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review 2018-08-09 06:35
Blood Kissed: Okay, I'll Bite
Blood Kissed - Keri Arthur

"Blood Kissed" follows Lizzie Grace, a psychic descended from witches who runs a café in small-town Australia. There's a nasty vampire on the loose, a werewolf cop who doesn't trust witches, and Belle, Lizzie's peppy familiar (unusually, a human and Lizzie's BFF). A lawyer employs Lizzie to find her missing daughter, who, as is revealed in the first chapter, ran off with the vampire.

 

I read through this book fairly rapidly – it's not very long – and though it wasn't terrible, I wasn't thrilled, either. The author sets up a fair bit of world-building for the series in large chunks in the first few chapters. There's differences between psychics and witches, wild magic, and some particular noble witch families. But for all the talk about Lizzie's potential for witch power, said witches don't make much of an appearance. Because her familiar Belle is a witch, Lizzie can channel plenty of witch magic through her throughout the book, and she can ultimately tap into wild magic, rendering her I'm-only-a-psychic protestations of the first few chapters a distinction without a difference. (To be fair, fans of the book say there are witches coming to town in the sequel, so all the world-building may pay off there.)

The Australian setting had me excited, since I haven't seen an urban fantasy set there before, but the scenery is barely mentioned, and the characters' turns of phrase sound as if they could come straight from the modern USA. In my head, I tried adding Steve Irwin's accent to all the dialogue, which made the experience better, but one would expect at least a few colloquialisms unique to the area. I was hoping the setting would inform the magic and the feel of the place, like Mexico City in Silvia Moreno-Garcia's "Certain Dark Things," but alas, no. (Again, I am told the sequels improve upon this.)

The chapter style tired me out a little; they're long, and moments where the protagonist gets some sleep or otherwise jumps forward in time is no guarantee that a new chapter will start. As such, I found myself getting irritated that the protagonist just kept going, selling brownies at her café or working on enchantments when I wanted to finish a chapter. It made me want to skip paragraphs even when the writing was interesting.

As for the mystery (don't all urban fantasies require one?) and the villain, I didn't find it memorable. The villain's motivation sounds like a creature of great power seriously angered by a pretty banal evil. Yes, evil often is, but I was waiting for the psychic protagonist to have some visceral flashback to that time, making us feel the horror and injustice that started its path down a dark road, but I don't recall reading that scene. It made me expect a villainous monologue, but I don't remember getting one of those, either. What I did get was lots of descriptions of magic, with only a few of them evoking fear or wonder. Most of them are caught up in explaining why someone or something is an exception to the rules, because there's a lot of exceptions (protagonist, sidekick, antagonist, spell, power source, etc.).

Well, that's plenty of complaints, but all this is not to say the book is terrible. Lizzie and Belle are charming and easy to relate to. Their telepathy is a useful narrative device that provides constant insight into their characters. (Who hasn't had the thought of "Hey, nice butt," when you should be listening to the words coming out of someone's mouth, yet you'd never admit it to someone who wasn't reading your thoughts?) The action is reasonably convincing, as is the threat from the villain. The protagonists and villains aren't stupid. Sure, some side characters are, but when the main ones walk into traps, it's because they don't have a lot of better options.

I'm giving this one 2.5 stars out of 5 using the Goodreads rating system. That's where 2 stars is "It was okay," and 3 stars is a definitive "I liked it." I picked it up on Kindle at a pretty low price and was satisfied for what it was. It's competent and plenty of my urban fantasy fan friends are more positive about the book than I am, so of course your mileage may vary. I just wanted this kiss to have a little more teeth.

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review 2018-06-15 16:43
The Black Tide (Outcast #3) by Keri Arthur
The Black Tide (Outcast Book 3) - Keri Arthur

Tiger has finally taken the first steps against the sinister forces experimenting on children for their own dark aims. But more children are missing - and those experiments are gaining ground: the some vampires are walking in sunlight

 

To finally stop this she needs to bring down Ciara the sinister architect behind this. But Ciara can change her shape to look like anyone and apparently has influence at the very top of government.




This book is action packed - we open with Tiger charging into battle against these sinister facilities and it doesn’t let up from there

 

And it’s really satisfying to follow with this book of concrete action and results after the sometimes confusion of the previous books. We had a lot of random events before and a whole lot of confusion from the large scale, highly convoluted and multiple levels of conspiracy that was exposed but still pretty hard to follow in the last two books

 

Now we have answers. Now Tiger knows what she is up against and what needs to be done. And this born weapon is going to charge into battle and kill everyone she needs to do to bring this world ending conspiracy to an end. She knows who is responsible, she knows their sinister plans - now the investigation has finished and it’s time to blow it all up.

 

And can I say now that I was pretty wary of Tiger for a while - the fact that she was designed to be a seductive assassin made me think of a lot of terrible tropes: but we dodge that. She is a lethal trained commando and warrior: we have no lethal seduction, but a lot of guns and explosions.

 

This does come with some interesting moral quandaries: especially in relation to the experiments here. I.e. the people these illicit labs have created, the babies, what they are, whether they can be saved, whether they should be saved, whether they’re acceptable collateral damage. All of this is extra poignant to Tiger, an artificially created being herself who saw so many of her people, especially the children whose ghosts she still treasures, were destroyed as being unfit to live.

