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review 2019-01-21 04:45
Find of the Century
One for the Rogue - Manda Collins
Manda Collins is an expert at banter and warm, light-hearted, sensual regency romance. It's hard not to like her characters. I loved that Gemma is a bonafide scientist and has goals for her life outside of being married. Also loved that Cameron respects and supports her in her goals. The couples from the other book in the Studies in Scandal series show up, and that's always fun. 

Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine. http://affairedecoeur.com.
 
 

 

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review 2019-01-20 22:27
Really tired of the AU
Savage Dragon Archives Vol. 4 - Erik Larsen

It goes away, it comes back, it goes away.  I'm invested in the original world, and the characters and it's frustrating that we keep getting teased with them.   

 

I'm getting frustrated, which is why I knocked off one star.   The art is getting tighter, even when Larsen plays around with style.  And he does.  I read about how he does that, and then in this volume?  I can really see him doing it, more so than in the past.   It's new, it's exciting, partly because it's good.   The way he combines more realistically drawn characters, right next to more cartoony characters, in the same issue/book/panel really emphasizes the story he's telling, so not only is he exploring artistically, he's doing so thoughtfully. 

 

This series continues to pay homage to other books, while winking at the reader.   Larsen knows what he's doing, and he makes that obvious.   It's still a funny, action-packed soap opera on steroids.   I mean, I finally feel like I know the feels of soap opera aficionados.   I also wonder how many soaps Larsen has watched. 

 

That being said, sometimes soap-like stories just get on my nerves; this one has really gotten under my skin.  It's just... riveting.  I may end up buying the handful of issues past archive nine, just to catch up, in fact.   Loving, loving, loving this.   

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review 2019-01-20 16:15
Audio Book Review: H.A.L.F. Origins by Natalie Wright
H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS - Natalie Wright H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS - Natalie Wright

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

We pick up where the second book, The Makers, ended with our characters. They are all still separate in a work of turmoil as a few major cities on Earth are attacked by a deadly alien. Erika, Jack, Ian, Tex, and Alecto learn what they must do to save the world.

Dylan voices the story with different feelings in his voice for the characters, even different tones for our characters. One thing that I struggled with though, the audio sounded as though there was an object that moved in front and away from the microphone, blocking it and sounding muffled from time to time. I always wonder if it's my iPod or if it's the actual audio when I hear these things. There is one small section that's repeated, missed in editing. But these are small if you are looking to listen to the ending of the series.

Everyone's in tough spots. They've all done things they aren't proud of, and still doing those things to survive. There are attacks in Europe - London and Paris - putting the area in darkness. The attack on Earth has started. The world feels to be falling apart and Tex, Erika, Jack, and others feel to be the glue to bring it all together and save the world.

We get a few POVs that tell us what is happening as information is gathered from different directions. We stay with our friends, all in different areas as they fight to survive. Erika, Jack, and Tex. We also get to see through William Croft's eyes. He's one of The Makers and has insight to what was created to save them when the attacks started. Ian wasn't as much a main character in this book as he was in the past. And we got a point of view for the captain of the M'Uktah who have invaded the Earth.

Our friends learn much about themselves as they age in feelings and mind through this book. They live through terrible tragedies and have to do things to survive they don't want to do, like kill. But through this they see things are changing, and so are they. They even find loves in their lives they never thought they'd find, and worry about what their dear friends would think.

The M'Uktah we see here learns much about his world and what was to happen to him based on those who were around him. I thought at the end that there's possibly more to the story with M'Uktah and on their world. But things care cleared up here on Earth for everyone.

We see Tex and our friends figure out what to do with the M'Uktah along with what happens to the The Makers organization that had plans in place for when the M'Uktah arrived. This was the reason all of this started, with Tex and Alecto, bring the story full circle for the reason Tex and Alecto and the underground city were created.

Tex grows as a person as well. He makes some huge discoveries but also learns what it's like to be a teenage boy in love. He has some huge decisions to make. Alecto struggles a little with not being commanded by Lillian Sturgis. Alecto feels she was created to take and follow commands, so this is something she needs to learn to work through, and become an individual.

The title of the book is true to the story. Origins. We learn where the human race along with others came from. This is a journey that Tex needs to make to figure out how to save the people he's come to care deeply about. In doing so, he learns of the origin of his people along with humans and other races in the universe. This is where the story stretched further than just aliens in science fiction fantasy.

