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review 2017-02-19 14:30
Audio Book Review: Hunting Down Dragons
Hunting Down Dragons: an Urban Fantasy (... Hunting Down Dragons: an Urban Fantasy (Moonlight Dragon) (Volume 2) - Tricia Owens

*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review at my request.

Someone is looking to set Anne up, get her in serious trouble with the Oddsmakers who rule the city. Or so Anne thinks. No one's to do magic around normal people, and someone adds a dragon to the firework display, hoping it will point to Anne with her dragon familiar. After facing the Oddsmakers, Anne learns from Vale what her mom was looking for when she died. A necromancy artifact. Anne is determined to find this artifact, and learn who killed her parents on that mountainous road years ago and maybe find her Uncle who's missing.

Anne Moody's mom and uncle have each had their own task to perform for the Oddsmakers, and failed. Per the Oddsmakers, Vegasso was the first to arrive to capitalize on their failure, others will follow. But before Anne can know what the task was her family was to perform, she must prove she and her ancestors are not traitors. Or her life and those of her friends will be forfeit.


Jenna is a new narrator to me. I like when she gives a sound to one voice as though spoken into a room that has a large feel to it the distant echo-y voice. This extra really is awesome to get in an audio book. I enjoyed Jenna as she voiced the character's personalities. The audio felt seamless along with the cadence and emotions feeling to flow smoothly as she brought the story to life for us.

I've not read or listened to the first book. I know, that's out of character for me. But I liked the sound of the book and had to give it a go. It's all okay though. It's easy to pick up with the characters, world, and story in this second book without reading the first. The beginning of the book lists out who the characters are to each other and what they are. We learn about the Oddsmakers and even get mention of what happened in the first book as we head into what happens on the Fourth of July in Nevada as Anne and her friends sit watching fireworks in the desert.

I enjoyed the blend of friends that Anne has, and her love interest. The world here is full of supernaturals - monkey shifter, gargoyle, fortune teller, wolf shifter water fae, and Anne herself who's dragon blood, and these are just Anne's close friends. Anne is a great person that's also of a diverse nationality. I love the writing of her as she's a normal, regular person as she should be, in a supernatural world. Anne and her dragon familiar are connected. But the connection could draw Anne to be a dragon if she gives to much when using Lucky, which is not a good thing. It's so tempting yet so dangerous that she could lose herself. And she will be watched by he Oddsmakers who rule the supernatural in the city because of her heritage.

There is more to Vale than meets the eye. We start to see this here, but I think there is more to come out and want to learn about him. I want to see Anne with her other friends too. But there is more to the past with her parents and uncle. We learn about what happened to her parents, but there was something else with her mom and what she was searching for at the Oddsmakers demand. Also, Anne's uncle is still missing. I am curious about them all.

I know it sounds like we don't get answers, but we do. I just have a feeling there is more than meets the eye with it all. I look forward to the series as it all unfolds for us and the characters.

Something in the story telling reminds me of Linsey Hall's Urban Fantasy series. If you enjoy one author, you may enjoy the other.

I like the creation of a world with many supernaturals in Las Vegas. There is so much that can happen there and lots of space to happen in. Anne having a potential danger with her dragon heritage. And we get a feel there is more to Vale.

Overall, after writing my thoughts, I've found I really enjoyed the story and want to read/listen to more books with Anne and her friends.

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review 2017-02-17 21:35
The Dragonbone Chair / Tad Williams
The Dragonbone Chair - Tad Williams

A war fueled by the powers of dark sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard—for Prester John, the High King, lies dying. And with his death, the Storm King, the undead ruler of the elf-like Sithi, seizes the chance to regain his lost realm through a pact with the newly ascended king. Knowing the consequences of this bargain, the king’s younger brother joins with a small, scattered group of scholars, the League of the Scroll, to confront the true danger threatening Osten Ard.

Simon, a kitchen boy from the royal castle unknowingly apprenticed to a member of this League, will be sent on a quest that offers the only hope of salvation, a deadly riddle concerning long-lost swords of power. Compelled by fate and perilous magics, he must leave the only home he’s ever known and face enemies more terrifying than Osten Ard has ever seen, even as the land itself begins to die.

 

Oh, the orphan boy with unknown talents, who under-performs until the pressure is applied—how many fantasy stories have you read with this structure? Let’s see--Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey, The Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist, The Belgariad by David Eddings, The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, even to some extent The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien (substitute “hobbit” for “boy”). Maybe even the King Arthur story to some extent—until young Arthur pulls the sword from the stone. It’s a well-used idea.

At the book’s beginning, I found Simon particularly annoying. As lives go in Midieval-like settings, his lot in life isn’t so bad, although the housekeeper Rachel does make his existence somewhat miserable. However, we all have to earn our keep, so pull up your socks, laddie, and make an effort! Even when offered opportunities to learn to read and to study, he complains! Typical 14-year-old, I guess, something I wouldn’t know about, having had the reading bug ever since I learned to read. Simon doesn’t appreciate his warm bed, three square meals a day, and secure surroundings until he has to flee the castle.

