Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Population by Elizabeth Stephens

Dystopian goodness! The Others came to planet Earth over a decade ago and changed everything.  After they devastation they caused, human beings turned on each other for the little resources that were left. Now the vast majority of America is called 'Population' where human gangs are doing whatever they please. For people like Abel, Becks and Ashlynn, it's a scary hell that they must move through to survive with no destination in sight.

Abel ... Not her real name ... is our heroine. A biracial, malnourished fighter who happens upon an Other getting nearly torn limb from limb. In the process, the other 2 she's been traveling with have been taken from her. One killed, and the other kidnapped. Now Abel is out to find the 11 year old who was kidnapped.

Kane ... An Other who tries to find Abel to retrieve something she'd taken from him when he was left for dead.

And that's just the beginning of the book.

It's action packed from start to finish. You feel tense while reading it because around every single corner is trouble. Later, when Kane and Abel reunite, and things slow down for Abel, that's when we really start to learn about Kane, The Others, and what that key is for. And the fight at the end? I'm living for that fight!

There is a sex scene in the book. It's tastefully written with none of the trouble words that I just freaking hate. There's a cliffhanger ending so book 2 definitely must happen. I mean ... I cant ... After that ... I just can't ... I need to know. There are a lot of details I didn't mention on purpose. There are a lot of levels I didn't mention on purpose. It really is a thrill ride from start to finish that you need to hop on.

So please, Elizabeth ... Tell us when book 2 is coming out. We need this!

4 1/2 Stars
Abel (AA/Wh)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Misery's Way by JC Daniels

Misery's Way is a short story associated with the larger world of Kit Colbana. In this story, we meet Frankie, who is some kind of SOMETHING that we are never actually told about. What we do know is she is a faith-healer. But when she heals, she takes the pain from that person and feeds on it. She meets Kit and Justin who have tracked her down for an unknown reason. Frankie 'heals' her and now Kit owes her a favor. But in the process, Kits pain is so deep that Frankie wants to rid the world of the person who caused her that pain

That's basically the entire short story.

There are no details. What I gave you is all there is.

I can't say that I'm all that interested in Frankie. There was nothing in this short story that made me want to know more about her. If anything, I was super interested in her sidekick ... A scarred man whose name escapes me. His loyalty to her is unparalleled.

There is a bonus story ... About Kit ... That is miles better than the one that's marketed on the cover and as the feature.

I have to say that Im a little disappointed. The cover is so kick ass that I just KNEW I would finally get an AA heroine worth my time. Didn't happen. Frankie came across as a person made of steel. The personality was just ... as expected.

I don't know. It's a short story so it goes somewhere else in that world. I would read the series but not for Frankie. Id read it for Kit if I felt so inclined, but Im not as of yet. Maybe I'll try Kit Colbana in the future, but seeing as how my introduction is Frankie, I'm gonna take my time.

2 Stars
IR: Ya.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older

A Bone Street Rumba Novel, Book 1

Carlos Delacruz is a zombie. If you're a fan of the show iZombie on the CW network, it's a little something like that. He's a functioning halfie. He was killed once but brought back to life and works for a council of dead that send him out on jobs to that are basically supposed to keep the balance (in my opinion even though the council are a bunch of jerks).

His first job, in the novel, is to find and exterminate someone. When he finds the guy, he finds out that he is like him, a halfie/zombie but gets rid of him anyway. Even though Carlos is used to not asking questions about the jobs he's sent on, this one gets under his skin because he finally found someone like him.

With this weight on him, things have gotten worse. An 'ngk' shows up. Apparently these are basically little harbingers of devastation and evil. Carlos and some ghosts are sent to check out the deal with this thing and are almost killed in the process. Now Carlos and his team have to figure out how to deal with this problem.

But oh, wait ... There's this girl. Lol. This girl, Sasha, is a halfie/zombie like Carlos, the sister of the man he killed in the beginning of the novel, and may also be in on the evil shenanigans going on.

