Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Redzone by William C Dietz



Book 2, The Mutant Files

In book 2, Cassandra Lee has to go into the Redzone. Why? We'll get to that in a second.

The Bonebreaker is still on the loose and has his sights set on Detective Lee. Where as in the first book, he overlooked her, sighting that God didn't want him to kill her yet. Now, with book 2, there is a Bonebreaker impostor. The real Bonebreaker becomes so upset by this impostor that he works WITH Detective Lee in order to have him caught. But this is only after he's mentally incapacitated her for a short time.

So much happens in this book that my mind is scattered.

Ok.

Outside of catching the impostor Bonebreaker, Detective Lee gets a letter from a woman, her mother, who lives in the Redzone. After Lee has been mentally cleared, she sets off to go see this woman despite whatever dangers may befall her. When she does get to see her mother, she finds out the real reason for wanting her to come; to smuggle her half-brother out of the Redzone so he can live a normal life. Apparently her mother had a son with a mutant.

Hold.

Remember the problem I had in book one where Cassandra had sex with Ras Omo, even though he was a mutant, but she couldn't breathe the same air as him? Weird. Anyway ...

Her mother had a son with her mutant husband but the boy, I think his name was James, is not a carrier of B Nosilla. He's a mutant but basically can't pass it on. He doesn't even have a disfigurement. Although, you find out later that he can see in the dark.

That's neither here nor there.

Inside that whole Heevy (the man Lee's mom married) family is a bunch of mess. James, the brother, is sleeping with one of his fathers wives. Some people die, then Cassandra and James make a run for it. Why? Because even though her mom was a heartless b*tch, Cassandra still would keep her word and help James get out of the Redzone.

SPOILER ALERT (highlight to read spoiler): The brother dies when daddy Heevy sends people to kill him for sleeping with his wife. But hey, at least Cassandra tried.

I like that there was no love lost there. I was a little tickled.

And by the end of it, someone is following her out of the Redzone and shooting rockets into her apartment. SWEET!

----

Now that you know what's going on, it's time for me to tell you how I really feel.

This series is all guns blazing and action movie fun and violence. Cassandra Lee is exactly the big budget action star you want to see on screen. If this were a movie, I'd definitely go see it. Not to mention, I haven't run across any more series' with a WOC leading this type. Cassandra is exactly the badass cop that any man is. But she's boring as hell.

Just like with the first book, Cassandra's personality is lacking everything. I don't understand how she ends up dating a man in this book when there's no lead-in, no romance, just conversation that seems overly friendly. And then how did they get around to having sex? Getting comfortable in his apartment? There's nothing else in this book that supports this happening. They basically seem like friends and maybe Lee has a little crush on him, but that's all.

Another problem I had with the book, and the series I'm sure, is that you can tell a man is writing it. Those little emotional connections that women have, even if they think they don't have them, Cassandra doesn't have. She's basically a nice man in a woman's body.

There was only a mention of Deputy Ras Omo but he doesn't make an appearance.

Overall, Lee needs a personality overhaul immediately. She's boring as shit unless she's actively working, meaning shooting someone. That's when she shines. It all goes down hill when she opens her mouth.

Will I keep reading the series? No. Will I support it? Absolutely. A WOC lead cop series is needed. Im sure someone will like Lee. I just can't, not matter how hard I try.

-----

Can we just talk about how flawless the covers are for a second? Below is the cover for book 3, Graveyard. Just delicious.



3 Stars
IR: Lee (AA) Kane (W)

Book Cover Porn: Shadow Rites

No Jane Yellowrock book cover has disappointed me. I needed to share this in all its glory.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

DayBlack by Keef Cross


So. I've always wanted to get into graphic novels and comic books. I read a few of the diverse comics but I've never come across anything like this. DayBlack is about a vampire that lives in DayBlack. It's always nighttime there, hence the name DayBlack.

The e-copy I received from Netgalley had issues 1-4 so not only did I get some backstory on Merce and how he was a slave who was bitten, but a lot of what he has to deal with on a day to day basis. He's devised a way to fly under the radar, but when he's had to deviate from the norm to get blood the old fashion way, the hunters come out trying to get him.

