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review 2017-04-24 00:26
Ashes Reborn (Souls of Fire #4) by Keri Arthur
Ashes Reborn (A Souls of Fire Novel) - Keri Arthur

Emberley has already suffered losses in the battle against the Red Vampire plague – and has only just managed to resurrect her fellow Phoenix Rory from his ashes.

 

But even with the leader of the Red Vampires dead, the threat continues – rebel vampire Rinaldo is threatening to use them as a weapon against the city – and one city block has already been destroyed in the last conflict.

 

Still seeking the research which may be the cure to this threat, Embrley and Jackson have to work with the secret Paranormal Police Force, PIT to try and survive and stop the bodies piling up: and their own being among them

 

 

 

This series has so many original elements I love – starting first and foremost with the whole concepts of the phoenixes as protagonists. The whole concept of them as beings that resurrect and reincarnate but are far from without flaws or weaknesses is interesting how it’s done.

 

Emberley’s relationship with Rory is fascinating. There are so many stories out there where we have couples forced into a sexual relationship because of woo-woo. It’s an inevitable storyline which has two people who hate each other forced into a romance, with lots of anger and resistance followed by them finally giving and in and twu love follows. I’m not a fan.

 

So to have this –have Emberley and Rory care for each other – but not romantically. How they accept their bond happily, not as a burden or something which always drags them down; it’s really refreshing. That this is not pushing them towards romance nor is it some desperate dark sadness that dogs both of them with angst and tragedy

 

Not that there isn’t angst in the life of Emberley – but I also like how this broken relationship with Max is treated. Normally when I see that a protagonist’s love life is cursed I turn and run so far because oh my gods the angst that will follow! But here? Not so much. Oh it hurts Emberley and she’s not happy about it – but that doesn’t mean she can’t work with Max and isn’t quite happy pursuing other relationships rather than moping all alone hoping Max comes back to her. She likes Jackson, she has a good time with him. It is a bit overly sex focused (when, my gods, sometimes I just want them to get on with the plot and stop worrying about Jackson’s dick) and she has fun and a life even if her romantic life has all fallen apart that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a life.

 

The main characters, their conflicts and the world really make this book worth reading. And I really like the take on the elves and if anything needs expanding then it’s definitely the different kinds of elves and the powers and cultures they have.

 

 

I really feel that this series really does need to trim some characters and concepts. We have so many sides: we have the Syndicati vampires, we have the Red Vampires and the wizard, we have apparently new big-bad     Rinaldo . We have the wererats. We have the werewolves. We have our heroes. We have PIT who are now kind of working with our heroes

 

We have scientists and lost notes on the virus, we have a gang of rogue vampires looking for a home, we have a wandering telepath. And we have some kind of ominous big dark apparently lurking in the future.

 

It’s all so crowded and confused that I’ve kind of forgotten big chunks. Like I get that Emberly and Jackson are now working somewhat co-operatively with PIT but I can’t quite remember how smoothly that happened. I know they have a beef with the rats but it’s all a little fuzzy as to why because so much has happened

 

This also tends to make the story lacking impact and focus. After shifting most of the focus to Rinaldo as the big bad and the threat, that underlying fear about the Red Vampire virus gets kind of lost. There’s this fear of a plague of raging red vampires taking over the city but it’s all kind of banished into the background and it’s all more about which group is threatening Emberly and Jackson at the moment, finding tokens (which could be anything at this point) to placate each faction and generally trying to stay alive. They keep chasing down this scientific research but I’m not even sure why half the factions even need or want this research any more.

 

 

Read More

 

 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/04/ashes-reborn-souls-of-fire-4-by-keri.html
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review 2017-04-18 20:13
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling,Jim Dale

Jim Dale is really a phenomenal narrator. In addition to having a gazillion voices to remember how to portray, he makes each of them memorable and constantly evolving along with the character's story arc. The Harry we see (and listen to) here - aged 14, with the beginnings of adolescent fears and insecurities - is not the naive 11-year-old of the first book. The narration makes that clear: Harry sounds older, more jaded and - by the end of the novel - frustrated with how people perceive him. Voldemort, too, experiences a shift in tone, gaining in substance as his own body becomes stronger and more independent.

 

As with the previous novels, I'm catching details that I now know will become important later on in the series. This is, along with the sheer pleasure of it, a great motivator for revisiting the series. It probably won't be the last re-read/re-listen either. On to the next book!

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text 2017-04-18 18:03
Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet 99 cents!
Breath of Fire - Amanda Bouchet

 by Amanda Bouchet

 

"Cat" Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat's tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what's a warrior queen to do when she knows it's her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

 

Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world—for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin risk sacrificing everything they've fought for. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom...or die trying.

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text 2017-04-18 18:00
A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet 99 cents! 5 Star Read!
A Promise of Fire - Amanda Bouchet

 

Catalia "Cat" Fisa lives disguised as a soothsayer in a traveling circus. She is perfectly content avoiding the danger and destiny the Gods—and her homicidal mother—have saddled her with. That is, until Griffin, an ambitious warlord from the magic-deprived south, fixes her with his steely gaze and upsets her illusion of safety forever.