There are lines in the story that feel as though they were lines the author wanted to use like others have. These lines are ones that feel to be said in about every other book. I would have loved these to be written differently. All I do and will do are for you, where one ended and the other began - in a love scene, emotions run high, they are a matched pair, she fits perfectly to him. Ugh. Put these in different words. It would have felt to have fit the writing style better for me if the author reworded these sayings.

These small sayings aside, the book came to a conclusion for the series. It all comes together as things tie up.

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review 2019-01-20 16:06
Audio Book Review: Teeth of Gods by Sarah K.L. Wilson
Teeth of the Gods (Unweaving Chronicles ... Teeth of the Gods (Unweaving Chronicles Book 1) - Sarah K. L. Wilson

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Veronica is one of my favorite voice actors. She slips into the characters and their rules with ease. We can hear the emotion of each individual as she puts voice to their thoughts, words, and actions. She uses different tones, accents, and personality to differentiate each character for us. I feel this is a blessing when listening to audiobooks. Veronica has brought the characters to life for us.

I'm taken with the world. There was a lot of thought and creation in this world and culture of the people. From their dress to their land. From their beliefs to their magic system. The relation to other lands after a ruler defeats them. It's all so well drawn out. The best part is we see all of this through details of what Tylira is living through. It's all conveyed through events, which makes the story rich and full.

Tylira is an interesting character. She hasn't connected with The Common as others have. She doesn't know why. When she starts to connect it's because of the cruel nature of discipline inflicted on her by her fathers high consort to find it. Tylira wants more in life than sitting in the Silken Gardens. Tylira finds her way to a new city with a summons from her father, High Tazmina, in order to be bonded with another that can teach her new things. She finds more than she expected, along with a strong determination to join the Hunt for the Teeth of the Gods.

Tylira is a bit young, more naive. She's lived at the Silken Gardens with her half sisters and trained her whole life thus far, she's eighteen. She's not kissed a boy yet and has many things she wants to do, like seeing the world. Tylira sees her chance to experience many things and takes it. Though, she's stubborn in taking advice. She's struggling with her "magic" and she refuses to listen to a few things that could help her. This is something I think comes from the way she is raised, alone in the Silken Gardens, and treatment from others since her mother is said to be The Tazmin's least favorite wife. She is determined to be independent and free, though at times I would like to shack her to get her to listen. lol. I can see her being a character that readers could get frustrated with because of her decisions.

I like Amadera. I have mixed feelings of her as the book goes. I didn't like her at first. She's the High Tazmina's High Consort and acts all mighty. Even what she does to Tylira to get her to connect to the Common. Grrr. But, there is something more to Amadera, or so I think I see flashes of. Maybe Amadera thinks she's really helping Tylira and making her a stronger person for what may come in the future for Tylira.

The magic in this book is something I liked. They use heart stones to show when they have made a connection to The Common, and it shows clear with their color and power. I found I was attracted to the meditation spirit area that Tylira goes to speak to her ancestors. I looked forward to the moments when visiting these deceased ancestors. There is one ancestor that is a bit strange but interesting - An'alepp. She's an old woman who's a bit crazy. I kept trying to place the influence in the culture and world to something in our world. I just keep getting drawn into what's created here and love it.

There is a growing romance here. I like this kind of romance, when two people are thrown together and very individually strong. They work at a friendship first, then the rest follows. But they have to get through "other" things in their lives before they can trust and like each other.

Coming to the end of the book, it took a turn I hadn't expected. As much as I enjoyed the story, world, and character interaction, I found I was really sparked by this surprise. I thought back, thinking on what we learned through the book and where we ended up. There were hints given as we came here, not as much in the beginning but more so the closer we got. Very cool!

I thoroughly enjoyed this story for all the aspects and the turn at the end. I am ready to ride along with Tylira on her next adventure. I'm curious to see what comes and if she can learn what she must.

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review 2019-01-18 18:21
goddamnit!!!
A Second Chance (The Chronicles of St Mary's) - Jodi Taylor

 

(that's not a rabbit)

I thought this was only a 3 book series!

 

 

"Then Dr. Bairstow, his voice harsh with urgency said, 'Leon. Get out. They're here. RUN!'

 

How am I supposed to resist that last line!

Sucked into another one.

LOL

 

Off to Amazon to see if I have enough gift card money left.

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