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review 2017-10-19 09:45
Surfing with Snakes & Dragons- Roger J. Couture

 

We read in the minds of characters, which are all by degree, hedonistic, narcissistic, masochistic, and deeply psychologically introverted. That doesn’t mean that they are necessarily uncaring and detached from others, far from it. But deep exploration of subject character is so much the essence of these individualistic snakes and dragons. All the characters are flawed, troubled by the direction of their lives, and struggling between living for the moment and their worldly, practical, daily responsibilities, by concern for their own well-being and that of others. None of the main characters are uncaring of others, but they are all certainly self-absorbed. Perhaps most of us are, perhaps that is the message?

Couture quite probably exposes more of the conflicts in himself than those of others through these stories, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t also extremely observant of how others see their worlds. He writes in a highly descriptive, word-rich, and psychologically penetrating style. At times he borders on repetitive description and on says too much about what has surely already been deduced by any fully engaged reader, but he writes with such poetry, such cadence, that the overflow of description can easily be forgiven. Ultimately, nothing is decided, but every consideration is explored, possibility is left hanging, food for thought. Life is drawn to the extreme, to the fear, to toy with danger, and to them contemplate what it is that makes people repeat behaviour again and again. Couture writes with particular conviction about what it is to be a dedicated surfer, clearly a sometime overriding passion in his own life. But there is much more here, beyond the draw of the pounding sea. However, I recommend mixing the eight reads, as, for me, we start with rather too much abundant surf. There is connectivity between each story, characters spilling from one to the other, but these are truly independent constructions that can be shuffled like the cards in a single suit.

The poems at the start of each story acted as mood setters for the rich poetry of prose inside. A lot of this book is an exploration of the ‘adrenaline’ in life, in sport, in personal relationships, and at times raises one’s own hormonal beat, but this isn’t writing for the lover of the pacey thriller. This is writing for the lover of literature, for the lover of detail, for the contemplative, for those that like to enjoy the journey of an adventure rather than necessarily the climb to peak tension and final relieving climax. If one likes descriptive writing, and the analysis of what makes people tic, then this series of stories is for you. I might call these essays on the waves in life rather than stories with firmly placed beginnings or any definitive endings.

AMAZON LINK

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review 2017-10-16 01:23
And this...this is how you do dragons!
Burn the Sky - Jaye McKenna

Now if it's not already clear let me start by saying..."I LOVE DRAGONS!!! Unashamedly, unapologetically love them." to me they are the most fierce, majestic, powerful and yes scary because...hey, big fire breathing creatures here, in all of mythology. 

 

I've had this series on my wishlist for ages and was fortunate enough to have been gifted with the first three books in this series as part of a gift exchange last Christmas and while it's taken me until now to find the time to start reading this series...all I can say to that is good things come to he, or she as the case may be, who waits.

 

Gerrick is the heir presumptive to the throne of Altan (next in line for the throne)...except there's one teensy little problem in order to become the Wytch King he needs to come into his wytch power...he's 20 it should have happened by now and Altan has never had a king who didn't possess a wytch power...ask his Uncle. He's only to happy to explain this  to anyone who will listen...bitter much? Oh yeah. 

 

For Gerrick this isn't about being king though it's about keeping a promise. A promise to protect his younger brother, Jaire from the pressures of ruling a kingdom. Something that even Jaire willing admits he has absolutely no desire or ability to do. Regardless of everything else Jaire, Gerrick and their father are all of a like mind on this issue...neither the kingdom nor Jaire would survive should he be made king as the Wytch Council would have happen.

 

It's in a last ditch effort to have Gerrick declared his rightful heir by the council that the king demands that Gerrick's wytch powers be forced to awaken defying the councils decree that forcing wytch powers or even attempting to do so is a punishable offense. Desperate to protect his brother Gerrick agrees to allow this. 

 

Some wytch powers are not meant to be awakened and when Gerrick's awakened powers end in disaster. Kian, Gerrick's friend, lover and an apprentice healer flees to the Wytch's College in search of the Wytch Master Ilya in a last ditch effort to save not just Gerrick, but his brother Jaire and ultimately the kingdom of Altan. 

 

Ilya's tasked with teaching Gerrick to control his powers but things get complicated when Ilya and Gerrick are drawn to each other and time starts to run out when the machinations of others put both the king and Jaire at risk. 

 

'Burn the Sky' is definitely one of the most enjoyable dragon stories I've read in a very long time. I loved the characters of Gerrick and Ilya. Their relationship started out with definite touch of antagonism as both men came into the relationship with some pre-conceived ideas about the other, but with Gerrick needing Ilya's help to learn how to control his powers and Ilya determined to avoid being the one to deliver the deathblow that will be Gerrick's fate should he fail they find themselves forced to find a way to work together for their own good and the good of a kingdom. 

