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review 2020-03-16 08:49
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Descending into Darkness (Darkness #1) by Alainna McPherson
Descending Into Darkness (Descending #1) - Alainna MacPherson

#Paranormal, #Romance, #ReedsyDiscovery


DESCENDING INTO DARKNESS is the first book in the Descending series. We start off with Jess being kidnapped following her shift as a waitress and taken to a stronghold. There she is told she isn't a prisoner but is, instead, a Seelie princess whose powers haven't yet awakened. At the same time, her sister, Alyss, is kidnapped by the UnSeelie Court and taken there although they are reunited very quickly.


This is a fast-paced novel with plenty of action and a dash of mystery. Being the first book, there is world-building to help the reader understand what's going on, as well as learning more about the characters that are introduced. Fallon tells Jess that he is her mate very quickly and, just like everything else, Jess accepts that and moves on. Whilst I don't like unnecessary histrionics, I do feel Jess accepted everything just a little too easily. After all, she's gone from a waitress who works the late shift to a Princess of the Seelie Court and has the ability to save not one but two races from slavery and/or extinction and she takes it all in her stride.


There is a good storyline here that I would like to read more about and the cliffhanger ending will leave the reader wanting more. The only thing I would say (and it may have been the copy I received to review) but it wasn't always clear who was talking. It seemed to change from one paragraph to another with nothing to indicate a change of point of view.


A good first book and I look forward to reading more in this series. Recommended by me.


* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Source: reedsy.com/discovery/book/descending-into-darkness-alainna-macpherson
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review 2020-02-23 08:59
Out Of Darkness
Out of Darkness - Jason D. Morrow

I took Out of Darkness from the dark depths of my rather too-long TBR. It had been there since a time where I devoured (post)apocalyptic stories, although I have to admit that recently I've become a bit weary of them.

Mora has left the relative safety of her colony to try and safe said colony by bargaining a deal with what clearly is an evil entity, exchanging goods for protection. One of the many things however that she has sadly overlooked, is that she is in no position to the bargaining on behalf of her colony. Also, cars run out of fuel, she didn't think of that. Obviously, she never makes it to her meeting, but is rather taken up by another colony. Here she can see what the 'protection' she is looking for, looks like.

I didn't like Mora. It was a miracle to me that she survived long enough to become the main character, because she does one stupid thing after the other. Besides, she has special abilities and the future of the world lies in her hands. There is - once more - two brothers fighting over Mora's favor.

The worst part however, was the lacking world-building. I realize it is difficult enough nowadays to have a slightly original zombie (eh, greyskin) story, but it was lacking here. The big reveal was hardly a reveal at all, and I was left with a lot of questions. But not in a good way.

No more Starborns for me.

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review 2020-02-23 08:40
Eve Of Darkness
Eve of Darkness - Sylvia Day

Let me explain why I picked up a book I never thought I would like in the first place. Recently, I've been trying to broaden my reading by joining book clubs and reading out of my comfort zone. Tor.com has a monthly book club which I've been following for the last year or so, and for February they came up with Eve of Darkness.

At around 20% I seriously considered giving up on the book. I wanted to give it a fair chance, but every idea I had about the book before the start (it being a book by Sylvia Day/SJ Day - although I never before read one of her books) was confirmed three times over. There had been several (bad) sex scenes - one of which possibly a rape -, the main character slut-shaming herself, and being labeled a sinner for 'having tempted an angel into making her lose her virginity'. What however had been lacking so far, besides taste, was a single thread of a plot.

However, I'm not one for quitting books. I want to see whether there is some redeeming qualities somewhere, even though it would probably be better to quit, because there is so much left in the world to read. Admittedly, the remainder of this book was not as bad as the first 20%, but still it turned into the most generic good vs evil plot with both Cain and Abel (from Bible fame) fighting over Eve (Don't get me started).

Perhaps surprisingly, I don't plan to continue the series.

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review 2020-01-14 23:43
"To Darkness and To Death - Clare fergusson / Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries #4" by Julia Spencer-Fleming
To Darkness and to Death - Julia Spencer-Fleming

This book is dominated by a complex plot, pivoting around the independent but interlocking actions of three men, each of whom uses violence, mostly against women, to defend things that they see as central to their sense of self.

It also pushes the relationship between the Priest and the Sherrif beyond any pretence of being platonic.



If this hadn't been the fourth book in the series, I might have set it aside after the first chapter.


It opens with a woman awakening alone and finding herself bound and with no knowledge of where she is or how she got there. It was scenes like that that led to me abandoning "Criminal Minds". It's too close to turning horror into either banality or voyeurism.


