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review 2018-09-24 16:39
Stolen / Kelley Armstrong
Stolen - Kelley Armstrong

It was in Bitten, Kelley Armstrong's debut novel, that thirty-year-old Elena Michaels came to terms with her feral appetites and claimed the proud identity of a beautiful, successful woman and the only living female werewolf.

In Stolen, on a mission for her own elite pack, she is lured into the net of ruthless Internet billionaire Tyrone Winsloe, who has funded a bogus scientific investigation of the "other races" and their supernatural powers. Kidnapped and studied in his underground lab deep in the Maine woods, these paranormals - witches, vampires, shamans, werewolves - are then released and hunted to the death in a real-world video game. But when Winsloe captures Elena, he finally meets his match.

 

 

I read this book to fill the Shifters square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.

I just don’t know quite know why this series doesn’t grab me. It had been a year since I’d read the first book and I was actually looking forward to this second installment. The assumptions in Urban Fantasy are always ridiculous to those who don’t like the genre, but this one seemed a bit more ridiculous than most.

Take an ultra-insensitive billionaire, add his secret prison for supernatural creatures, and shake it up with the plot line of Richard Connell’s short story The Most Dangerous Game, and you get Stolen. The first book limited itself completely to werewolves and was all about Elena coming to terms with her life as a member of that community. Hey presto, this book suddenly produces a whole range of other supernatural folk not hinted at in book one—vampires, witches, demons, shamans and sorcerers. Might as well go whole hog, I guess.

I’m not sure why some authors can do this successfully (for me) and yet I find this version annoying. I find Elena to be a disappointing main character, not nearly as mentally strong as I would like her to be. What good is supernatural strength if you haven’t got the brains to back it up? Her relationship with Clay is also an irritant—they are incredibly irresponsible, often stopping in the middle of something crucial for a quickie. The sex seems gratuitous to me, not really moving the plot along, just thrown as “characterization” I’m guessing.

However, I haven’t given up. I will persevere with book three to see where Armstrong takes the concept from here. Just not until I’ve wrapped up all my various reading challenges for this year.

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review 2018-09-10 22:15
Land of the Lost for the modern times...
City of the Lost - Kelley Armstrong

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~BOOK BLURB~

City of the Lost

Kelley Armstrong

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Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it's time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a domestic violence support town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you're accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. As a murderer, Casey isn't a good candidate, but she has something they want; she's a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn't the only secret Rockton is hiding - in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This is my first Kelley Armstrong book…I've never read any of her paranormal stuff of which she is well known for.  Her writing in this was easy to listen to and her characters were easy to root for.  Especially, Casey…she kind of rocks.  I wish I could have gotten with who she chooses to be her love interest more, but I was left liking the other guy…I think it may have been the voice that Therese Plummer chose for him, I just didn't really care for it.

 

City of the Lost is a "city" out in the Yukon, somewhere between Alaska and Canada I believe, that is sort of like it's own little commune, minus the religion.  The people go there to live and get away from their problems in the real world, whether it's an abusive ex or a crime they've committed, they are all running from something or someone.  They even pay money for the privilege of going there to live.  I never really understood where the money goes to, some sort of council that doesn't even live there…sounds fairly sketchy to me.  But otherwise, a worthwhile and fascinating story, with everything from possible cannibals, wild dogs, cats, grizzlies and a red fox; to drinking, drugs, casual sex and oh-so-much more.  Including some unforeseen twists that will have you reeling.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.3STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.2/5

Main Characters~ 4.3/5

Secondary Characters~ 4.5/5

The Feels~ 4/5

Pacing~ 4.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 4/5  Cliffhanger~ Not really…

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Book Cover~ It's okay…

Narration~ 4.5 for Therese Plummer, she does so many different voices very well.

Series~ Rockton #1

Setting~ Rockton, Canada

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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I used this for my Terrifying Women Square on Halloween Bingo

 

 

 

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review 2018-07-04 16:06
Entertaining and original last part of a fantasy trilogy
Forest of Ruin (Age of Legends Trilogy) - Kelley Armstrong

This third part of the Age of Legends trilogy obviously brings the story to a close and it's possibly the most satisfying part of the trilogy. Moria and Ashyn continue their respective journeys, meeting all sorts of characters along the way, both helpful and treacherous. At the end, all are brought together in the imperial capital for the conclusion.

 

The story is well-told and the characters are developed further and the fantasy element increased. Fantasy book lovers should enjoy this trilogy which is original and entertaining.

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review 2018-06-26 12:49
Good second book of a fantasy trilogy - worth a look
Empire of Night - Kelley Armstrong

This second volume in the trilogy takes the story of the twin sisters, the Seeker and the Keeper, further along as they confront new adversaries and try to find meaning to their lives. They face one peril after another while also getting romantically involved with major characters. There's a touch of "soapness" about the book when the young ladies ponder about these suitors. The fantasy element is well-written and original and I recommend the trilogy to any fantasy lover. Characters are developed furtherand the book ends on a cliffhanger. The storyline moves along quite nicely and keeps the reader engaged 9which is why I've now ordered the third book!).

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review 2018-06-21 22:34
Aftermath
Aftermath - Kelley Armstrong
Unfortunately, this novel deals with a subject matter that that has become all too familiar lately. That subject matter is a school shooting. It’s a sensitive topic and therefore, I feel this novel should be read by individuals that are mature enough to handle this issue. This novel briefly flashes back to the past to witness the event as it unfolds but the majority of the events in this novel occur three years after the incident, when Skye reappears in town.
 
Skye and her brother went to the same school. Skye would do anything for her brother. The day of the shooting, her brother was killed and soon after, Skye left town to live with other relatives. Her family thought it was best. The deal is, Skye’s brother was also one of the shooters, supposedly. Skye doesn’t want to believe it but when he was shot, he had a gun in his possession, or so they say. Skye has come back home now and she’s happy to be back but not everyone is happy to see her.
 
One of the other shooters was Jesse’s brother. Jesse didn’t get a long with his brother but he didn’t want him dead either.
 
Jesse and Skye were friends, but on the day of the shooting, something changed between the two of them. It is now three years later, Skye has arrived back on the scene and Jesse is not the person she left behind. Skye tries to walk back into school unnoticed but her peers immediately notice her and the comments come quickly. Walking tall, the voices and the messages soon become disturbing and Skye decides she needs to take action.
 
It was interesting reading how each of the families dealt with the aftermath of the shooting. Each of their sons were shooters in the incident and I liked reading how they moved forward and how they handled the situation. Jesse and Skye had a relationship that needed to be mended if they were going to move forward but I wondered as I read, how much Skye would address Jesse. Skye still didn’t believe that her brother was a part of the plan that day yet Jesse’s brother was. Would Jesse be able to help her get to the bottom of this? When Skye started to hear the voices, I wondered at first if she might be losing her mind but then when she started to receive the messages, I started running a couple different scenarios in my head of what was happening.
 
It was an interesting and engaging novel, a novel that I couldn’t put it down. I had to know exactly what happened that day three years ago when the unthinkable happened and I also needed to know what was happening now with Skye.

 

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