 

Along with Gerrick and Ilya we are given some secondary characters who beg for their own story and fortunately the author has seen this. In 'Blackfrost' the second book in this series we are given the story of Kian and what becomes of him after he leave the college, in the third book 'Shadowspire' we find out more about Jaire, the sweet and sensitive brother of Garrick whom we met in this story and who proved that while he may not have what it takes to rule a kingdom he had the courage he needed to help save it.  Dragonwatch is the fourth book currently released in this series and while we haven't met either of the MCs in it I'm so looking forward to what comes next in this series. 

 

For me the 'Wytch King' series is everything that I want in a fantasy series...there are dragons, magic, adventure, romance, characters that are both intriguing and compelling and a story that while it feels complete leaves me both wanting and knowing that there is yet more to come.

 

 

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review 2017-10-03 22:34
Kiss of Fire by Deborah Cooke
Kiss of Fire - Deborah Cooke

I liked the first half of the book better than the second half. I liked the writing. I wasn't impressed with the characters. I felt the female protagonist really accepted her "fate" way too easily than what I thought she would based on how she had previously portrayed. The male protagonist I really liked, but at times his actions and dialogue felt flat. There wasn't as much sexual tension as I have grown to expect from books of the genre. The love didn't feel intense. There were a lot of cheesy one liner during battle scenes that made me feel like I was in the midst of one chronic eye-rolling fit.

 

I have read other books by this author that I have enjoyed and will read book two hoping this book is just a fluke.

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review 2017-10-03 20:10
ARC review: SEDUCED BY FIRE by ERIN KELLISON
Seduced by Fire - Erin Kellison

Third installment in the Dragons of Bloodfire series. It’s supposed to be read as a standalone but I truly think you need to read the series in order to thoroughly enjoy this book although that’s not completely necessary. 


As great as life may be for any Bloodkin (dragon) that has amassed a great fortune over the years, the fact that they are still different from any other human being makes for a very complicated life. Shifters, werewolves, vampires and other creatures are out and humans are not very accepting of them so they tend to stay hidden as much as possible. There are some evil creatures that actually want to take over the world and Aura becomes involved in one of their evil schemes. 

Mack is a very powerful and ancient dragon shifter that’s left his dragon life behind in exchange for a more calm and confined “normal” life as a college professor. It might not be as luxurious as it could have been if he lived as any other Bloodkin but his love for books and antiquities has made him more accommodating over the years. He and Bloodkin Aura were friends less than a century ago but circumstances separated them and now she is back in his life, asking for his help and rekindling old romantic flames. 

I think I’m a little biased when it comes to this author because whenever I start reading any of her books I’m already thinking I’m going to like it. Her narrative depicts quite a unique imagery; she’s got such a gift for creating the most fantastic worlds capable of transporting me to whatever place she’s decided to create. And although her dragon shifters are not the “sexiest” I’ve ever read, they are by far the most intriguing, interesting, and complex beings– when I say sexiest I mean they are not out looking to mate and claiming to be the best lovers ever, thank goodness- They even behave like true dragons, with hoards and all and with a folklore all of their own. 

Aura and Mack set out to retrieve some sort of artifact that according to myth it could empower any normal human and enslave the rest of humanity. Aura needed that artifact to ensnare something –or someone- that had escaped her a long time ago and trap it again. She was keeping her own agenda secret but whatever it was Mack was sure she’d confide in him with the right incentive. He wasn’t exactly in love with her but had had feelings for her since the day she met her. 
I don’t think this one is the most romantic story of the series however what I liked the most here was the honesty between Aura and Mack when it came to their feelings and the quest all the characters set out to find the artifact. One thing I didn’t like much was that the ending felt somewhat contrived and too lenient for the main villain of the story.

It’s always a pleasure to return to this world and will be looking forward for the next installment. 

I voluntarily read this book and my opinion here is my own

 

Purchase your copy now:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vo6zEl
B&N: http://bit.ly/2wh7e80
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fhHzs9
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2uaWsyU

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review 2017-10-02 17:55
THE DRAGONS OF NOVA BY: ELISE KOVA
The Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga) - Elise Kova

 

    I have to say I really enjoyed this sequel to The Alchemists of Loom! It had everything I look for in a sequel, compelling character development and riveting plot progression. I liked the Alchemists of Loom, but I LOVED The Dragons of Nova. 

 

 

I am so happy we got a better view of Nova in this one, and all the juicy dragonian politics that come along with it. I found Arianna's time there so engrossing, being completely surrounded by the dragons she despises, even (if rather reluctantly) working with them to bring down the biggest, baddest one of them all. Seeing Cvareh in his natural habitat was also a treat. I think that he was so out of his element in the first book that often he seemed to be floundering, but in Nova we got to see this other side to him, one where he is well respected and a real pillar of strength to his people. 

 

 

As much as I liked Nova, I was also glad to continue Florence's journey with the rebels, and even more so her personal journey. It was nice to see her stepping out of Ari's shadow and really coming into her own. Florence had learned a lot of invaluable things from Ari, but watching her discover the world around her for herself and deciding on her own what is important to her and what to fight for. 

 

That ending was EXPLOSIVE, and I am dying to know what is going to happen next. I honestly can't wait to get my hands on the next book! 

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