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review 2018-03-20 16:33
Review of "Skyborn" (Dragons & Druids, #1) by Leia Stone
Skyborn - Leia Stone

This reader's personal opinion, ©2018, all rights reserved, not to be quoted, clipped or used in any way by goodreads, Google Play, amazon.com or other commercial booksellers* 


Uneven read for me. I may or may not read another in the series. I think this is one where there's an interesting premise and story arc that was possibly more interesting in concept than execution -- tried a little hard to engage reader interest in places and was sometimes jarring in the romantic elements. For a random Kindle Unlimited borrow, it's very good (clearly was ready to publish, edited, etc.).


The premise is a young woman alone and on the run after accidentally transforming into a dragon. Sounded right up my alley (although she is not alone for very long with cleaner elements of joining what in other genres might be a milita or biker gang except no assault weapons or bikes and had werewolves and other shifters). 


Generally, I liked he main character. She had a TSTL moment from panic but otherwise thought through things (other than the unrelenting lust). Alone in the world, on the run from Hunter's after unexpectedly shifting into supernatural creature (dragon), with single parent mom dying of cancer when a preteen so unable to explain. Of course, the author also put in a lot of elements to ensure readers were sure to almost immediately like the good guys and hate the bad guys. Missed with me on one trope -- bully gets befriended so now all forgiven. A bit much that for centuries the hero had single handed ly been keeping humanity alive and safe from bad guys. Author's voice sounded young but author's note talked of husband and kids so maybe not.


By jarring in the romantic elements -- well, nothing horrible like lack of consent or abusive behavior with fated mate stuff. Actually, no sex on or off page in this one and not really explicit (PG13?). I actually liked these two together; no one stupid or being an inconsiderate douchebag. No, we-can/no-we-can't illogically back and forth. No sudden resolution because someone finally said something after endless chapters of silence. But, sheesh, the unrelenting lust on nearly every page. Okay, we get it. Lust and fated mate and presumably last two of their kind in the world. Leave some room for rest of story or go for it or even rewrite as erotica. Almost made me DNF except was a quick short read for the Bookshelf BINGO Immortals shelf (which was full of mostly things I already read or didn't want to).


Examples of the lust stuff that was a miss with me:

"I needed a hysterectomy or something.My dragon lady parts were malfunctioning and I was stuck in heat."


"Having a half-naked sexy dragon shifter with his arm around me … while he made plans to save his pet kitten … made my ovaries ache for his babies."

Okay, so not real fond of any of the places that actually said "lady parts" but that's a personal pet peeve.


I wanted to like this much more. I do like the main characters. It has elements that could lead to a great series. That's why I'm just not sure how I felt about it or if I liked enough to try the next in series. Despite being on the run, hunted by bad guys, and throwing in with strangers, it kind of lacked suspense -- I think because the bad guys lost too easily and someone with right powers or knowledge showed up or was conveniently ran into.

*©2018.  All rights reserved except permission is granted to author or publisher (except Penumbra Publishing) to reprint/quote in whole or in part. I may also have cross-posted on The Reading Room, Libib, LibraryThing, and other sites including retailers like kobo and Barnes and Noble. Posting on any site does not grant that site permission to share with any third parties or indicate release of copyright.  


Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:

★★★★★ = All Time Favorite 
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Average.   Okay. 
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked or meh? but kept reading in hopes would improve.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking.  (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." If author is going batshit crazy in the blogosphere over reviews -- I now know why they are getting bad reviews.  Or maybe author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?)

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text 2018-03-19 18:14
Reading progress: 71%.
Skyborn - Leia Stone

"I needed a hysterectomy or something.

My dragon lady parts were malfunctioning and I was stuck in heat."

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review 2018-03-19 17:04
Basically, sisters suck . . . plus magic~
Daughters Of The Storm - Kim Wilkins

Disclaimer: Reviewing pre-publication paperback ARC/proof copy.


This wasn't the right fit for me, but the quality of writing and storytelling was excellent, so I'll try to give some detail so you can figure out if it's a match for your own tastes.


This is the story of five sisters as they try to save their father (the king) from a magical curse. Only, being as how they're sisters, they mostly fall prey to rivalries and selfishness and do more harm than good. It wasn't clear from the copy I had, but this looks like the first in a series, which makes a lot more sense. I found it pretty depressing, as it seems to be an excellent argument for sticking to one child per family, and it also delves into the sex lives (and terrible choices) of each sister, and as a general rule I find a person's sexuality to be the least interesting part of them. But, y'know, tastes differ and all that. It's adult fantasy, not really romance, so the scenes don't get excessively explicit or drawn out. Somewhere from 1-3 of the sisters have some level of spiritual/magical powers that get tangled with some potential psychosis, so that part was interesting and has potential. It was a surprisingly fast read considering its size.


I'm not terribly knowledgeable when it comes to high fantasy subgenres - this might be considered grimdark? Or crossover literary-fantasy? Not really to my tastes, but the writing was very well done and the storytelling was smooth, if a little slow at the start. It switches perspectives between all five daughters, their stepmother, their stepbrother, and maybe a couple more, I don't really remember, so that does make it hard to get into the story and build attachment to the characters up front. It was a fascinating choice in terms of storytelling and suspense, though, since it really lends itself to exploring the moral ambiguity and deceitfulness of characters. They each portray themselves as sympathetic and make observations on the others, and then you switch POV and get a different look at the same people and actions. So I think this would be an excellent book for the right reader (review: 3/5 for taste, 5/5 for quality), but just not right for me.

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text 2018-03-19 16:22
Reading progress: 44%.
Skyborn - Leia Stone

He smiled and nodded. “As you wish.”


He turned to leave and I nearly melted at the fact that he’d probably unknowingly made a Princess Bride reference.

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text 2018-03-19 15:45
Reading progress: 38%.
Skyborn - Leia Stone

"Having a half-naked sexy dragon shifter with his arm around me … while he made plans to save his pet kitten … made my ovaries ache for his babies."

I have personally never felt anything from my ovaries.


Yes, the kitten is adorable.

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