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text 2018-05-24 20:50
Reading progress update: I've read 74%.
The Well At The World's End: Volume II - Lin Carter,William Morris

Prior updates:








From the actual beginning of the Quest as such, with Ralph and Ursula and so on, to the ending of the Quest, is but 13% of the total of the book.

(spoiler show)


This is probably my last interim update.  I have a few specific observations to make when the book is over.

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review 2018-05-24 15:44
Audio Review: Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega #4) by Patricia Briggs (Narrator: Holter Graham)
Dead Heat - Patricia Briggs
Dead Heat

Alpha & Omega #4
Patricia Briggs (Narrator: Holter Graham)
Urban Fantasy
Brilliance Audio
March 3, 2015
11 hours and 25 minutes
Rantings of a Reading Addict


The new Charles and Anna novel


Praised as "the perfect blend of action, romance, suspense and paranormal" (Rex Robot Reviews), the Alpha and Omega novels transport listeners into the realm of the werewolf, where Charles Cornick and Anna Latham embody opposite sides of the shifter personality. Now a pleasure trip drops the couple into the middle of some bad supernatural business....


For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles' role as his father's enforcer. This time their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way....


Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae's cold war with humanity is about to heat up - and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.




Barnes & Noble




Dead Heat is book four in the Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs.


I enjoyed Dead Heat, but not as much as previous books in the series. Things where slowed down in this one. The storyline takes us on a vacation to Arizona to buy a horse and visit an old friend of Charles. We get to meet the Hosteen’s pack, see a different side of Charles, reconnect with an old love and witness some flashbacks. Their is some tension in the story and on their mini-vacation things go a little aria with a Fae who is kidnaping children and causing problems.


To me the story was tame compared to previous installments. We do get some action, but it doesn’t happen until the end when they confront the Fae. Most of the book is about horses and Anna wanting a child. Briggs does a wonderful job on the detail with the breeds, gaits, temperament, etc.. As an equestrian it was a little much, but for those that may not know about horses and all the aspects involved with breeding, showing, etc.. it’s probably helpful. To me, it became redundant. As for the kid aspect. I found the options Anna shared viable and Charles concerns legitimate. It would be nice if they could have children, but we know why the wolves can’t carry to term.


I did enjoy learning more about Charles and seeing a different side to him. His relationship with Joseph was wonderful; however I wasn’t happy with Maggie’s role aka the ex. Leslie Fisher the FBI agent showed back up to help with the missing kids. And, Anna and Charles characters continue to grow.


I will say that Briggs is an amazing writer. She knows how to make her characters interesting and to keep adding to the world and growth. I like Anna and Charles, but Mercy Thompson will always be my favorite.


Audio Narration: I love the audiobooks for the Alpha & Omega series. Holter Graham did a superb job. He is perfect for the narration of this series. The voices of all the character’s come to life with him. I highly recommend the audiobooks.


Rated: 3 Stars


Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!


Challenge(s) (2018): Audiobook – March Take Control of Your TBR







I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2018/05/audio-review-dead-heat-alpha-omega-4-by-patricia-briggs-narrator-holter-graham
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-24 09:12
Borderline - Mishell Baker
Borderline - Mishell Baker

This is one of those books where I wavered for a long time between 3 and 4 stars. Over here, I lay out roughly why I make a decision between those and sticking to that really does make me give Borderline 3 stars rather than 4. My first clue probably should have been that I could put it to one side for a few days and not really wonder about what was going to happen next.


Anyway, on to the plot. Borderline is the first in an urban fantasy series but one which thankfully escapes the sexy leather-clad woman discovers her secret abilities/heritage and that the world isn't quite what everyone thinks. Well, it has the latter but our protagonist has all sorts of issues - a significant mental health issue that's ongoing through the book (and referenced in the title) and also the serious physical aftermath of a failed suicide attempt. Millie is recruited straight from her rehabilitation centre into working for the Arcadia Project, a group of humans who work as intermediaries with the fae, in Hollywood of course! 


It's pretty much stated early on that the kind of people that get recruited are those who won't be missed if they disappear and that the attrition rate is high, with Millie subsequently also discovering that the amount of metal she now has holding her skeleton together helps her deal with some fae magic. There's an ongoing plotline about an actor (who is secretly fae) disappearing and the idea that fae and humans are matched together - one of the things I liked about this book was the fact that when Millie meets her fae match, the circumstances mean nothing can happen and nothing does happen, rather than some kind of magical exemption for plot service purposes. 


Anyway, the things that annoyed me a little about the book and which mean I probably won't be reading the sequel (Phantom Pains): while I accept that it would be difficult to get across Millie's mental health issues without it, the ongoing monologue about 'I do this because of my brain doing this' got a bit wearing after a while (a.k.a. 'my ongoing issues with first person'). Likewise, I didn't really give a crap about any of the characters sufficiently to wonder about their future lives but then the author also killed off one of the more interesting characters, making me even less likely to continue with it. 

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text 2018-05-24 04:09
Reading progress update: I've read 61%.
The Well At The World's End: Volume II - Lin Carter,William Morris

Prior updates:






The story of Ralph's quest for the Well at the World's End actually begins at the 60% mark.


This would never fly in the market today.


And yet I'm still keeping this book in my personal canon.





At this point, Ralph meets again the girl from Bourton Abbas, an encounter that lasted a few pages way way back in the story.  He never knew her name, but he has fond memories of her as a friend.  Okay, fine.  But in the meantime, he met the unnamed Lady of Abundance, he had a significant sexual liaison with her, and then she was killed by her husband.


