This series will hook you from the beginning! This is the seventh and unfortunately the final book in the series but it can definitely be read as a standalone.
Lexi is well aware of her looks and doesn’t need to be reminded of them every five seconds. At this point in her life she’s more concerned about making a butt-kicking documentary about the metal band Vicious and fulfilling her dream of making a feature horror film. She just needs to stop worrying about (and staring at) the grouch in the band in order to meet her deadline.
Brand, the bassist of the band, is that grouch. He’s had a tough childhood and doesn’t let anyone get close. Letting people into his life means giving them a chance to hurt him and he’s tired of that. Not even the model-look-alike disrupting his life is going to change that.
Lexi and Brand were a super cute couple. They both tried to deny their attraction from the beginning and so drama and plenty of laughs ensued when they pretended there was no chemistry between them. Brand might have acted all gruff and indifferent at times but he had some deeps scars that made him act that way. Luckily Lexi saw past that dark exterior and focused more on the man that worried about and cared for her. He made some huge mistakes along the way but he learned his lessons and proved he was capable of love.
I don’t want this series to end because I need more from all of the bands! I loved the way each character was not only depicted as skilled at what they did but also as imperfect, vulnerable, normal human beings. I also appreciate how they went through some ordinary, real life situations because that made them even more real. Like when Lexi was having some bad cramping and everyone kept commenting on her looks instead of how she was feeling… yeah, that right there made me want to hug the author! Situations like that happened in all of the books and man, I loved those little bits in each of the books. You can also tell the author loves the metal rock world by the way she describes it and lets us readers be a part of it. I didn’t think I was a fan but after going behind the scenes of the music I know I will give it a try. This was a fabulous read, with well-developed characters and a fascinating setting. I definitely recommend it.
*I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**
THE BOOK OF ETTA (THE ROAD TO NOWHERE #2) is a heavy piece of dark, post-apocalyptic fiction.
This story picks up about 100 years after THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE. The Unnamed created the city of Nowhere and now they have developed their own way of life. Since the plague that started everything, women are scarce and children even more so. As such, Nowhere honors women and to keep the human race going, women there have created hives-a group of men/lovers who help that woman with chores and who also provide regular loving- with the hopes of childbirth as the result. According to the elders of Nowhere, this is the chief role of women now. Period.
Here, we meet Etta, who feels constrained in Nowhere. Etta has no time for hives or for childbirth, and she wants no part of it. She goes out as a raider instead-looking for goods from the old world which can be made useful again. On her travels, she binds herself up to pass for a man and calls herself Eddie. There are more reasons for that other than the plain fact that it's safer to travel as a man, but I'll let you discover those reasons on your own. As Eddie, he comes across several towns, all with their own ways of doing things, (the world building here is impressive), and then he comes across the town of STL. (I see other reviews calling it Estiel, but I listened to the audio and I just assumed it was STL, so I'm sticking with that.) In STL reigns a man called "The Lion." What he has going on in HIS city is a travesty and an injustice-one that Eddie cannot let stand. Will he be successful in putting an end to the practices of The Lion? Will he survive? Will humankind survive? You'll have to read this to find out!
I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the first, but I think that's because it took me a little time to get used to the voices of Etta/Eddie. Once I did, though, I settled down and let the story wash over me. As I said above the world-building here is so interesting, each town having their own beliefs about women and children and how to keep the humanity going, it provided a lot to think about. Also, it was sad to see what happened to America in the wake of the plague-how many things had been forgotten, the uses for implements lost to history, and of course, what happened to personal freedoms and choices. It's hard for women to live in this world right now, just imagine how hard it would be in a world with no medicines, no birth control, no choices at all for women in general. These were the aspects of this world that interested me the most.
As a note of caution to potential readers-there are all kinds of unpleasant happenings in this book. None of it surprised or shocked me, avid horror reader that I am, but it might shock some. Rapes, pedophiles, genital mutilation, child abuse and other things are part of the post plague world and if those things really get to you, you might want to take a pass.
That said, I recommend this book if you enjoyed the first in the trilogy. No, it's not the same as THE UNNAMED, and no, it's not even the same world as the first book because things have changed so much, but Etta and Eddie have a lot to say and I, for one, was happy to listen. I'm intrigued and excited for the last book, THE BOOK OF FLORA, which I've already requested from NetGalley.
*I bought this audiobook with my hard earned cash and my opinion is my own.*
"When did you get here?" Emilia asked him, kissing him as she had when their lips were smooth and unwrinkled. The eternal throbbing beat below her breastbone.
