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review 2017-07-21 10:02
REVIEW BY MERISSA - True of Blood (Witch Fairy #1) by Bonnie Lamer
True of Blood - Bonnie Lamer
This book was great. It starts with a girl's 17th birthday and the wotsit hits the fan. This book is action (of one sort or another) all the way through and the banter between Xandra and Kallen is simply brilliant. Xandra reacts to the situation in a way that is completely understandable and is often humorous.

Great start to a new series. Recommended.
 
* Verified Purchase ~ January 2013 *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

#Fairy_Tales, #Fantasy, #Young_Adult, #Archive_Review, 4 out of 5 (very good)

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/trueofbloodwitchfairy1bybonnielamer
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review 2017-07-20 15:38
One of my favorite tropes is included
Blood of Tyrants - Naomi Novik

And man, I just loved this novel.  I know that this isn't for everyone - amnesia trope, by the way - but I've loved it since I fell in love with the X-Men, and Wolverine in particular.  I also love how well Novik does hurt/comfort, two tropes that are well used in fanfiction.   It should be noted that Novik is very open about starting out writing fanfiction, realizing she didn't like those confines, and never wanting to write fanfiction, filing off that serial number, and replacing names before publishing.  Oh, no, she uses fanfiction to get somewhere original, to eventually create a wholly original world. 

 

But I'm not surprised to see so many tropes that I enjoy and are used in fanfic so often in her writing either. 

 

Laurence, shipwrecked in China, has to find his way back to Temeraire, without use of his memory.   Meanwhile, everyone around Temeraire is convinced that Laurence is drowned, and tries to let him get on with it - mostly by allowing him to believe that Laurence is alive and to keep looking for him until he wears himself out with that searching.   

 

I find it very telling when they're apart and what they're willing to do for each other: it's touching, and I couldn't help but hurt for Temeraire every time someone tried to tell him Laurence was dead. 

 

Love, love, love.   This one moved really quickly for me, and I tended to resent having to put it down.  Looking forward to the last novel.

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review 2017-07-18 06:31
Blood Trail (Victoria Nelson, #2) - Tanya Huff

From the blurb:

 

"For centuries, the werewolves of Toronto have managed to live in peace and tranquility, hidden quietly away on their London, Ontario farm. But now, someone has learned their secret—and is systematically massacring this ancient race.

The only one they can turn to is Henry Fitzroy, Toronto-based vampire and writer of bodice rippers. Forced to hide from the light of day, Henry can’t hunt the killer alone, so he turns to Vicki Nelson for help. As they race against time to stop the murderer, they begin to fear that their combined talents may not be enough to prevent him from completing his deadly plan.
"

 

 

This is an entertaining, fun, action-packed, mystery-thriller-urban fantasy novel with strong characters and a decent plot.

 

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review 2017-07-18 00:12
Blood Gamble (Disrupted Magic #2) by Melissa F. Olson
Blood Gamble (Disrupted Magic) - Melissa F. Olson

Scarlett does not want to go to Las Vegas. No, not even if there are two vampires putting on a show that may reveal the old world. No not even if Dashiel is paying her a huge sum of money. She’s not going

 

But Vampires don’t take no for an answer and with Dashiel manipulating her sister-in-law into going she has to try and protect them. But there she encounters something far more deadly than Dashiel expected… she could come home, but who but Scarlett will stop the death toll rising?


I would describe the world building of this book as solid and balanced and… disciplined. That seems like an odd word - but so many books have an anything-goes-magical-world and then decide ALL THE THINGS must be included so you can’t even go to the local shops without tripping over 2 leprechauns, bumping into a kitsune and dodging a Wendigo.

 

This book is excellently focused on the three major supernaturals - vampires, werewolves and witches, while clearly having a world with more out there but not allowing those swamp the book - instead we have nice additions without losing the focus


And I like how he implications of Scarlett, a null, fits into that - from alleviating the werewolf curse which is such a relief at times, to vampires being disturbed by actually feeling cold/hunger etc. I like the nuance of it.

 

What did surprise me about this book is the ending. There are elements I didn’t like - but I will say the whole thing completely surprised me - the twists and turns are completely beyond what I expected. Honestly, the ending and what happened with the characters was definitely not anything I expected as I read along. Throughout the book the plot goes in ways I never expected - the culprits were completely not what I expected. The way Scarlett finds the answers, balancing her friends, the threats and getting to the bottom of things is also a really original unexpected direction.

