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review 2017-09-23 01:09
Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef by Cassandra Khaw
Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef (Gods and Monsters) - Cassandra Khaw

Series: Gods & Monsters #1

 

This was interesting because it was different, but I didn't end up enjoying the investigation portion all that much. It started off fairly strong, with Rupert talking about his "day" job as a chef to ghouls but the investigation seemed to mostly consist of Rupert doing magic spells to talk to people while they tried to kill him.

 

Despite his ghost tattoos, Rupert's a pretty average (albeit destined for hell unless he cleans up his karma by essentially doing community service) guy and so it was weird that he was drawing all this attention by incredibly powerful supernatural beings. He was terribly outclassed and it just seemed a bit...much?

 

I may read the sequel but I won't be rushing out to do so. This was only a novella, so maybe there just wasn't enough room for a satisfactory exploration of the world.

 

I read this for the "Diverse Voices" square for the Halloween Bingo but it could also be used for "Murder Most Foul", "Supernatural", "Monsters" (dragons, ghouls, undead-baby monsters), "Genre: Horror" (pretty gruesome), "Terrifying Women", "Amateur Sleuth", and "Ghost" squares. I might have missed some.

 

My cover:

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review 2017-09-22 21:49
Book Review of Man (Seven Forbidden Arts Book 9) by Charmaine Pauls
Man - Charmaine Pauls

Olivia Reid’s death has always been in the cards. When a man starts stalking her, he brings her pleasure instead of murder. He wants more than her orgasms. He seems to want her very mind. By giving him one thought every night, she manages to push forward the deadline of her extinction. But for how long can she buy her life before her mind is empty, and her stalker has what he wants?

 

Cain Jones is the leader of a paranormal crime taskforce dedicated to protecting mankind from the revival of evil and the dawning of a second Dark Age. The team under his command uses their seven forbidden arts secretively to fight their archenemy, Godfrey Reid, a man who is set on turning immortal and wiping out the human race. Fighting battle after battle, Cain makes a breakthrough when he locates his opponent’s weakness–Mrs. Olivia Reid. She’s his only link to Godfrey, and his only chance at accomplishing his mission. He’ll break her if he has to. He’ll even steal her thoughts. As the investigation progresses Cain has to face a truth he doesn’t want to admit. He has an ulterior motive for personally keeping an eye on his enemy’s dwellings. Watching Olivia sleep, Cain soon becomes as obsessed with his archenemy’s woman as with killing Godfrey. She’s everything he’s ever wanted. But will she forgive him for killing her husband?

 

Man is the ninth and final book in the Seven Forbidden Arts paranormal erotic romance series, but also reads as a standalone. This book contains graphic language and sexual scenes. Reader discretion is advised.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the ninth and concluding book in the Seven Forbidden Arts Series. I loved it!

 

Cain Jones is a fascinating character. Although he appears in nearly every book of the series, he remains largely mysterious. I am glad the author decided to use the final book in the series to focus on him. He is the boss of the paranormal task force and oversees the team on behalf of his sponsors. He is also instrumental in playing matchmaker to his team (although they don't know it). Cain and his team have been searching for Godfrey, their nemesis, in an attempt to stop him achieving his ultimate goal - total world domination and immortality. When he finally tracks down Godfrey's wife, he finds himself completely obsessed with her because he can't read her mind. But as danger lurks in the shadows, will he be able to protect Olivia and stop Godfrey in time?

 

Olivia Reid is also a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is a determined and strong willed woman. She thought she loved Godfrey when she married him, but now she lives in terror of him. When a mysterious stranger appears in her bedroom, she only feels relief that she's about to die. But as her attraction to the mysterious stranger grows, she finds herself facing a psychotic husband who will stop at nothing to reach his goal.

 

This story is told through the eyes of Cain and Olivia. I enjoyed getting to see the other characters from the team once more too. This book continues on from the end of Chiromancist, though a month or so after the events in book eight, and it had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I said in my review of Scapulimancist that I thought it was the best of the series so far. I have now had to revise it to the last two books too. The story kept me hooked from the first page.

 

I have been awaiting the arrival of this book with mixed emotions: eager to read it, but dreading it too. This is because it is the last book of the series and it means the end of watching the team facing obstacles and overcoming them, as well as finding their significant other. The characters have become like friends and I will miss them. It also means the story arc reaches it's zenith, and what a rush it is! All the loose ends are tidied up for the most part. I still had a few unanswered questions buzzing around my head relating to a character that was introduced. I don't want to say too much as it could be a spoiler. However, I found this character most disturbing and I hope that he gets the help he needs. Otherwise he will be another dangerous sociopath/psychopath for the team to deal with when he gets older. There is still the mystery surrounding the quantamancist's identity who helped Ivan in Necromancist, and it remains unsolved by the conclusion. Having said that, the story ends satisfactorily. Whether it is a HEA or HFN remains to be seen. I would like it if the author were to re-visit the team in the future to see how they are getting on, but even if she decides not to, it has been an emotional roller coaster ride from the first to the last book, and I can always re-read the series when I get the chance.

 

Charmaine Pauls has written an entertaining standalone erotic romance series. Her characters are lifelike and come alive on the page. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow is wonderful. I have added her to my favourite authors list and am looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.

