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review 2017-05-02 11:02
Totem Animals, Plain & Simple: The Only Book You'll Ever Need - Celia M Gunn

Not the only book you will every need as this is a mishmash of Native American (without tribal attribution) and Celtic (without tribal attribution) beliefs with some other flavours thrown in as well for spice. The illustrations are great and it does contain the basics but it isn't the only book you'll ever need on the topic if you get into it.

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review 2017-03-06 23:57
Silent Whispers (Totem #2) by Christine Rains
Silent Whispers (Totem Book 2) - Christi... Silent Whispers (Totem Book 2) - Christine Rains

Kinley Dorn, architect, werepolarbear and geek is used to being pushed to the sidelines when her more active sisters are trying to chase down the missing totem pieces.

 

Until Ransom, werelynx and assistant to a vampire, encourages her to leave her safety and join him on the site – though even he didn’t expect an extinct giant to be rampaging around the site.

 

 

 

I have to say I am generally quite happy about how the romance in this book in some ways though it is a bit odd in some says. It doesn’t dominate – it’s clear there’s chemistry between Ransom and Kinley, but it is definitely not taking over.


But it’s always present which is slightly odd. Not because it’s distracting like so many romances are in this genre – because it isn’t. The characters are clearly focused on stopping the zombie giant, helping the people around the land and finding the totem. The focus is clear. The romance is… not? It’s not so much a distraction so much as a blink and “oh, yeah… romance. Apparently? Ok”. And in some ways I find the romance far more out of place than I find it a distraction: because the focus is so clearly present that it seems weird that these cleverly focused people are instead suddenly throwing this focus to a side to muse over how hot Ransom is

 

I also found it somewhat detrimental to their development – we spent time on the romance when we could have spent more time on the actual characters. We have to remember this is a very short book – so needs to be careful where the focus is. What do I know about Ransom? He’s a good looking rascal. What do I know about Kinley? She’s a geek with self-esteem issues. Rather than have this little odd romance we could have explored Kinley’s abilities, her skills as an architect (hey, one thing I loved about Totem is that it did a great job of, in a brief space, showing Ametta’s skill as an interior designer and why this matters for the supernatural beings who are their customers), finding her confidence in ways other than “yes the hot guy actually thinks you’re hot despite your love of Firefly”. Even more geeky references (though there were some excellent references which was always fun).

 

 

When you have this little space to work with, it’s necessary to triage that space – and in turn I just didn’t buy in to the romance very much – not least of which because Ransom is such a blank slate

 

But the actual action remains central – the fight against the giant, Kinley’s courage and determination and rising to the battle. On top of this there’s some really excellent drawing in some of the underlying stories and world building of this series. It’s an excellent, action driven, world driven story

 

But I do want more than that – again, aware of how short this book is and how much longer it could be. I want to know more about this very briefly explained totem. I want to know more about the First bear and what that means, I want to know more about this world, the underpinning of this, who the antagonist is, why the antagonist is doing what it’s doing even the development of how Native Alaskan mythology fits in with this series.

 

 

Read More

 

 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/02/silent-whispers-totem-2-by-christine.html
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review 2017-02-20 23:34
Dark Dawning (Totem #1) by Christine Rains
Dark Dawning (Totem Book 1) - Christine ... Dark Dawning (Totem Book 1) - Christine Rains

Ametta is an interior designer in Alaska – but this werepolarbear has ambitions far beyond her state: she wants to head south, to the great cities and really build her business.


Her family does not approve

 

But when wereanimals are being hunted and killed and skinned any disagreements she has with them about their future need to be shelved while they focus on desperately surviving.

 

 

 

Werepolarbears! Werepolar-bears. Were-polar-bears? I don’t know exactly how to write but this is awesome and so rare

 

And female werepolarbears! This is even rarer - there are strict gender roles that tend to land on wereanimals. If you have a woman, she will usually be a wereleopard, weretiger, or some other kind of feline. Felines can be female. You may get a female werewolf – but she will usually be the only female werewolf ever to be something so unfeminine as several canine wereanimal! And a female werebear? Clutch your pearls and pass the smelling salts!

 

So I’m already praising this book for slaying this trope of acceptable feminine wereanimalness (feline, it’s always feline). We also have an interesting main character: she’s not exactly completely original: she’s wants more than her provincial life in Alaska, she wants to move to bigger cities and expand her business as an interior designer. She has ambition, she’s driven and she is willing to stand up and demand this. It’s an excellent example of a strong female character who is strong in ways beyond fighting.

 

And I really like the idea of a company that builds and decorates housing to suit wereanimals. I really like the world building that goes into the characteristics of wereanimals and why they need building adaptations – like changing the colours in decorating to take into account of depth perception and colour blindness of some wereanimals. I also like the difference of the wereanimals we see depicted – like a herd of werecattle.

 

 

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Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2016/11/dark-dawning-totem-1-by-christine-rains_21.html
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review 2017-01-21 13:52
Dominoes by John Boden
Dominoes - John Boden,K. Allen Wood

 

A Little Golden Book of Horror!

 

Surreal scenes, bits of song lyrics, shout outs to all kinds of authors, and a little beheading!

 

Clever, cool and a heck of a lot of fun! Highly recommended!

 

You can get your copy here: Dominoes

 

 

*Thanks to my friend Andi for the loan.*

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review 2017-01-15 19:48
Totem Lake by Austin Cochran
Totem Lake - Austin Cochran Totem Lake - Austin Cochran

Totem Lake by Austin Cochran is a short horror story. It begins with Savannah having a terrifying nightmare that got my attention. I gave this frightening story four stars. It needs some editing but the storyline is great.

 

Savannah had a mysterious phone call from her husband Joe who was getting his deceased father's cabin ready to sell.

 

She stopped for gas in Totem Lake and saw a cork board with a lot of missing people flyers. The Al, the store owner said: "I pray for 'em too. Started losing track of the family's names after a while though, so I just started lumpin' 'em together when I pray. I s'pose the man upstairs would know just who I'm talkin' about."

 

I received a complimentary copy in an Amazon promotion. That did not change my opinion for this review.

 

Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Totem-Lake-Austin-Cochran-ebook/dp/B01N2RZ12M

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