his side? Maybe he won't treat 'me' as badly as he treated Hugh because I'm his daughter (I'm aware that I've completely thrown myself in this as if I'm Kate and this is my memoir, lol). Surely, I'd be treated with much more care.

It's that same lull into a false sense of security that he's trying to work on Julie. The difference between Julie and I is that she's much smarter than I am or give her credit for. She's an orphan and she's been taken in my Kate and Curran, then here comes 'grandpa' teaching you all these amazing magical things that you've longed for so you'll do something for him later. Surely, she'd fall for it. And just when you think she would, a situation with an anchor slaps her in the face.

Let's talk about those anchors.

Out of all the anchors, the one I'm going to talk about is the one that had the most profound effect on the events of the book.

The witch oracle is really a tricky bunch. We learn that there are anchors ... Things that need to happen in order for the 'correct' version of the future to take place. Sienna, one of the witches, will call Kate with some cryptic warning that ends up being an anchor. Kate goes on with what she needs to do for the day, encounters it and deals with the fallout. So, basically, if Roland gets to the anchor first, the chain of events will fall in favor of his version of the future. But in order for Kate to alter it to her version, she has to secure the anchor. A lot of the big moments in this book come from having to deal with those anchors. Although one didn't have a direct effect on Julie, it shattered her a little. Don't worry, though, she picks herself up and keeps moving with her eyes open a little wider than before.

The same anchor I mention above will also effect the Pack and how the battle is played out in the end. I mean honestly ... if Jim hadn't done what he did, I really think the battle could have been avoided. But ... Yea, he was going to do SOMETHING after what happened, I would expect nothing less.

Moving on ... I was complaining to a friend a few weeks ago that in certain books, when someone has awesome cosmic powers, they're always fighting against them so they don't become evil. I was saying that I, for once, want someone to get those powers and just do whatever the fuck they want. That didn't happen here ... But ... Some pretty cool shit did happen.

Ever since Kate claimed the city, her power has been growing. And you don't really get the full breadth of it until Kate has a run in with her dad after she confronts him about something early on. It's so difficult to explain, the sheer elation I felt when Kate was being sucked in by her own power. It's like ... Dad is getting in her face, literally, with his power flailing and Kate is like ... Oh hell no, let me show you what's up. All this power from Roland is bashing up against all that power from Kate while they're having a yelling match. It's like ... you push me, I'm going to push you. I can't describe it. A storm came! A fucking storm. All because of this argument. Later, in the Guild, Roland will appear and argue with Kate again, but that argument won't be in English. When the argument ends, she'll notice everyone cowering in corners, noses bleeding and all that and she'll realize that she was speaking an old/timeless Language of Power that she didn't even know she could speak.

The other cool thing about all this is that the power is at a point where it's talking to her, trying to change her and Kate is slipping. When I say slipping, I mean ... Questioning herself. She's hesitating before she realizes that this isn't something she wants. In future books, I'm going to be cheering death-bringing Kate on. I want it so badly I can taste it! But with that, comes Curran, who I believe will follow her to the ends of the Earth because he loves her so much. He says so ... That's another conversation worth really paying attention to when you read it.

I'm almost finished, I just need to touch on one more conversation. Roland comes to see Kate at Cutting Edge and they talk. They sit quietly, share a beer, talk about the past and the possible future and I found myself unable to keep my head clear. There was a part of me that was sitting there in Kate's place on the verge of tears. Roland was saying all the right things and making the right gestures. Kate even thought about giving in before remembering just who she is and what she's fighting for. Had it been me, I would have been out of there, on Roland's back, killing people as I walked down the street. It was the most genuine moment between the two of them and one of my favorite scenes of the book.

There are a million big things that take place in just this book and it's one of the primary reasons why I read it 3 times before I posted this review. It goes with out saying ... I love it. The battle at the end is everything you want it to be. The way Kate got her army together is everything. The surprise that is Christopher is MORE everything. And let me say ... All this is going on while Roman is planning Kate's wedding. Yes, Roman.

A few things I will keep a look out for in the next installment: The Iron Dog that was on the cross, Adora, the conversation Kate had with the witches at the end, Saiman being bled dry, Curran and his 'dinner', Hugh (slim chance), and Red (Julie's ex but he may not pop up until further down the line if at all).

Yea ... I think this one is my favorite. I don't think any book that comes out the rest of the year will top this.

5 Stars
P.S. F*ck Jim! And I say that with equal amounts of love and hate.