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review 2017-03-06 00:16
Review: Origin of the Sphinx
Origin of the Sphinx - Raye Wagner

I received this book in a newsletter and I am glad I did. I do enjoy reading mythology if it is written out really good. With this story I was kind of worried on if I would like it because I wasn't sure where it would be headed. I am glad I gave it a try as I was impressed. We follow Phoibe as she find out who she truly is and falls in love. Though it seems that one God named Apollo will not take no for an answer. Phoibe has a choice but the choice she picks will have a consequence. As this is a prequel I am not sure how the other books in the series follows but it makes a good short book. It seems that Hope will be cursed and it will be up to Priska to help guide her in the best way.

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review 2017-02-07 00:00
Curse of the Sphinx
Curse of the Sphinx - Raye Wagner Curse of the Sphinx - Raye Wagner This was an intriguing story. Hope has just lost her mom, and is feeling a little lost. Bearing the curse of the Sphinx has kept them on the run for most of her life, isolating themselves for fear of being hunted by demigods or forced into a relationship with Apollo or his sons in order to avoid the cost of being the sphinx. When her aunt, last known connection, goes searching for answers to her mother's death, she must set off on her own. Except she's still a teen and must attend high school. Her new life in Goldendale is supposed to follow the same prescribed path as the rest of her life, but without the watchful eyes of her mother, Hope may be tempted to break her isolation, especially if Athan, the cute guy who keeps bumping into her, has anything to say about it.

I enjoyed many aspects of this. I loved that the Greek gods were an acknowledged part of humanity, so much so that they even had a class on the subject, much like a history class. The writing and emotional draw were also well done.

Where the story fell flat for me was Hope and Athan's actions. We get a glimpse from Athan's point of view at the beginning of the story before switching over to Hope's. What Athan learned in that first scene should have left him much better informed. It took him longer to realize what was going on than it should have, and in fact, I kept wondering how he didn't know. I mean, seriously.

And the struggle of the book was more in Hope finding her way out of isolation to start really living than in anything else, which didn't make for the most compelling plot, in my opinion. Hope was also dense, denying her intuition about Athan and totally ignoring a "coincidence" at the end. For both Hope and Athan being "smart" characters, they really didn't act so bright most of the time.

But the writing is solid and the other books may be more enjoyable, I just couldn't quite get into this one.
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text 2016-11-15 19:54
Gothic angel morality tales are a thing; who knew?
Cruxim: You Are Never Alone (Dark Guardians Fantasy Series Book 1) - Karin Cox

Odd little book. The blurbcraft I saw for this book all called it a paranormal romance, but that really isn't right. It's more dark fantasy or Gothic, like Interview with the Vampire period Anne Rice. The plot concerns a Cruxim, an angel like being that hunts vampires. The novel takes place over the 16th and 18th Centuries, and our cruxim is a man of his time, convinced of his righteousness and utterly bought into the virgin/whore dichotomy.

 

Which is what makes this so not a romance, because when his now adult ward throws herself at him, begging for him to release her from the nunnery so she can marry and have a life, he completely freaks out. Like oh my God you can't want to have sex you slut! Then of course when he runs off like a big idiot his ward is deflowered and turned into a vampire OH MY GOD THE IRONY.

 

It's first person, and there isn't much authorial commentary on this, which makes the whole thing interesting indeed. The prose is overheated and formal, which I completely adore for the right subject matter, e.g. tortured angel morality tales. Oh, and there's a sphinx character who is the most impressive mix of sinuous sexiness and alarming bestiality. Bravo. 

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text 2016-08-10 14:43
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review 2016-04-28 06:58
Book Review: Curse of the Sphinx by Raye Wagner
Curse of the Sphinx - Raye Wagner

Hope has spent her entire life running, frequently moving to stay alive. Hope and her mother are being hunted by Skia (shadow monsters), various demigods, and even Apollo himself. When her mother is murdered, Hope is left to fend for herself, and she hides away in a small town while her aunt tries to find out who is responsible.

 

Athan is tall, handsome, and has his eyes on Hope. She is mysterious and refuses to let anyone get close, especially him. As Athan falls for Hope, he realizes that there is something special about her, and he will do whatever it takes to protect her.

 

I enjoyed this story, especially later on, but there were a few parts that disconnected me from the story. In those parts, I felt like there were inconsistencies in the story. In the prologue, it is clearly stated that Athan knew about Hope's situation as he was there when her mother was killed. He knows who is responsible and is given the task of finding Hope and even waits around for her to show up. Here's a quote from the book:

A dark-haired woman flung open the door and ran toward the building, nearly colliding with him.

"Best be careful," he warned, and pulled her to a stop.

Giving Athan the benefit of doubt, even if he didn't realize that the woman was Hope, she is clearly close to the woman who was just killed. He even saw what she looked like, yet later in the story when he meets Hope he has no idea who she is. It was just a little hard to believe that he was given the important task of finding the Sphinx's daughter and when he sees a woman who was there that day, he doesn't make the connection.

 

Also, as I began reading, I got the impression that even though people learn about mythology in school that demigods and other creatures did their best to remain hidden. It's just a feeling that the beginning of the book has, but halfway through the story it shifted. Everyone knows about demigods, characters comment about having friends that were demigods, students are even being killed by Skia at school in front of crowds. The feeling now is that it is widely accepted to be a mythological creature, but yet everyone has a fear of being killed. If the fear was that great, wouldn't more demigods go to the temples for safety rather than live normal lives in the public eye? It just confused me and kept me from totally investing myself in the story.

 

I did enjoy seeing how the relationship between Hope and Athan developed. It will be interesting to see where their relationship goes, provided that they are given the chance to find out themselves, and to see what the future holds for Hope. If you like mythology, check out Curse of the Sphinx.

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