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review 2017-11-23 02:21
A jaw-dropper of a winner with Nell and the PsyLED team.
Flame in the Dark (A Soulwood Novel) - Faith Hunter

This was posted as part of a Book Tour Stop that included a Q&A with Faith Hunter -- drop by and check it out!

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Rookie Agent Nell Ingram and her PsyLED team start this novel in a multi-agency investigation into an attack on a political fundraiser -- with a focus on one family in particular. There's no obvious paranormal aspect to the attack, so PsyLED isn't in the lead, but there's enough to keep them hanging around the investigation. If for no other reason than the local vampires are interested in what's going on. Soon, other attacks occur, making it even clearer that one family is the target. As the team starts to investigate that family, more questions are raised and secrets are revealed. But it's a long while before the secrets and questions lead to anything useful for preventing further loss of life.

 

The presence of the vampires is a nice bonus -- they were present a little in Blood of the Earth, but not really in Curse on the Land. Nell's still struggling to make up for a faux pas in her initial exposure to the vampires -- and a couple of them seem to be enjoying her discomfort. I enjoy seeing Hunter's particular brand of vampires running around without Jane and her stakes, as long as she doesn't return to this particular well too much in this series, the Vamps' presence will be a plus.

 

The PsyLED case itself is a little on the tepid side -- it's far easier for readers to figure out what's going on than it is for the characters, and that always hurts the stories somewhat. But -- wow. What's actually going on when the team finally puts all the pieces together? Wow -- just wow. It makes putting up with their earlier slowness utterly worth it (also, the reader won't be as correct as they thought they were for a long time). Basically, if you find yourself getting annoyed with this story, your patience will be rewarded. Probably more than rewarded.

 

Speaking of patience, Nell needs to exercise a good deal of it with her family, who are still struggling with understanding just what's going on with her (and they don't know it all!) and her move for independence from the cult she's left. It's clearly, and understandably, difficult to continue to distance herself from the ways and practices she was raised in, while trying to strengthen the ties with the family members still in the church. Meanwhile, the church does seem to be trying to change their practice -- moving to orthopraxy, without much of a move towards orthodoxy. That kind of thing isn't really going to work in the long run -- but then again, Hunter's not writing a realistic account of a movement in a religious group -- so it's not anything to get worked up over. Anyway, Nell puts her foot down on a couple of fronts and draws on some of what she's learned in working with others, to be able handle her family in a way that hopefully gets through to them. She's also making some smart moves regarding her sister, Mud/Mindy, who seems to share a lot of abilities and inclinations with Nell. I can't wait to see what Hunter's got up her sleeve with this.

 

While this is really Nell's book (and series), there's a great ensemble of characters here. Particularly in the PsyLED team. I'd have preferred a better use of the team, and for the second book in a row, I wondered why Hunter didn't use some of the characters as well as she did in the first book. Maybe this is just me asking for more for Tandy to do.

 

There's some satisfying development on the Brother Ephriam/foreign entity in Soulwood front (that'll make sense to readers of the series), and regarding the "Vampire Tree." Which just might be the creepiest floral entity I've ever read about -- and it's creepier than a lot of fauna, too. I'm particularly glad about the Brother Ephriam development, I was afraid that things were going to go on too long with that without any real shift in the status quo.

 

There's also a stronger look at Nell's romantic life here -- her taking the first steps in exploring a real romantic relationship (in contrast to that marriage she was in), and maybe even getting her first "Improperly Proper Kiss." There's just enough romance story allow the reader to see her grow in this way (in addition to all the others she's growing in), just one more step towards her fulfillment -- but not so much that it's the novel's focus.

 

One of the pluses (and minuses) about this series all along has been how hard it is to simply say what Nell Ingram is. With most UF you can summarize things briefly: She can see dead people, he's a wizard PI, she's a skinwalker vampire hunter, he's the world's oldest living druid, she's a changeling PI, she's a ridiculously named werewolf who has a radio talk show, and so on . . . Nell's a, um. Well. There's magic, and powers over growing things, but no real spells, per se. See what I mean? This is a pain when trying to describe it to others, or even in knowing what to expect from her stories. And Hunter takes full advantage of this, she'll have Nell do whatever at any point in time, and as long as it sort of relates to what she started off doing in Book 1, you buy it. By the same token, I can imagine that might be too much of a blank slate for Hunter -- there are no well-established strengths/weaknesses/tropes to play with. There are things that Nell does here that just blows me away -- and that has a lot to do with Hunter creating this magic creature/race on her own.