I can't rate this the way I would rate a book because it doesn't make sense to. It's a graphic novel so I'll keep it simple as possible. The artwork is ... just ... Beautiful. It's stunning, actually. I don't want to copyright infringe by posting screenshots but if you look at the cover of issue 1 (above) then you'll have an idea of what you're in for. It's just gorgeous. The story is also interesting but the visuals. Ugh ... perfect. So yes, the story is good bu visuals really mean more with something like this and Keef Cross totally delivers.




5 Stars
Very diverse

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sacrificial Lamb Cake by Katrina Monroe



Definitely one of the more interesting plots I've come across in the last couple of years. A lesbian has been chosen as the Messiah in the Second Coming.

Good, right?

Judas has been in solitary confinement since his infamous betrayal. G (God), and the other Disciples, decide to hear him out on this great plan of his to groom the new Messiah. They decide to move forward with this plan and that's when we meet Rainfall. She likes to be called Rain. She's an orange-haired lesbian waitress working hard to stay away from her over-the-top hippy parents. Of course, when she meets Judas, who goes by Jude, she thinks he's just some stalker until he convinces her to tr multiplying some bread. That sets the wheels in motion for her.

What Jude didn't count on was the actual End of Days happening like right now. Throughout the story, Rain has to turn water to wine, lead some disciples, deal with her mess of a family, figure out how to navigate the plagues in living form, and fight the Antichrist with no preparation.

By the end of the story, G informs Jude that this was all done for the sake of his redemption.

Finishing the book today, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed. This book is a light hearted fun read and I definitely recommend it .... However ..... And this is just my opinion ... I wanted something more. I wanted it to be a little heavier. I felt like it should have been heavier. Example, everything bad that was happening was happening basically in her part of town. There was no global End of Days, just a small scale end of days. Yes, they alluded to the death and destruction of the world, but it was only kept within the confines of the city the story was set in.

So, if you're looking for a light hearted take on a Bible story with a twist, definitely pick this up, you will enjoy it.

If you're looking for something more in depth, like I was, this isn't the book for you.

Still ... I liked the writing style and character development a lot. I'd like to read more from this author in the future if given the opportunity.




3 Stars
No IR. Lesbian protag.

Inner Demons by Gloria Oliver



This will be a spoilery post.

Inner Demons is the story of a woman who is missing a chunk of her memory. She 'wakes up' in an unfamiliar outfit and goes to her unfamiliar apartment. Tamara was possessed by a demon and is now left to pick up the pieces after the thing basically destroyed her reputation. After she's come down from the demon possession, she meets Jensen White. He's an x-priest who works for an order that deals with demons and the devil and all that good stuff. We find that the demon that possessed Tamara was monitoring a couple of brothers, Jared and Ross, close by. They aren't what they appear to be, but much more. And what they actually have is what the demons are after.

I finished this book weeks ago. Maybe even a month ago. It's taken me that long to decide if I liked it.

First, the characters. I found Tamara to be pretentious and hard headed, which is the case with a lot of books like this so that's no shade to the author. It's just the norm. I felt as though the characters weren't 'painted' very well. 3 out of the 4 characters had interchangeable personalities, speech patterns and everything. If you took names away, you would think 3 people were the same. The only interesting person was one of the brothers, Ross, he seemed to have the most personality and I found myself hoping he had more page time.

Second, the world building. It was lacking. I was actually pretty hyped because I'm a Texan but the world building didn't transport me. Well ... I'm halfway lying. There was more time spent on describing Jensen's safe-house/cabin than what Jensen looked like. I honestly can't remember. The brothers, I definitely remember them, right down to the nose, but Jensen was forgettable.

Lastly, the writing style. It was easy and free flowing. There were some grammatical errors but not many. Everything was easy to follow.

Overall, I just didn't like Tamara. Something about her felt very high school. I kept reading because I was hoping she'd be maimed or killed at the end. It seems as though this book has signs that their could be a part 2 but if not, it can remain as is. I do, however, hope the author continues to write. I thought the plot was interesting and well thought out and written easily. OH  ... her style reminds me of Shelly Laurenston a bit. Just a bit. Anyway. I'm hoping for more from the author so I can see what she does with the next lead she writes. Just looking for some growth.




2 Stars
Tamara (AA) Jensen (White)

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