 

Griffin knows Cat is the Kingmaker, the woman who divines the truth through lies. He wants her as a powerful weapon for his newly conquered realm—until he realizes he wants her for much more than her magic. Cat fights him at every turn, but Griffin's fairness, loyalty, and smoldering advances make him increasingly hard to resist and leave her wondering if life really does have to be short, and lived alone.

 

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review 2017-04-17 23:18
Fire in Her Blood (Death Witch # 2) by Rachel Graves
Fire in Her Blood (The Death Witch Series Book 2) - Rachel Graves

There’s an arsonist in the city – an arsonist wielding lethal magical fire

 

But the fire witches in the city seem to be losing their power – except for the Fire Mage she has to work with who seems connected to her boyfriend Jakob – who Mallory has to work with despite the awkwardness.

 

Throw in some lethal vampire politics, friend issues and Jakob being determined to buy Mallory a car and she’s got a lot on her plate.

 

 

 

This book had many of the elements of the last book Iloved – especially the detective work. We have the twist, we have the distraction, we have the chasing down of various leads, coming up with theories, discounting them, coming back to them, then not finding evidence and having to go back to the drawing board.


And having more than one case! Even if they are related. How many police shows/books/etc have the character get to focus all of their attention on one case like there’s absolutely nothing else on their case load?

 

I really do like the police work and investigation in this series so far. I don’t think I was quite as much a fan of the police work in this book because I guessed what had happened rather a lot before I was supposed to which meant a lot of the red herrings felt more like distractions. I was almost frustrated with Mallory for not seeing what seemed to be pretty obvious

 

I do really love the idea that you can build all of these super elaborate theories about a criminal’s motives but how often do people do things for such petty, minor reasons? I like that a lot –I like the humanness of it, even when it’s so banal. I think this works so well because it both makes it very real but it also is a nice contrast from so many other books where the scale and stakes are always so high. Seriously you can have an interesting story without the entire world being in balance, or the city about to be eaten by sea serpents or something. I really like that, the closeness of it –but it still mattering because people were dying, people were hurting. It still matted without the spectre of apocalypse.

 

I also really like Mallory and her friends interacting. They’re really good together, great fun – and lo a protagonist with friends, a protagonist with a social life, a protagonist with a life outside of work.

 

This should not be a rare thing. Really, it shouldn’t be a rare thing, Really. But sadly it is – and her having a circle of so many female friends who are all awesome in their own way is really rare. A woman who doesn’t live for her work and who even has friends who *gasp* care about silly female things and fripperies? Yes we have it here

 

 

I also like the explorations of the different gods and the witches as well as how this bleeds over into social issues and society (like he Fire witches, their insular nature, wealth and class biases as well as how they regard family members without magic). Or spirit witches and how their senses change how they react to different things is also really excellently done


I also admire how the author restrains themselves from using ALL THE THINGS. We’ve already established that there are many many shiny magical creatures in this world. And though we see a lot of them we see them briefly and the whole book isn’t swamped by a gazillion creatures and details. Instead we have a nice, slow, build as more and more of this world is introduced as and when it becomes relevant. And, just like not needing to use epic events to keep the story interesting, it equally doesn’t need to use every creature and power to make the world interesting.

 

I still don’t like Jakob or Mallory’s relationship with him. I like his cooking – but I don’t like that nearly every interaction between them is basically sex. They’re together? Sex tends to happen

 

Here we do have the introduction of E, an old friend/family member of Jakob’s which makes things even worse. Because now we have this shallow relationship with extra jealousy – which keeps happening over and over again even when it’s long since clear that there’s no reason to feel that way. I also wish we’d explore more of brutal vampire society and how Mallory feels about that. Instead we have a kind of studied denial – she’s not going to look too hard at the bad stuff in case, well, she seems to deliberately avoid the whole thing.

 

This book has a mix of approaching diversity and prejudice. Witches are shown to be facing prejudiced which has issues with the supernatural being conflated with real world prejudice (remember, actual real world prejudice would be vastly different if marginalised people could throw fire around) but at the same time addressing real world prejudice, not just the overt and the vicious but also the banal and daily macroaggression POC often face to conflating of different ethnicities.

 

I also have to say while it is not an ideal to compare magical prejudices to real life ones, the way they deal with Mallory and her PTSD over werewolves is interesting: because she knows she has to deal with werewolves despite the trauma she’s suffered. She recognises that judging all wolves because of these experiences she had is wrong. She has issues with them, she needs help – and equally recognises this is something she has to deal with and fix within herself: not that all werewolves need to stay away from her or how it’s totally ok for her to hate them

 

We have decent racial diversity among the side characters: Ben is a native Hawaiian and taking more of an involved role in the book and being closer to Mallory’s friends. Her friends are different figures, but all considered attractive at their different weights, one is Jewish, one is Latina. We also have Mallory’s boss who is a Black man and Indigo who is a Latino man. Along with this we have bit characters like Djinn and Yuki-Onnna. This is one of the books where we do have several POC but when you look at the focus – Mallory, Jakob, Danny, Mark – are White

 

 

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Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/03/fire-in-her-blood-death-witch-2-by.html
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