 

 

She and Jonas have also reached an interesting level. Their romance has been on the cards for some time and, no, I’m not a fan. But I do like that they are addressing their ancestral problems, their fighting on differing sides of the war, both being party to atrocities for their own side… it isn’t just ignored. It is addressed, they do talk about it.

 

 

Read More

 

 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2018/05/the-black-tide-outcast-3-by-keri-arthur.html
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review 2018-06-03 20:18
Excellent uf with a decidedly sci-fi flavour
City of Light - Keri Arthur

Arthur creates the exact right blend of PNR, urban fantasy, and sci-fi in this series. I’m a sucker for stories about a world barely clinging to the ruins of its former self. In this case, it’s due to a war that happened over one hundred years ago between shifters and humans that’s left us both at the mercy of demons. I could feel the crowding and the desperation of all those who lived in Chaos.

 

The nice thing about starting City of Light so far after the war is that long-held prejudices and grudges have really had time to stew. When our MC super-soldier Tiger gets reluctantly mixed up in saving a child and her ranger uncle, a sworn enemy of Tiger’s kind, the hatred runs deep on both sides. Arthur really mines this conflict.

 

Not only is Tiger a total badass, she also forces both the other characters and the reader to question what it means to be human. Tiger is our emotional heart of a conflict that just keeps getting bigger and more dire as the series progresses. (Yes, I read the entire trilogy in three days.)

 

While there is a lot of information to process, Arthur manages to deftly steer the reader through it. The story is exciting and well-written, with a great mix of action, intrigue, and yes, sexual tension. I can’t wait to check out her other work.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-26 18:33
Moon Sworn by Keri Arthur (2015 Review)
Moon Sworn - Keri Arthur

Moon Sworn by Keri Arthur
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Riley Jenson's life takes a dramatic turn when she awakes in the desert, confused and alone. She can't remember who she is, or who to trust, even when her so-called brother rescues her. Everything feels so wrong, from her very name to specific details of her past. If only her memories would return, she'd be able to tell truth from lie, and friend from foe.

(WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers.)

After nine books in total, read over the space of three years (because admittedly I can be a super slow reader), I've finally finished the Riley Jensen Guardian series! It had its up and downs like any series of course, but overall I believe it was worth the read and more importantly, I'm glad I stuck through the difficult moments, which were unfortunately in abundance at times. Moon Sworn definitely offered a pleasant ending, what with tying up loose ends and giving Riley her desired happiness. Sure, it could've been better, perhaps less rushed at the final confrontation with Blake, but it didn't disappoint as much as the last book, which left me frustrated as all hell. I hated Kye with every fibre of my being and despised how Riley failed as the character I thought she was, so I didn't want a repeat, but thankfully she had very little time to sulk over her dead psychotic soulmate.

The plot was surprisingly refreshing, or at least one half of the plot; Riley separated from her people, her memories tampered with and essentially, it was up to her alone to figure it all out. I think it should've dominated most of the book, without the sidetracking vengeance case, as I didn't particularly care for that side of things at all. Kade's death shoved Riley right back to her old way of thinking, which I suppose I should've seen coming; she was never going to remain happy being a guardian. She had recently admitted to herself she enjoyed the hunt and excitement of it all, which I appreciated as character progression, but to achieve a HEA (happily-ever-after), that the majority of readers seem to prefer in books these days, her acceptance needed to crumble. I didn't mind, even if I believe it was a bit too easy for her escape the Directorate. It was always a set in stone choice - military or the Directorate. The possibility of being a consultant was never even mentioned before, at least if my memory is correct.

I may have been too hard on Quinn in the past; he rubbed me the wrong way when he was messing with Riley's mind, but he grew on me in this one. I couldn't help but think; "He's actually not so bad", so I guess it was better late than never. I still would've preferred Cole as a romance option however, as the chemistry between the two was obvious from early on. I also believed Cole to have more sex appeal than Quinn, or any of her partners, ever had. The rest of the characters, whilst likeable, were nothing I found particularly memorable. I didn't fall madly in love with any of them. I will miss the lady herself though, but I'm hoping she'll at least make appearances in the spinoff series, Dark Angels. Riley is a good character, even if she hit ridiculous levels of stupidity in the past. If you look back to the first book, then look at her here, she's certainly grown as an individual, which is something I really highly favour in series'.

In conclusion: This was definitely one of the better additions, but overall I'd consider the whole experience to be an average one. I neither rated any instalments one star or five stars, it was purely in the middle. I find Arthur to be a good writer, so I'll surely pick up more of her works in the future.

Notable Scene:

"For fuck's sake, what's happened to you?" He scrubbed a hand across his face. "I'm Evin. Your brother."
My brother.
No, I thought, staring at him. He wasn't my brother. Not the brother I wanted, nor the brother I was expecting.


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© Red Lace 2015


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review 2018-04-24 00:00
Generation 18: The Spook Squad 2
Generation 18: The Spook Squad 2 - Keri Arthur Loved it. Can’t wait to pick up the next book.
Action Mystery Suspense Adventure
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