 

When I say that Hunter takes full advantage of this -- I should say I thought she had been for the past two books -- she really lets loose with it this time.

 

Let me try to sum up this rambling post: this is a slow burn of a novel -- it puts down roots and grows like Nell's plants, and eventually blossoms into something that's great to look at. Be patient with it, watch the growth, and you'll be rewarded. Because when things get going -- they really get going, and it's almost too much to take in. I vacillated a lot about what to rate this -- I argued myself into 4-Stars and then into 5 and back into 4 and so on a few times. but because I really don't place too much weight on the stars, really, I just stopped and split the difference. For those who've been around for the previous two books this is a must read -- if this was going to be the last in the series, it'd be a decent way to leave (thankfully, Soulwood isn't a trilogy); for Yellowrock fans who haven't tried this series yet, you'll appreciate it; and if you've never tried either -- take a dip into this world, but I'll warn you: you'll end up reading all the others.

 

Disclaimer: I received this eARC from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley in exchange for this post -- thanks to both for this. Thanks also to Let’s Talk! Promotions for the opportunity to take part in this book tour. My opinions about the book remain my own.

 

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/11/22/flame-in-the-dark-by-faith-hunter
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review 2017-11-20 17:30
Every Story Was Monstrous Fun
The Monster Hunter Files - Larry Correia,Jim Butcher,Faith Hunter,Jonathan Maberry,Oliver Wyman,Khristine Hvam,Bailey Carr,Audible Studios
Fabulous audiobook, filled with excellent short stories perfect for travel, walking, sitting or just ignoring the people around you. The narration was very well done. I think this is the first anthology where I enjoyed all the stories and authors.
Two of my favorite authors were included in this monster hunter collection of short stories, Jim Butcher, and Faith Hunter. Both write fabulous characters and truly wicked monsters, so I was thrilled when I won a copy of this. Yes, both knocked it out of the park with their tales. Really I had no doubts they wouldn't. What surprised me was how much I enjoyed each of the other authors previously unknown to me. I think the last story was my favorite new to me author story, it was about a Golem, I love Golems.
I plan on reading each of the other authors from this collection.

 

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review 2017-11-20 13:10
#Audiobook Review: Skinwalker by Faith Hunter
Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock) - Faith Hunter,Khristine Hvam

Jane Yellowrock is a vampire hunter; a very good vampire hunter. She’s been hired by the vampire council of New Orleans to find and exterminate the rogue vampire plaguing the city. While the civilized vampires may realize she’s not human, they don’t know she’s a Cherokee skinwalker, a secret only a handful know, and something Jane has little understanding. But what makes Jane the best in her profession is Beast, the wildcat soul that lives within Jane.

 

I’ve FINALLY started the Jane Yellowrock series, something that has been on my TBR for years! Overall I enjoyed my first foray into Jane’s world. The author creates a fascinating world, giving readers/listeners some important clues to Jane’s past and true form, but leaving so much wide open. The plot of Skinwalker is exciting; however, it is Jane’s story that is utterly engrossing, and I wanted to jump into the second book as soon as I was done with the first. I love how Ms. Hunter gives just enough about Jane to satisfy my need for information and doesn’t leave everything mysterious and ambiguous.

 

I like Jane. It took a little bit for me to warm up to her, but in the end, I liked her no-nonsense attitude. I like how she pushes boundaries, but can be respectful. I am not as fond of Beast; she is a bit scary, but I think I’ll end up liking her. Beast is a separate character, and I appreciate how the author gives Beast her own speech patterns and way of thinking. It’s written (and therefore narrated) as different from Jane. I like that Jane is remorseful over what happened to Beast. I like that Beast recognizes together, Beast and Jane are better and stronger than as separate components. But Beast has her own moral compass, and while it’s not warped, it is that of a creature and different from that of Jane, the person.

