Thursday, May 12, 2016

Beta by SM Reine

War of the Alphas, Book 2

Just want to start off by reminding everyone that the protag, Dierdre, is actually black ... Regardless of the cover.

Like an idiot, I'd forgotten the fact that I'd purchased this entire series and finally got into reading Beta. Beta is the continuation of Dierdre Tombs, a shapeshifter who can't shift and no one has any idea what the hell she is. In this book, Dierdre is serving as Everton Stark's beta and not enjoying it. Not only is Stark batshit crazy, still, but Dierdre's mind is becoming more and more twisted to match Stark's. If you remember from book 1 (or hadn't read it, which you should), she is undercover for the Alpha of all shifters, Rylie Gresham. Dierdre is supposed to be learning all the information she can and providing that intel to Rylie. However, now that Dierdre is starting see things from Stark's point of view, it causes an internal glitch and now she has to decide if this really is the life she wants to live. Aside from all of her internal struggles, there's a war going on between the Winter Court and the Summer Court. These guys are kind of like fairies. Super strong fairies. A set of them visit Stark and want him to get a weapon. They give him coordinates for it and as they go on their mission, it ends up being a trap and Dierdre gets arrested by OPA. As to not give anything away, Dierdre gets out, there's a big brawl at the end and we FINALLY get to see what Dierdre actually is and I'm so pleased because it isn't covered very much. I've only read one other book that has a character that is the same as Dierdre. Outside of that, we learn exactly what Everton Stark is too ... And then what he isn't that he thought he was. Now ... As far as book 3 goes, I'm starting that tomorrow.

What did I love? I love Dierdre. She's a great protagonist. I love Everton Stark because he's kind of like the protagonist AND the antagonist. I say that because outside of him doing horrible things to Dee and his people because he can, he's getting her hooked on Lethe, which is a drug. I came to the same conclusion as Dierdre, that he's doing it to control her. My heart kind of broke every time he supplied her with more. Anyway, Stark starts to sort of have a crisis of conscience in reference to Dee. You kind of feel it all through the book but it isn't as obvious so when it manifests, you're like ... okay yea, that makes sense. Back to Dee. She's not completely kick-ass but she's still pretty high in the ranks. I love reading any parts dealing with how her mind is changing in regards to the struggle of Stark over Rylie. And honestly, I think Rylie sealed the deal with her actions in this book BUT since I've read a book in another series that came after this, I have an idea of how this will play out. Anyway ... I really did enjoy Niamh, but I'm soooooooooooo gonna enjoy her more when Dierdre gets her hands on her. I think book 3 is going to be a clusterfuck of amazing vengeance and I am here for all that mess! Okay okay okay ... I really do like all the characters, I love the underground setting and the perpetual tension when Stark is in the room. You honestly never know if you're gonna get smacked for even breathing wrong.

What I didn't like? I can't think of one thing I didn't like. Thanks SM Reine. You got me hooked again, girl.

5 Stars

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

The Kingmaker Chronicles, Book 1

Cat has been living her past 8 years as a Soothsayer at a traveling circus. One day, a group of men come out to test out her talents so their leader, Beta Sinta (real name Griffin), can get proof that one among them is a traitor. Not only does Cat prove that he is, indeed, the traitor, the group grabs Cat and runs. Despite Cat having incredible powers, a non magical man has captured her with something as simple as an enchanted rope. Now she's bound to this man and his team as they travel back to the castle where Beta Sinta can hand cat over to Alpha Sinta (the queen Egeria) or ... Something else ... Before they can even get to the castle, they get in a hell of a fight with a giant and a she-dragon. Hold onto your hats cause this book is about to get jumpin. Also, there is a huge amount of Greek Mythology at play here and we know that Zeus has a link to someone as well as Poseidon.

What did I love? ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!! This is a fantasy story that has all the elements that I love that I can't even name. Character development was on point. It was obvious from the very beginning that the team that nabbed Cat would end up being brother figures to her. They all had a really easy going personality that wasn't over the top. They were genuinely happy to be a part of Beta Sinta's team. When Cat is being dragged around with them, they treat her like the little sister they've been wanting. It's incredible how quickly the adapt to add this new person to the team, who is a captive, and trying to figure out how to get away.

As far as kick ass women go ... Cat is at the top of the list. She can fight and breathe fire. Honey. Yes. It seems like her powers are limitless. So many heroines go through the near-death experience several times but only a few can go through it more than once in the same book. And this heffa just keeps on ticking. I am SO in love with Cat. She's just freaking perfect.

This review is sucking. I'm so excited about this series that I can't help it.

So who was Cat hiding from? Another Alpha. How did Beta Sinta find her? Apparently in a dream. Does Cat warm up to him? Oh hell yes and it culminates into really well done sex scenes towards the end of the book. So for next book I'm looking forward to finding out about this prophesy that Cat keeps talking about. I would love for her to answer Griffin's questions about who she really is because despite her living in the castle with his family loving her, they don't know jack about her and she is really growing to love these people. I want to see more of melting bodies and weird mythological creatures. I like that we didn't get to see Andromeda (our villain) but know we will deal with her later, and I enjoy being in Cat's head when she's listening to people talking and deciphering the truth from their lies. Such a page turner and glad I was granted this book from Netgalley.

What did I dislike? No diversity. I chose this book based on the cover alone and it looked, to me, like it could be brimming with diversity. The cover reminds me of the Kate Daniels series so I was going on that vibe. Dark hair, olive skin, green eyes ... That's about as diverse as you're gonna get with this one. It's so disappointing because I'm ready to ride for this book but ... *shrugs* What can you do? It's still good though and I'll stay with it. I'm interested in Cat the Kingmaker and how she will make Griffin into one.

5 Stars