Saturday, August 6, 2016

Summer Court by SM Reine

Tarot Witches: Book 4

This was my first time reading any book from the Summer Court series. I knew about the witch courts and sidhe and all that but I never just WANTED to read it. Anyway ... This was a fast read, and since this is an ARC, I won't give many details.

The Breaking is happening. A void is swallowing up the world and some witches have received Tarot cards from God. This story focuses on Samita, a young Hindu woman who receives the Death card. Unfortunately, I never connected with Samita or her 'boyfriend' Slater. No. I did, but not until the very end. I loved that Samita was Hindu and became wheelchair bound. I hadn't yet read anything with anyone who was differently-abled and was excited for this.

I'm not a huge fan of erotic books. I don't think this one falls into the category of Erotica but the witches had to use sex magic. For one, when the witches' wolf mates changed shape, sex made it shift easier. I think the major complaint I have is that the sex, outside of the witch/wolf orgies, really wasn't needed to further the story. That time could have been used to fill in more story, details, character development, anything except sex, anything that mattered. SOME backstory was given for a couple of the characters in the form of a viewpoint change with flashback. But even that felt like filler.

The story would have been really good given a more appropriate page count. I could have been all in even if I didn't like Samita because of how things turned out. It's really the only thing that kept me reading it and even then it took me over a week.

Overall, the book was decent. Because of the length, a lot of meaty things for the characters were left out. I really had no idea what anyone looked like other than basic physical description. One woman was described as having bronze skin, someone had a mohawk, Samita has light brown skin, Slater is a pretty nicely built guy and ... If you're going to write a character that has a rich cultural background, I like for something to be included. This felt generic. The world building wasn't there, but there was enough seeing as how the book was short.

I don't know ... I really liked the story, the ending with Ben brought it all home, especially THAT reveal, but I wanted it full-length and minus the extra sex scenes (the ones between Samita and Slater ... Well maybe 1 could stay). A rating for this is hard. Damnit. I love SM Reine so much but this one was a miss for me.

2 Stars

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My Favorite Diverse Books ... So Far

Series: Bone Street Rumba
Author: Daniel Jose Older
LinksTwitter: @djolder / Amazon Author Page / Website
Why I love it: To put it simply, the writing is superb. Each and every character is fully developed. The series is very diverse and also authentic in it's diversity, which isn't always the case in other books. It also gives a fresh take on what could be a 'zombie' that we hadn't seen before. Older does a great job of making you feel like every single character in the book.
Series: Tales of Y'Myran
Author: Shaylynn Rose
LinksSmashwords Author Page / Ylva Publishing
Why I love it: It's a high fantasy, mildly diverse, lesbian story. The world building is divine and really a big draw for the story outside of the lead character, Azhani. She's kickass, smart, honorable, and well respected. I think the respect that everyone else in the book has for her sets this series apart from others with female leads.

Series: Jane Yellowrock
Author: Faith Hunter
LinksTwitter / Website / Amazon Author Page
Why I love it: I pride myself on sticking by kickass females and Jane Yellowrock is the cream of the crop. This is a diverse book lead by a full blooded Native American Skinwalker. This Urban Fantasy series perfectly blends the real world with some seriously believable paranormal fiction.

Series: Iamos Trilogy
Author: Lyssa Chiavari
LinksTwitter / Website / Amazon
Why I love it: This could possibly be the first Young Adult novel that I fully enjoyed. I was also surprised that I enjoyed a SciFi novel. The main thing I loved is the difference between one teen's upbringing verses the other's and how each processed it. Plus ... Those teens are smart!

Series: Population
Author: Elizabeth Stephens
LinksWebsite / Twitter / Amazon Author Page
Why I love it: It's full length but fast paced with no filler BS and a black woman in the lead. You're tired by the time you finish, you're irritated, you're excited, you've been beaten up, nearly killed, or want to die ... And you love every word of it. This book, in my opinion, isn't one for anyone who is looking for some Dystopian fun with a love story. This is real work! 

Series: The Kingmaker Chronicles
Author: Amanda Bouchet
LinksTwitter / Amazon Author Page / Sourcebooks
Why I love it: This one isn't diverse but I have no doubt you'll love it as much as I did. I'm a sucker for kickass female leads and Cat is right up there with Jane Yellowrock and Kate Daniels. This is high fantasy with fire breathing, castles, armies and incredible character development. This series is new but I am eagerly awaiting the next book.

Series: Mage Craft Series
Author: SM Reine
LinksTwitter / Amazon Author Page / Website
Why I love it: I hate to think of the people who enjoy diverse books but have slept on SM Reine. How could you? Every book is diverse whether the lead is or not. For this series, I simply enjoy Seth. It's like he changes from book to book but then not at all. The author has lots of series that all play in this world and everything ties in some form. And the plot twists?! Honey YES!

Series: Soulwood
Author: Faith Hunter
Twitter / Website / Amazon Author Page
Why I love it: This brand new series is different than the Jane Yellowrock books but set in the same world. Nell doesn't have the physical capabilities to match anyone in a fight but she has a special ability that will even the odds. I love this new series because this is something I haven't seen. The character development is wonderful and you fall in love with the characters quickly. And of course, the diversity is there.

Series: Kate Daniels
Author: Ilona Andrews
LinksWebsite / Website / Amazon Author Page
Why I love it: Although I have not yet posted my review for this book, it will be coming soon. This is the only series that I feel can overtake Jane Yellowrock. Kate Daniels is the #1 most kickass female out right now. The series is diverse although some of it is masked. It still doesn't take away from anything. This is action at it's best. Character development and world building at it's best and everything counts. Everything. Even the separate novellas are just as good. This is the series you go through in one week and skip on sleep.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Blood of the Earth GIVEAWAY WINNER IS ...

***Helen Wawrejko***

Congratulations, Helen. Message me on twitter (@upbookblog), to claim your prize!