 

Skinwalker’s story is a standalone mystery of who/what is the rogue and how to capture and end it. The author uses this plot to introduce readers to a large cast of characters and build Jane’s world. Since Jane is new to New Orleans, the reader learns along side of her. It’s a very effective method of world building. The entertaining and action-packed story is solid on its own, but the world is fascinating. It will be interesting to see how the vast array of characters plays out over the next few books. Some I like more than others. I didn’t like the Joe, but after a big reveal, maybe I’ll like him more? Leo…. he’s going to be her nemesis for a while. Bruiser… maybe? The Cherokee? So undecided on them all. But they are all very interesting.

 

The narration is performed by Khristine Hvam, my first time listening to her work. I like Jane’s voice a lot. Ms. Hvam gets into her character and exudes Jane’s attitude. She also does a great job changing it up for Beast. I feel her Cajun accents are a bit overplayed, and male voices aren’t very masculine. For example, Rick (the Joe) is supposed to be a player: smooth and masculine. But the voice the narrator uses sounds goofy and feminine. Additionally, I had trouble distinguishing several of her male characters.

 

In the end, I enjoyed Skinwalker and the start to the Jane Yellowrock series. The story has lots of action, unique and interesting characters, and leaves the door open for conflict and adventure ahead. I look forward to more.

 

My Rating: B+

Narration: B

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review 2017-11-08 10:00
New Release 4 STAR Reviews! Wolf Hunter & Wolf Leader (Arctic Brotherhood # 5 & 6) Jane Godman
Wolf Leader - Jane Godman
Wolf Hunter - Jane Godman

 

The fifth book in the new Arctic Brotherhood series--heart-pounding werewolf romances by Jane Godman that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

They are the Arctic Brotherhood. 

They are deadly fighters, fierce protectors and loyal mates. 

Six months ago, the Arctic Brotherhood was torn apart when a respected former member, Hendrik Rickard was murdered. Cindy Harper, Hendrik’s best friend and housekeeper, is still struggling to come to terms with his death when she feels an invisible presence watching her. Alone and frightened, she turns to the only man who can help her.

Sebastian Novak is the maverick of the Arctic Brotherhood. Infuriated at the lack of progress they have made toward defeating their sworn enemy, Chastel, Sebastian wants to go on the attack. The discovery that Cindy is being targeted, increases his fury further. Forced to deny his feelings for Cindy in the past, Sebastian is overwhelmed by the strength of his desire for her as he protects her from this new threat.

Sebastian and Cindy succumb to the intensity of the attraction between them, but their lives are thrown into turmoil by a series of unexpected events. Before they can claim the happiness they have long denied themselves, they must face the evil mastermind determined to destroy the brotherhood.

 

 

 

Let me start off telling you that Wolf Hunter is the first that I have read in the Artic Brotherhood series and I really have to question my lack of judgement in missing out on this thrilling series.

 

In relation to the above statement, the author let information trickle into the story in just the right way to provide me with enough of the back story to pick up on the major conflict of the series without giving too much away or letting it take up too much of the current story.  So the book can be read without reading the others but I do believe it will be better when I read the other ones and then re-read this one. 

 

Cindy and Sebastian’s chemistry heats up the pages while their romance is being overshadowed by the evil that is stalking Cindy. The main characters are strong and readers can easily get caught up in their story and the supporting characters are just as strong and make up quite a brotherhood to fight Fenrir and the sorcerer Chastel which gives the story a well-rounded and solid group to engage reader’s imagination.

 

The action, suspense and thrills keep readers on the edge of their seats as the hero and heroine along with the rest of the Brotherhood fight to get ahead of the malevolent plans that Chastel and Fenrir have in store for them and the rest of the world and the twists and turns ensure that readers never stop turning the pages. I also would like to give the author a thumbs up on the climatic ending and the setting up for the final book!

 

Jane Godman has taken me surprise with her world of Norse mythology and werewolves and I will definitely be on the look-out for more books from her in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

Wolf Leader

 

The final book in the new Arctic Brotherhood series--heart-pounding werewolf romances by Jane Godman that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

They are the Arctic Brotherhood. 