The book righted itself quickly, coming back to characters and a writing style that I recognised but it left me wondering if this was going to be another book looking at the bad things that men do to women in a way that revels a little too much in the power the violence gives to the men.


I should have had more faith in Julia Spencer-Fleming. She delivered a book which is about men who commit acts of violence against women and sometimes men, but the focus isn't on the violence but on the process by which these men convince themselves that what they are doing is, if not right, then necessary, especially if they can get away with it. I found myself being impressed by the way each of the men, with different perceived threats, different hopes and different social situations trod, independently, the same path to violence, or, as the title has it, to darkness and to death.


The plot that interlocks the stories of these three men is intricate. The linkages are complex and clever, The reveals kept me guessing and cranked up the tension with the actions of each man amplifying the damage done by the others.


In the midst of all of this, we have Claire and Russ, the Priest and the Sheriff, bringing humanity to the story and preventing it from degrading into a clever but mechanical thriller. Seeing people through Claire's eyes or Russ' eyes makes them more real. It allows us to see them as more than plot devices.


The book also moves forward the story arc of the unlooked-for but inescapable attraction between Claire and the very married Russ. I thought this part of the story was very well done. Clichés and moral judgements were both avoided. Instead, we were shown too fundamentally good people who want something that they can't have without becoming different people than the ones they want to be. It seems clear that Claire and Russ have reached a point where they will have to make a decision. I think it shows how well this was written that I found myself unable to say what should happen next and was only certain that they can't stay as they are.


I'll be back for book five and hoping that Claire and Russ find a path and that the next plot is a little less violent.

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text 2020-01-01 18:00
January 2020 Reading TBR
Courting Trouble - Deeanne Gist
Anchor in the Storm (Waves of Freedom) - Sarah Sundin
The Astronaut Wives Club - Lily Koppel
Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope--Voices from the Women's March - The Artisan Bakery School
The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race - Jesmyn Ward
This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America - Morgan Jerkins
An Extraordinary Union - Alyssa Cole
Breathless - Beverly Jenkins
The Darkness Knows (Viv and Charlie Mystery) - Cheryl Honigford
Appetites & Vices - Felicia Grossman

I need to read a minimum of 17 books per month to reach my goal of 200 books. *Sigh* Okay then let's do this! Twenty books placed on the list to ensure I hit 17. I won't know if any book works for a prompt for the BR Read Harder challenge until I read it, so none are being assigned to that challenge in the beginning of the month.


1. Courting Trouble by Deeanne Gist

          - 2020 Reading Assignment Challenge (Professor Author Luv)


2. Anchor in the Storm (Waves of Freedom #2) by Sarah Sundin

         - 2020 Reading Assignment Challenge (Professor Genre)

         - Finish That Series Already 


3. The Astronauts Wives Club by Lily Koppel

         - IRL book club pick

         - 2020 Library Love Challenge


4. Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope/Voices from the Women's March

          - 2020 Library Love Challenge


5. The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward

          - 2020 Library Love Challenge


6. This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins

         - From the 24 Festive Tasks game, this is what the dreidel chose for me to read as my first book of 2020

        - COYER


7. An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League #1) by Alyssa Cole

         - Finish That Series


8. Breathless (Old West #2) by Beverly Jenkins

          - Finish That Series


9. The Darkness Knows (Vi and Charles Mystery #1) by Cheryl Honigford

         - COYER


10. Appetites and Vices (The Truitts #1) by Felicia Grossman

            - COYER


11. Her Perfect Partner (Matched to Perfection #1) by Priscilla Oliveras

          - COYER


12. Copycat Killing (Magical Cats Mystery #3) by Sofie Kelly

          - COYER


13. The Scandalous Suffragette by Elizabeth Redgold

           - COYER


14. Tycoon (The Knickerbocker Club #0.5) by Joanna Shupe

          - COYER

          - Finish That Series Already


15. Year One (The Chronicles of the One #1) by Nora Roberts

         - COYER


16. Smooth Talking Cowboy (Gold Valley #1) by Maisey Yates

          - COYER


17. Opposites Attract (Nerds of Paradise #1) by Merry Farmer


18. The Preacher's Promise (Home to Milford College #1) by Piper Huguley

          - COYER


19. That Healing Touch (Cutter's Creek #1) by Kit Morgan

        - COYER


20. Once Upon a Wedding: A Fiction from the Heart Second Chances Anthology by Various Authors

     - To dip in between books

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