After her death, Ralph sets off a little more determined to find the Well, which the Lady of Abundance had been to and to which she intended to guide him.  But Ralph proves over and over again to be a bit of a naif, being duped by numerous folk, male and female, who promise to help him and do anything but.  Eventually he ends up enslaved by the evil Lord of Utterbol -- he doesn't have a name either -- who apparently plans to provide Ralph as boy-toy to his wife the Queen -- nope, she doesn't have a name -- so that he, the Lord of Utterbol, can cavort with another slave, who is presumed to be the girl from Bourton Abbas.


Got that? 


Ralph is really not much of a hero, but he is . . . perfect.  Every woman who sees him falls in love with him.  He turns out to be a champion jouster and a superb archer.  But he also trusts everyone who comes to him with any kind of promise, and he always gets betrayed.


But finally he meets up again with the girl from Bourton Abbas, about whom he had dreamed.  In that dream, he learned that her name was Dorothea.  But when he meets her, he asks if her name is Dorothy . . . but she says no, her name is Ursula!


Now, remember that Ralph had this relationship with the Lady of Abundance, and he knows Ursula was taken as a slave of the evil Lord of Utterbol.  So the first thing he needs to know about her is how she was treated during her enslavement.


Then Ralph looked sore troubled, and he said: "Dear friend, this is the thing hard for me to say. In what wise did they use thee at Utterbol? Did they deal with thee shamefully?" She answered him quietly: "Nay," she said, "fear not! no shame befell me, save that I was a thrall and not free to depart. Forsooth," she said, smiling, "I fled away timely before the tormentors should be ready . . .

Morris, William. The Well at the World's End: a tale (p. 201).  . Kindle Edition.


So, whew! Ursula is still a virgin, even if Ralph is obviously not.



(spoiler show)


And now, back to reading.  This is the part that goes a lot quicker because, hello, this is where the real story is!

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review 2018-05-24 03:15
One of the most-hyped YA fantasy novels of the year so far is out: does it deliver?
Furyborn - Claire Legrand

One of the most hyped books of 2018, with not one, but two versions of early review copies sent out to reviewers and booksellers months in advance, some with a special promo box, 'Furyborn' has been primed for its release for (I'm hazarding a guess) about 8 months now. Every blogger and reviewer I know has wanted to get their hands on a copy of this book to read and review (and likely have the 'one with the artwork on the cover' in their permanent collection) because it is THE book on everyone's blog, and the 'must-read fantasy series of 2018', according to blurb on the back of the book. The publicity campaign has done a rip-roaringly good job to get everyone on board. So does it live up to the hype? Those are high stakes these days when YA fantasy is the genre to reel everyone in.


The premise is grand: two young women, one thousand years apart from each other, hold the immense power that will either save their world or doom it. Each one is either the queen of light and salvation, or the queen of blood and destruction, according to prophecy: which one is the Sun Queen, and who is the Blood Queen?

Rielle Dardenne must endure seven trials to test her magic, which she has been hiding since was a child, and prove herself to be in control of her elemental powers, or she will be executed. Then, some thousand years later, Eliana Ferracora is the counterpart to would-be Queen Rielle. She is a bounty hunter and assassin, known as the ‘Dread of Orline’, and she goes on a mission to find her mother who has been taken along with countless other women, in the violent empire of Ventera. Eliana has had to join a rebel captain, the ‘Wolf’, to get to the heart of the disappearances. And while Rielle knew of her powers for many years, Eliana is just coming to terms with her magic, the power that her body has to heal itself. These two storylines and timelines alternate back and forth throughout the novel, between Rielle and Eliana, and don’t seem to relate to each other; the only thing binding them together throughout is talk of the Sun and Blood Queen .


So I’ll be honest: it was really hard for me to connect to ‘Furyborn’, and I dipped in and out of the book for a while and read several complete other books at the same time, which is unusual for me. It’s only at about halfway through the book that I became more invested in the story and the characters (and then only somewhat), and then I reserved my time solely to this book. For a long book (512 pages), having to read half of it to get invested, is close to reading a whole shorter-length YA novel, so that’s a lot of reading to try and see what all the fuss is about. It’s not to say there wasn’t any action happening on those pages; it just felt like it wasn’t going anywhere. I couldn’t even put my finger on why I felt like the action wasn't ‘happening’, but I rarely ever skim through words on a page but sometimes I wanted to because the same stuff seemed to keep repeating itself.

I was also getting tired of the back and forth between the two storylines; maybe if the reader got to sit with one of the characters longer, a better connection could be felt. I personally felt like you never are given a true feeling for the actual relationships in this book because you can never stay with them long enough to connect with them.
Both lead characters lack the real spunk or inner beauty that I feel they needed to shine through as deserved heroines, so maybe that was what held me back from truly loving their stories. I didn’t feel like either of them were pulling me through to the finish line.

Despite the world-building and the pretty fascinating underbelly of this novel built on dark angels and visions, which are pretty good openings for some amazing subplots, as well as the thrilling opening to the book ‘An End, and a Beginning’, I don’t feel like ‘Furyborn’ delivered for me.

Legrand is a dynamic author and her lyrical writing skills make much of what you read look like poetry. But I don’t like feeling as though a book is 100 pages longer than it needs to be, just so a book is an ‘epic fantasy novel’. I also wanted more time (but not with extra pages) to get to know these characters so I could connect to them. I hate feeling like I’m writing all of this and it will be an unpopular opinion, but I think this could have been so much better, because this was a ‘big one’, but I’ll be reaching, not for the sequel of this, but for Legrand’s ‘Sawkill Girls’ next.

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