 

The plot does have moments where I think Scarlett seems to make some pretty huge leaps at times - like the whole Skinners storyline seemed to come from nowhere. Like we went from not even knowing Skinners existed and then suddenly decided they were a major threat without any real indication that they were present.but suddenly everyone focused on them

 

That aside the twists really make this plot. There’s action which is really well done, but not a lot mainly focusing on the investigation since Scarlett has a very unique power which isn’t necessarily a combat monster but definitely dangerous, following leads and balancing just how much Scarlett actually wants to be involved in this dangerous investigation.

 

I like Scarlett’s own development - she has that nice balance between her being duly concerned with her safety and the people she cares for alongside her compassion. I actually kind of like how Dashiel pretty much twists her arm to make her go - yes it’s coercive but we’re not talking a love interest here and, let’s be clear, the Cardinal Vampire of Los Angeles is going to be a ruthless user of people because, hey, master vampires, I don’t expect fluffy fluffy niceness. And Scarlett pretty much recognises this and doesn’t expect more. But I do like that she isn’t going to put herself at risk just because Dashiel says so. I like a compassionate protagonist but being a complete martyr is an overdone trope; especially female protagonists who are often not allowed to seek their own advancement.. Compassion moves her, as does threat and money - and it’s ok for a protagonist to be somewhat self interested. Of course that then falls apart because she’s only gathering a huge amount of money to help pay off her brother’s son’s massive medical bills

 

 

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Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/07/blood-gamble-disrupted-magic-2-by.html
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review 2017-07-17 01:18
Blood Kissed (Lizzie Grace #1) by Keri Arthur
Blood Kissed - Keri Arthur
Powerful witches, especially from the major families, are considered a major influental part of modern society
 
Except for Lizzie, never living up to her family’s standards, she has gone into hiding with Isabelle, her best friend and familiar, to set up a business in werewolf territory which is more than a little hostile to witches.
 
She intended to fly under the radar - but when a child goes missing she cannot avoid using her magical abilities to find her; even if it did raise the ire of the local werewolf ranger
 
 
The world building of this book pulled me in quickly - which is just what you want for the first book in a series. The first book has to yell at you why this series is different, what this series has to offer that you can’t get elsewhere, something to hook you in - and a well built world is a perfect hook.
 
The werewolf territories and their quasi-independent status. There are the witches who are massively influential in government with their magic meaning certain witch families hold a position of almost aristocracy. We have a nice introduction of things like natural magic which is definitely raising potential for future complexities. We also have the big bad definitely with a different form of magic that is also going to add to the complexity of the world. Throw in some vampires and a nice hidden society and I’m hooked in
 
Lizzie herself I don’t think is going to be that original herself. Scion of a major family but without the major woo-woo? I’m laying odds now that she will turn out to have the super-rare-special magic or she will turn out to be a late bloomer or something. At some point her awesome super powers will become apparent, the tropes demand it! Honestly? This doesn’t bother me. Yes the genre is full of protagonists who deny their magic, jate their magic, don’t realise how powerful they are, think they’re weak and then embrace it all and become awesomely special power. But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s not fun or interesting or enjoyable to read.
 

Sadly, we also have her love interest. He’s a werewolf. He hates witches and is mean to her but needs her so they have to work together. And he can’t help being attracted to her and she can’t help noticing how utter hot he is ALL THE DAMN TIME never mind how much he hates her and yes we alllllll know where this is going. Nothing says true love like complete and utter loathing (it’s a pet hate of mine - can we stop driving the train from hate to love without a severe redemption moment on the way? Lusting after someone who loathes you is terribad self-esteem). I quickly became tired of the many times she told me she found hot.
 
Thankfully what isn’t tropes is her relationship with Isabelle her best friend, business partner and familiar is much more interesting, original, touching and with a lot of promise. The combination of prophetic dreams, linked magic, the class difference between them and a whole lot of snark and fun connection made this the most important part of the book to me. These two together are going to be excellent. Their friendship is great, they support each other, are fun, sex positive and joyful. But it’s also complicated by the subservient nature of the familiar bond which definitely makes Lizzie uncomfortable.

 

 

 

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Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/06/blood-kissed-lizzie-grace-1-by-keri.html
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