Although I'm not a fan of Sasha, especially after her jumping ship with that cargo at the end of the book, I am definitely a fan of Carlos' ghost friends. Riley is wonderful and so is Baba Eddie. I hope, in book 2, that we see more of Kia. I just dig her, I don't know why.

Overall, I thought it was great. I've never read this author before and didn't know this book existed until someone posted the cover for book 2 on message boards (that cover features Sasha. Beautiful!). I'm happy that there was no real cliffhanger left but you know their are still issues to be resolved. I'm looking forward to more of Carlos because I just love him and his half-dead swag. I appreciate the author not giving me a standard sex scene. The one short scene was actually written with care and in a way that made me say 'omg ........................................ i loved that.' Daniel Jose Older is one of my new favorites. I can't wait for more and plan on stalking him in the future.

I want to give the book 5 stars but something ... something is holding me back. I don't know what it is. I can't figure it out. But I love it and highly recommend it.

Edit: Kia is on the cover of book 2. Not Sasha. Now I'm fist pumping.

4 Stars
IR everywhere

Monday, May 11, 2015

Angelborn by L Penelope

This is going to sound weird but ... I hated the book. Still ... I highly recommend it.

Caleb is angelborn (half angel ... human father) and without a soul. Many years before, he and his soulmate died before she could share her soul with his. That sent him to the Wasteland. He ends up escaping thanks to a friend I hope to see in book 2. Anyway ... His friend gives him the current name of the reborn soul he's looking for and he finds out she's a student at Douglas University.

This is where things got confusing.

Due to the POV changing with every single chapter, I literally forgot whose eyes I was seeing through when it came to Maia and Genna, the roommates. Maia is your typical goth girl while Genna is your typical black girl. There was nothing that really stood out about either girl except for Maia's background and the fact that both girls (Or maybe just Maia, I was insanely confused) could see the dead. I think maybe just Maia because she spent the most time hating that ability. Anyway, Caleb shows up in their dorm room and Maia introduces them. This is where Caleb starts trying to win Genna's love so they could bind.

The only problem there is, while he's trying to deal with Genna, he's falling for Maia. He's rescuing her from nightmares and paying far too much attention to her to be trying to bind with Genna.

Out of the sky comes Helix, a special type of angel who gives Maia and offer ... Take away the ability to see the dead and give him sex in return. Maia agrees and Caleb becomes very unhappy because he's unclear on what Helix's intentions are.

In the end, after so much is said and done, Genna attempts to bind with with Caleb ... And it doesn't work. Instead, something happens with Maia ... And that's when I decided I hated the book.


My problem was, there were all these flashbacks and all this talk about Genna/Viv and she ends up not being his soul mate after all. Maia does. He'd basically gotten it wrong (highlight for spoiler). So now I'm literally seeing red and reading the outcome and after I finished it, I had to cool off for a couple of days before I wrote this review, otherwise it would have been a cursing fit.

So now that I've thought on it ... Even though I seriously hated it ... I would love to continue on with the series and see what will happen with Helix and the angel friend that helped Caleb escape. In book 2 I hope that I can 'see' everyone a little more clearly. I thought character descriptions were lacking. I thought a lot of personality was lacking for Genna which should have been a clue for me considering I knew what everyone else looked like at least a little. The love story in itself is really great even though it flipped on me, but that is a strong suit all on its own. Great job, L. Still love ya!

3 1/2 Stars
Ir everywhere
BTW, L Penelope is the author of Song of Blood and Stone, which I loved. FYI.

Where There's Smoke by Cari Z

Panopolis, Book 1

Is it weird that I've already forgotten the main characters name and I just finished this a couple of days ago? EDWARD. That's it.

So Edward is a regular guy who moved to a city called Panopolis. Panopolis is basically your Gotham. It's overrun with villains and heroes. Edward moves there to basically put some excitement into his life. Definitely can't blame him there. Anyway, Edward works at a bank that gets robbed by the Mad Bombadier. Not only is Edward shaking his boots, but actually helps the Mad Bombadier escape the hero whose name I can't remember. Oh, Freight Train. SPOILER ALERT (highlight to see spoiler), Edward ends up being caught and jailed as the Mad Bombadier's accomplice before he is broken out of jail with new powers of his own. That part made it actually worth the read. Where There's Smoke will 100% remind you of comic book grandeur without the added benefit of pictures.

