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review 2019-08-18 18:59
Keri Arthur: Cursed
Cursed - Keri Arthur

This is the second book in Keri Arthur's Earth and Air series, Unlit is the first book but there is no connection to the first books in the series. I enjoyed the first, so if you can pick it up too.

Keri Arthur enters back into the world of Earth and Air but something is draining the Earth of it's magic:

Whomever draws the sword from the Glass Throne is destined to be the next ruler and bring peace and prosperity to Cannamore. For thousands of years that individual was the first born son but Princess Nyx Bel-Hannon is not male and not the first born but she and not her brother was able to draw the sword. As this defies tradition and her father's plans Nyx is forced into silence and her powers muted. But darkness is starting to flow across the land, The Earth is losing her power, her voice and those in power continue to ignore it. As punishment for a crime Nyx is sent to the front lines to battle of the battlefield in the hope that she will be killed but Nyx has extremely different plans. To free herself from the bonds that tie her and to take her rightful spot on the throne and to save the land that she loves.

Although this was the second book in this series, you really could lead it as a stand alone. I actually do not know where in the timeframe this book takes place after the first, maybe thousands of years later or maybe just a distant land. We are really given no frame point, which I am kind of disappointed in as I enjoyed the first book. There are some similar themes between the two book such as being an outcast, never truly fitting in, hiding/concealing true power, fears of discovery, flaunting authority etc. Additionally, the creatures are similar to the first one, bug like creatures that live within the Earth and want to rule all. As it was similar to the first I felt like I knew what was going to happen as after reading this book it does not feel completely unique as I found the first.

Nyx is a great lead character, and hardly the princess that anyone expects her to be (really they think she is a trollop who will sleep with anyone). Nxy was never the daughter that her father wanted and with her mother dead, he takes full advantage of his power over her. The hatred that Nyx has to her father and brother is really what she uses to survive as long as she did and her thirst for revenge. She does not trust anyone, other than herself, and she can come across as spoiled at times in her comments as she thinks she knows best but she is really just trying to protect herself. What I liked about Nyx was her resilience to be true to herself when she could, as well as, never forgetting what has happened to her and powering through it all to learn new skills and help others. 

As this was a Keri Arthur book I knew that there was going to be some type of romance in the novel, however, I was pretty surprised how the romance is downplayed, really  more flirting and sexual tension for the most part. This probably has much to do with Nyx's past and what she was forced to do as her father could control her. However, there is quite a bit of talk /innuendos about man parts and sex.

This was a good read and an interesting different, but yet the same, take on the world that Arthur has created (still wishing there was more connection to the first). Nyx was the standout for me in this book, kind of like Neve in the first book in the series. I look forward to picking up the third book in the series.


Enjoy!!!

If you Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2014/01/rebekah-turner-chaos-born.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2014/07/anne-bishop-written-in-red.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2016/03/keri-arthur-city-of-light.html
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review 2019-04-09 04:52
Keri Arthur: Unlit
Unlit - Keri Arthur

In the first in a new series Keri Arthur takes the readers on journey of discovery and treachery:

Neve March is one of the members of the Nightwatch, she is Unlit (has no magic) but is also stained as well a deformity that is looked down upon by the witches in power. Neve may not love her life all the time but she is happy being a solider serving in the Nightwatch. But Neve has a secret she can hear the whispers of the wind, something she should be able to do and her secret power is about to be put to the test. When Neve is sent out to investigate a strange light she did not expect to discover a woman who has been missing for 12 years but also evidence of an ancient enemy that was believed to be dead.

The Word of this book is DESIRE. He desires me, I desire him, he makes me feel desire, I'll make him feel desire and so on and so on, you get the picture. It would be the perfect drinking game book. Everyone drinks when the author uses the word desire. You'd be quite tipsy in a chapter or two. I was about to put this book down thinking that it was going to be more of a sci-fi romance book similar to some of the other series that Arthur writes. However, this aspect does change in the second half of the book, there is more action and the mystery surrounding the returning woman takes the forefront. Although desire is the word for this book, Arthur does not go into too much detail with her sex scenes most of the events happen behind closed doors, which I was surprised about.

I really liked Neve as a character, she is always a solider first and has unwavering loyalty to those that she loves. Even when she is told not to help or protect her brother/sister in arms she takes it into her own hands to do so. I also liked that she showed an appreciation for the old ways, in terms of weapons, and wanting to know more about them. Neve is Unlit and Stained but has heard the whispering of the wind, which she shouldn't be able to do but she keeps this secret to herself. It was interesting to watch Neve really find out her powers and there limits as often times this was in the middle of a battle.

I found that world building was a bit lacking for this, yes I understand he witches part and different houses, but where I got a bit confused is how the world ended up this way and really why the Unlit or Stained are seen as second class citizens (maybe I just got mixed up in everything but I think it has something to do with having power and not having power). So I guess I would like more of a back story for this world and how it became to be this way.

By the end of this book I was hooked and wanted to know more not only about Neve but also the world (which I want to know more about) so I'm looking forward to picking up the second book in this series.

Enjoy!!

If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2014/01/rebekah-turner-chaos-born.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2014/07/anne-bishop-written-in-red.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2016/03/keri-arthur-city-of-light.html
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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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