Once he starts running for his life, Simon begins growing up. He becomes a much more likeable character at that point and I began to get invested in his tale. He loses some of the ADHD qualities that made him a “mooncalf” in the beginning and becomes a much more focused young man.
I also appreciated a brand new take on trolls—making them smaller, wiser, and wilier. I liked Binobik and his wolf companion a lot. The Sithi are interesting in their ambiguity—are they enlightened, ethereal beings like the elves in Tolkien? Or are they the dark enemies of mankind? The world of Osten Ard is very detailed and easy to picture in the mind’s eye.

The writing isn’t the best ever, but the story is engaging and I am waiting impatiently for volume 2 at my public library, where it is ‘on order.’ No telling how long I will have to pause before I know what happens to Simon, the kingdom, and the Storm King!

Book number 239 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.

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review 2017-02-15 19:59
The Burning Page / Genevieve Cogman
The Burning Page - Genevieve Cogman

Librarian spy Irene has professional standards to maintain. Standards that absolutely do not include making hasty, unplanned escapes through a burning besieged building. But when the gateway back to your headquarters dramatically malfunctions, one must improvise. And after fleeing a version of Revolutionary France astride a dragon (also known as her assistant, Kai), Irene soon discovers she's not the only one affected. Gates back to the Library are malfunctioning across a multitude of worlds, creating general havoc. She and Kai are tasked with a mission to St Petersburg's Winter Palace, to retrieve a book which will help restore order.

However, such plans rarely survive first contact with the enemy - particularly when the enemy is the traitor Alberich. A nightmare figure bent on the Library's destruction, Alberich gives Irene a tainted 'join me or die' job offer. Meanwhile, Irene's old friend Vale has been damaged by exposure to Chaotic forces and she has no idea how to save him. When another figure from her past appears, begging for help, Irene has to take a good hard look at her priorities. And of course try to save the Library from absolute annihilation. Saving herself would be a bonus.

 

I was so frustrated with the ending of The Masked City, I could hardly wait to get my hands on this, book three of the series. The Burning Page answered the hanging questions from TMC and plunges the reader into more Library adventures with Irene and Kai.

Thankfully, this volume ends on a better note for me—the story is wrapped up, although there is definitely room for more adventures (which I shall await impatiently). This installment has fewer Fae in it (a minus for me) but gets Irene back to the fundamentals of being a Librarian, i.e. the pursuit of rare books (definitely a plus).

I love the Library’s determined neutrality—they refuse to support either the forces of Chaos or those of Order, knowing that the optimum state is a balance in between those two poles. Like real libraries do, actually, trying to support the needs of their community, no matter which political party is currently forming government, while defending free speech, free flow of information, and freedom from censorship.

I do hope that Irene and Vale manage to overcome their issues to become a couple in the next book (although if he is a Sherlock-Holmes-kind-of-guy, this may be a doomed relationship). Four books is an awful long distance to draw out the suspense of this courtship. And Kai is hinting that he’s in the running too, so will Irene have to deal with some awkward workplace romance? And will she regain her standing within the Library hierarchy, or is she doomed to probation forever? Perhaps The Lost Plot will answer some of my questions.

I’m ever so glad that I discovered this series—it is highly entertaining and I will be sad when I’ve finished reading it. Thankfully, that point seems to be some distance in the future right now, with books 4 and 5 promised, but no dates for publication yet available.

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text 2017-02-15 09:46
Four orders for Readercon
Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor
Will Supervillains Be on the Final?: Liberty Vocational Volume 1 - Naomi Novik,Yishan Li
League of Dragons: A Novel of Temeraire - Naomi Novik
Black Powder War - Naomi Novik

Three came in. 

 

But not the next gorram book I need.   

 

 

So... I don't want to spend an hour total driving to and from Bellingham for this book, but I probably will.

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review 2017-02-04 10:48
Sword Bearer (Return of the Dragons #1) by Teddy Jacobs
Sword Bearer (Return of the Dragons Book 1) - Teddy Jacobs
Sword Bearer is about a (just) sixteen-year-old boy who has been over-protected by his parents for unknown reasons all his life. There is magic in the land, but you are not sure if Anders will be trained to use that, or his sword arm. To be honest, neither seems a possibility when you start the book. However, things happen, and new characters appear. Characters that have a massive impact on Anders and what he knows and believes. With knowledge that he doesn't know he has until he needs it, plus the ability to 'sing' magic, plus animals of the 'dark side' acknowledging him, there is more to Anders than meets the eye. 
 
Anders shows perfectly the inconsistency of teenagers - one moment he is accepting of his fate, and the next bemoaning it. He falls instantly in love/lust with Kara, who is with Kalle. With new breeds of magic character, plus the use of German words as words of power/command, Sword Bearer has a lot to offer if you are after a light read. What it doesn't offer, mind you, are any DRAGONS! I know this is book 1, but you would think, with a series title like that, that you would see at least one! 
 
Well written, with no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt the reading flow, this is a fantasy recommended for light reading. It was good and I enjoyed it.
 
* Verified Purchase - March 2013 *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

@TeddyJacobs2012, #Coming_of_Age, #Epic, #Fantasy, 3 out of 5 (good)

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/swordbearerreturnofthedragons1byteddyjacobs
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