 

Although this book can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend that you read this series in order. Due to the explicit nature of some of the scenes, as well as use of profane language, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 18. I do, however, recommend this book if you love science fiction, erotica, erotic romance or paranormal romance genres. – Lynn Worton

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review 2017-09-22 18:58
The New Reyes
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave - Darynda Jones

Reyes is not in good place, and he's not as was. Let's just say that he might be making Daddy proud. Charlie has this whole new title resting on her scared shoulders. Someone or something is killing gifted people and Charlie needs to find answers while protecting her friends and dealing with this not right Reyes. Life is messed up, but Charlie never stops looking for answers, and a distracting laugh. The ending, oh my, I cried. To do such a noble thing to be struck with such a cost, sorrow fell hard. My poor favorite characters, bruised but never beaten, I hope.

Ms. Jones, you are wickedly good at this. You took my heart through the shadows, through the rubble, into the struggle for good/evil, life/death, love/faith, and then threw me into a dark ravine with no bottom in sight. I loved it, couldn't get enough, and want more pain and laughs.
if you love snark, romance, action, love and coffee read this series.

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review 2017-09-22 13:40
Review: Dime Store Magic by Kelly Armstrong
Dime Store Magic - Kelley Armstrong

 

Yeah, I am giving this book zero stars. I couldn't find more ineptitude in both writing and the story/characters if I tried. This is my first and last book from Kelly Armstrong.

 

Paige is the MC and she is an utterly crapastic moron. She is only the leader of the North American Coven because she inherited the title from her mom. She was also given custody of one of the Coven's Elders' niece after the kid's mom dies. Kid's mom was once a member of the Coven, then left to pursue stronger/dark magic, then returned to the Coven when she got knocked up. Kid's dad is a sorcerer and heir to the Nast Cabal; daddy dearest would love to own...I mean develop a loving bond with his half-dark magic witch/half sorcerer daughter, if only he can find her now that is crazy ex is dead. Kid is Savannah, a thirteen year old on the cusp of her witch abilities and puberty (which is important - her first menses is the supposedly highlight event of the book).

 

There is A LOT of info-dumping about what Cabals are, the differences between witches and sorcerers, the history of persecution witches faced, and lots of world building aspects that are just thrown in when Paige decides to monologue. Paige is clueless about so much of the supernatural world and really doesn't even have a handle on the witches' part of that world, so why would I as a reader want to be lectured by her? I don't.

 

Anyway, Paige is 23 and suffers from long-term TSTL, with the added bonus of being impulsive and a "loner". She is the typical New Adult heroine just with witch ability....and not that much of a witch's ability. She is a really crappy witch - and has the balls to snark at Wiccans. Savannah was an obnoxious brat and pretty clueless, something she has in common with Paige. Luckily, the two are constantly rescued by Lucas Cortez, heir to the Cortez Cabal and sorcerer. Paige was the nastiest bitch to him for so long in the book, I wondered about Lucas' sanity in helping the two moron witches every time they got into trouble of their own making. But a heroine needs a romantic interest, and Paige ultimately stops being a bitch to Lucas and jumps his bones in the most shoe-horned sex scene in the book.

 

The Nast Cabal are the villains and are just as inept as the good guys, so its all a wash. At certain points I was actively rooting for the Nasts to win, just to prove to everyone how much Paige sucks. Unfortunately, these were card board villains taken out by a thirteen year old who was on her period.

 

But it wasn't just the Cabal or Paige and Savannah that were inept; the entire Coven was a laughingstock. I wanted to read about bad-ass witches, not 93 year olds with dementia (yep, one of the witches mentioned at the one Coven meeting was described exactly like this) or 23 year old entitled brats like Paige. The fact that the Elders worked with the Nast Cabal to protect themselves and undermined their supposed leader was just one example of how much witches are weak in Armstrong's supernatural world. I already DNF'd one book for this square for the same reason - weak witches stumbling around and making piss poor decisions due to their hysterical panics. It doesn't help that in this world, witches are all women (and only have daughters) and weak while sorcerers are all men (and only have male children). It is such bullshit. This is just bad writing. Another point in the bad writing column is that the book is 50 chapters long and so choppy that at the end of one chapter tried to raise the suspense just for the next chapter to dissipate the suspense in the first sentence.

 

What a waste of time, but I was out of luck with this square.

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review 2017-09-22 13:28
Cerebral, disquieting, and addictive
Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang

I've become an instant fan of Ted Chiang after reading his book Stories of Your Life and Others. It's such a breath of fresh air to read a really phenomenal collection of short stories such as this one. I had been itching for some truly delicious science fiction and this collection delivered. From the opening story about the Tower of Babel, it is obvious that Chiang is a unique voice in sci-fi and I only wonder at why it took me so long to have him on my radar. While each story is unique, they are all equally fascinating, consuming, and vaguely unsettling. I forgot a few times that what I was reading wasn't actually true which is disconcerting when you're reading about people being blinded on the streets by the sight of heavenly creatures or a drug that when given to patients who are brain dead can not only bring them back to life but elevate their IQ. Suffice it to say, this is a book that any sci-fi junkie (or newbie wanting to get their feet wet) should immediately seek out. Take your time and indulge because this is an author that should be savored and not rushed. 10/10

 

Source: Goodreads

 

What's Up Next: Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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