They are deadly fighters, fierce protectors and loyal mates.

Their sworn enemy is dead, but the Arctic Brotherhood can’t relax. Fenrir, the Norse god of destruction is still determined to destroy the world. Vigo Durand agrees to lead the team against the most feared werewolf the world has ever known, but dark secrets from his past are threatening to catch up with him.

Amber Merova has been on the run for the last five years ago. When she meets Vigo, her werewolf mating impulse almost overwhelms her human instinct for survival. Almost. Feisty, determined, and hostile, Amber initially turns down Vigo’s offer to stay with the Brotherhood. When it looks like the men who murdered her pack have caught up with her, she has no choice but to take his offer of protection.

Both seem damaged beyond repair, but, as they work together to bring down Fenrir, they discover hidden ties that bind them together. Before they can look to the future, they must unravel the mysteries of the past.

 

 

Both, Vigo and Amber’s pasts add lots of turbulence to the story in all ways including their romance. The emotional distance between what they want and what they feel tugs at reader’s hearts as they get caught up in their lives and of course their characters are strong and well liked which means the readers want to know everything.

 

The fifth book ended with such a dramatic and important statement of intent for the Brotherhood, that I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. In some ways it surpassed my expectations, but in others it was a little anticlimactic. Fenrir is supposed to be the big bad but was the ending all there was, it certainly had lots of twists and turns and misdirection in the story which kept the suspense building and I enjoyed the story, it just left me feeling as if there was something missing when it came to the ending.

 

The Epilogue was great as it provided a great ending for the characters and answered the few questions left regarding them. But when it comes to gods and goddesses of any flavor whether they be good or evil, I believe my expectations may be a bit more than what we saw here, but that is just me and as I don’t want to give away any spoilers, I won’t go into too much detail.

 

Let me be clear, just because I was expecting more doesn’t meant that Jane Godman didn’t do a fine job of writing the battle between the Brotherhood and Fenrir, the book was full of suspense and kept me turning the pages until I had read every last word. So I will still be out looking for more books by her as I can’t wait to find out what she has in store for us readers next.

 

 

 

Wolf Hunter is the 5th book in the Arctic Brotherhood series.

Wolf Leader is the 6th & Final book in the series.

Wolf Hunter is available in ebook at:

Amazon   B&N   iBooks   Kobo   GPlay   eBooks

Indigo   BAM   Swerve

 

Wolf Leader is available in ebook at:

Amazon   B&N   iBooks   Kobo   GPlay   eBooks

Indigo   BAM   Swerve

 

Jane Godman can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   BookBub   Facebook   Twitter   Pintrest

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review 2017-11-06 12:18
Thunder Hunter (Viking Soul #1) by Rachel Medhurst
Thunder Hunter - Rachel Medhurst
Thunder Hunter starts off many years ago, with Loki and Thor fighting. Freya is there too, plus many others, all of whom will die unless something changes. What changes is Loki kills Thor, but Freya puts Thor's power inside his grandson. Trygger must find all of the Fallen Ones before he can die, no matter how long it takes. Once that has happened, Thor will live, and Trygger will die at last, and live among the gods. Fast forward a few years, and Trygger only has five more to find. He as lived through many assassination attempts by Loki's descendants, and has killed more than his fair share too. And then Freya decides she will help him, by sending one of her descendants, Chloe.
 
I have to be honest, there were parts that I really enjoyed in this book, but there were also parts that I didn't like. Trygger has been by himself for a long time, and has focused only on completing his task so that he can die. Along the way, he has lost most of society's "niceties", but that doesn't stop EVERY. SINGLE. WOMAN. from throwing herself at him. Even if her job is to kill him! Sorry, but I don't get that bit. Also, he said that he never had women stay over at his place, but he has on hand a little black dress from someone he has killed just lying around!
 
This was an enjoyable book if you don't look to deeply at it. I'm not entirely sure where the story is going, which is a good thing, but I don't think I'll be reading any further along. If you enjoy tales of Norse mythology though, I would definitely recommend it to you.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

#Paranormal, #Romance, #Mythology, 3 out of 5 (good)

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/thunderhuntervikingsoul1byrachelmedhurst
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