First, I'm not sure if Cari Z is male or female but this book definitely reads as if a female wrote it.

I like the fact that Edward and Raul (Mad Bombadier) weren't marketed as gay, but ... They weren't marketed as gay. This is diverse content that those who are hunting for diverse reads need to know about. On the flip side, it's not a big deal that they're gay to begin with. It simply isn't mentioned. I think, judging by the tone of the book, that this was fine. You get pulled into a superhero story before you realize that this guy has the hots for this guy.

Although this book seems to be a lot shorter than a novella, details were apparently not a big deal when it came to telling the story. I knew what Raul looked like but I had no idea what anyone else looked like. Maybe something about hair was mentioned or a forcefield for someone else but details were nonexistent. I suppose that for a read as quick as this one, some things can be sacrificed to keep the story moving as quickly as it was.

For the length of the book, the sex could have been left out and more story filled in. I guess if the sex is important to the author, then it had to be there, but again ... The book read as if a woman wrote it so the sex scenes are very feminine when neither man is.

I can't say that I liked the book but I didn't NOT like the book. There was just so much missing in content. I've read shorties before but even those had better character development. I won't be reading the next one or suggesting someone else read it unless they specifically ask me for an m/m super hero shorter-than-novella.

2 Stars
IR ... Raul (Latino)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Day Shift by Charlaine Harris

Midnight, Texas - Book 2

This is going to be hard to admit, but I never read a Charlaine Harris book prior to True Blood. I knew, when the TV series began, that it was based on the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris, but even after the show ended, I didn't read any of her stuff. Nothing against it, I just never got around to it.

Midnight, Texas is a small town with under 10 people in it. Everyone in town knows each other and works in town as well ... if you can call it a town at all. The story starts off with Manfred, the town (and world renowned) psychic. He leaves town to do a reading for a long time customer who ends up dying during the reading. To make matters worse, the customer's son accuses Manfred of stealing the woman's jewelry. This is where Olivia comes in. Olivia seemed to be a bit of a mystery until we find out how resourceful she is and how many skeletons are in her closet. The town reverend makes her help Manfred out of his situation because the last thing Midnight, Texas needs is attention.

Unfortunately, that's what it got. An old hotel is being restored and older people are moving in ... being made to move in. So all together, in this book, we're dealing with the case against Manfred, the hotel re-opening, a telepath, and a mysterious growing boy. Not to mention how 'special' the few residents of Midnight are. With all this going on at once, you won't want to stop reading until you find out everyone's secrets. Sookie is even mentioned.

Each persons secrets are slowly revealed throughout the book so there isn't a big bomb dropped at any given time. Information is given to you in a way that's eased in so smoothly that you go ... OKAY WHAT? However, it makes perfect sense. It's not the narrator giving you the information, it's the dialogue giving it to you. It's no shock to them, but it's a shock to us.

This is book 2 of the series but you don't necessarily need book 1 in order to enjoy book 2. Book 1 had a separate issue to deal with you. Sure, you'll want to read it, but book 2 has the vital information you need.

This review is short but overall, I thought the book was a fun read. I enjoyed really feeling like I was living in Midnight with everyone. I know everyone's character, even Mr. Snuggly. It's such a small place that you kind of implant yourself in someones home. By the time the book was over, I was ready for book 3. I wonder who it will focus on next time. I have an idea but I could always be wrong.

4 1/2 Stars
IR - Everywhere. Mostly latino.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Because Faith Hunter is Amazing ...

I happened to win a Facebook contest and this arrived yesterday. Yesssssss!

The stake is in my purse, btw. Don't f*** with me. I'll stake your a$$.

I love you, Faith.
So f****** much.