"I never leave," said Daniel, stroking her head with its scent of mysteries.
Spanning almost 50yrs, this is the story of Emilia. The vast majority of the story takes place during the Mexican Revolution (1910-20) and does a good job shining a light on how discontent, injustice, and passion bring about such wars. Emilia's childhood friend, who grows up to be her love, Daniel, is more than full of passion for the war and constantly leaves and is at battle leaving Emilia. Their love story is one people in their younger years would find exciting, dramatic, lustful, and love torn; a lovestory that is exciting to read about but hellish to live.
Emilia's father was a pharmacist, and she starts to study under him and grow her own passion but for medicine. She naturally and fights her way to becoming a doctor, no mean feat during this time period. She meets a Dr. Zavalza and love triangle ensues.
I really enjoyed the first 70% of this, as we get a historical feel for the Revolution with discussion and interaction with Diaz, Madero, Zapata. I do wish we could have had some scenes from Daniel to get a feel for the battles but this look at it from ordinary citizens was encompassing in its own way, too. Emilia's aunt and a poet who is in love with said aunt, were my favorite secondary characters and I would happily read the aunt's life story, what a woman she sounds like.
The last 30% was very rushed through as we get some of the conflict following the Revolution with Zapatistas and Cardenas with Daniel and Emilia continuing their relationship in a not thought of conventional way. Years pass quickly and Emilia becoming a doctor and having children is quickly told. This rushed ending kind of gave all the emotional upheaval and drama, I as the reader, went through less gravitas.
Lovesick couldn't be a more apt title as Emilia and Daniel's relationship wasn't exactly healthy. Daniel's passion for the war and how he constantly puts it above Emilia and Emilia's inability to let impulsive Daniel and his frenzy for fighting go in favor of Zavalza's calm supporting love will make you want to pull your hair out.
The historical context was weaved expertly into the story and Emilia's life journey will definitely make you feel.
by Linda Howard
Book 2 of GO-Team
The truth is that this book probably doesn't deserve more than 3 Stars. It isn't the best outlined, and would even come across as fairly boring to anyone looking for an action-packed story where our heroine gets left behind, and needs to fend for herself until her team comes back for her. But the summary blurb is a little bit misleading, frankly, and the action-packed part of the book really doesn't take place until well into the last half of the book.
The Woman Left Behind had tons of potential to be a great book, but it fell short of that by maybe spending too much time on Jina's day-to-day training life with the GO-Team she's been re-assigned to work with. This part of the book, in itself, is already a little unbelievable, and requires a very high willingness to suspend disbelief.
By narrative, Jina ends up spending six months on physical training and drone training. In the book, there are times where you want to get on with the story. On the other hand, I can't find myself just blowing off that first half of the book she spends challenging herself and pushing herself to physical limits she never knew she had. And I honestly loved the camaraderie built between her and a team of macho super paramilitary men who didn't think she was going to make it in the first place.
Color me contradictory--those six months she spends getting to know her knew teammates was truly loads of fun. I love a character driven story, and I love great character interaction, and this book certainly had that in spades. To others, it might come off dragged out and too banal for a romantic suspense, or military romance thriller. And once again, the entire ordeal requires a certain amount of suspension of disbelief anyway--because who in their right mind actually thinks its a great idea to take a bunch of chair-bound tech geeks and force them through high impact military precision training so that they can join these elite GO-Teams in dangerous operations?
I have a hard time believing that the higher ups couldn't have just transferred in some military personnel, already trained for battle, who also have great tech skills.
But moving along, because something about that entire training sequence sort of appealed to me anyway.
Yeah, I'm kind of wishy-washy in my opinions.
And speaking of the romance, for romance lovers, this book might also kind of fall to the wayside.
While we DO have a lovely couple to focus on, we unfortunately don't get to see much of the chemistry, or the romantic bond building between Jina and Levi. And also, Levi sort of runs hot and cold, which helps him get categorized squarely on my asshole list. I don't care that he also had some very good personality traits, he crossed a couple lines he shouldn't have crossed and that makes him an asshole. The way that the romance was resolved made me a bit pissy.
On the other hand, I like how Jina's own self-revelation journey/conflict was concluded. Somehow, it seems appropriate for her.
So without a whole lot of suspense and without a whole lot of romance, and without even a focal conflict, this book, instead, ends up becoming a sort of self-journey book for Jina, as an individual. And it's a fairly thought-provoking journey that I thoroughly enjoyed.
And we'll just kindly side-step that strange, background villain subplot that lurked along the entire book, and took up precious book space every few chapters.