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review 2017-09-23 19:49
The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell
The Lost Child of Lychford (Witches of Lychford) - Paul Cornell

Series: Lychford #2

 

I debated between 3.5 and 4 stars for this one, but the weird opening with ranting about Greg Lake Christmas songs was just confusing because I'd never heard of him before. That aside, I had a lot more fun with this installment of the Lychford series.

 

It kicks off with Lizzie the vicar being haunted by a little boy in her church. It turns out that the boy isn't dead though, so the ghost is a weird kind of magical apparition that I'd have to explain using spoilers.

He's basically an echo of an event that takes place in the future when these weird extra dimensional beings for whom time isn't a thing try to break down the barriers of Lychford by sacrificing the child in a ritual.

(spoiler show)

 

Eventually the ghost decides (or gains enough energy) to not just haunt Lizzie in the church but follow her around, and the three witches start trying to figure out what he is exactly and what is going on with him, but then outside influences start messing with the witches' heads and things get a little crazy. The scenes where Lizzie, partially under their influence, tries to break out of it by damaging her hands are both disturbing and funny.

 

We also get to see more of the haunting in Judith's home and the other witches finally find out she's been cursed with the ghost of her dead husband, so I think I'm safe in counting this for "Haunted Houses" for the Halloween Bingo, even if the haunting with the little boy is a non-traditional haunting. This book could also count for the "In the dark, dark woods", the "Witches", the "Supernatural", and the "Ghost" squares. I'm not sure if it could count for "Chilling Children" because although the ghost of the little boy gets significant page time, he doesn't say much and I don't know if he'd count as a main character. He is in danger though.

 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the next Lychford installment since they seem to be getting better as they go along.

Previous update:

26 of 133 pages

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text 2017-09-23 15:23
Reading progress update: I've read 26 out of 133 pages.
The Lost Child of Lychford (Witches of Lychford) - Paul Cornell

I was going to try to read this for the "Haunted Houses" square in the hopes that it would elaborate on Judith's situation at home (it sounds like it would fit a haunting). This novella kicks off with the ghost of a small boy (or some kind of manifestation anyway) appearing to Lizzie (the vicar) in her church, so this is promising.

 

Here's hoping there's more haunted church stuff!

 

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review 2017-09-23 01:09
Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef by Cassandra Khaw
Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef (Gods and Monsters) - Cassandra Khaw

Series: Gods & Monsters #1

 

This was interesting because it was different, but I didn't end up enjoying the investigation portion all that much. It started off fairly strong, with Rupert talking about his "day" job as a chef to ghouls but the investigation seemed to mostly consist of Rupert doing magic spells to talk to people while they tried to kill him.

 

Despite his ghost tattoos, Rupert's a pretty average (albeit destined for hell unless he cleans up his karma by essentially doing community service) guy and so it was weird that he was drawing all this attention by incredibly powerful supernatural beings. He was terribly outclassed and it just seemed a bit...much?

 

I may read the sequel but I won't be rushing out to do so. This was only a novella, so maybe there just wasn't enough room for a satisfactory exploration of the world.

 

I read this for the "Diverse Voices" square for the Halloween Bingo but it could also be used for "Murder Most Foul", "Supernatural", "Monsters" (dragons, ghouls, undead-baby monsters), "Genre: Horror" (pretty gruesome), "Terrifying Women", "Amateur Sleuth", and "Ghost" squares. I might have missed some.

 

My cover:

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review 2017-09-22 21:49
Book Review of Man (Seven Forbidden Arts Book 9) by Charmaine Pauls
Man - Charmaine Pauls

Olivia Reid’s death has always been in the cards. When a man starts stalking her, he brings her pleasure instead of murder. He wants more than her orgasms. He seems to want her very mind. By giving him one thought every night, she manages to push forward the deadline of her extinction. But for how long can she buy her life before her mind is empty, and her stalker has what he wants?

 

Cain Jones is the leader of a paranormal crime taskforce dedicated to protecting mankind from the revival of evil and the dawning of a second Dark Age. The team under his command uses their seven forbidden arts secretively to fight their archenemy, Godfrey Reid, a man who is set on turning immortal and wiping out the human race. Fighting battle after battle, Cain makes a breakthrough when he locates his opponent’s weakness–Mrs. Olivia Reid. She’s his only link to Godfrey, and his only chance at accomplishing his mission. He’ll break her if he has to. He’ll even steal her thoughts. As the investigation progresses Cain has to face a truth he doesn’t want to admit. He has an ulterior motive for personally keeping an eye on his enemy’s dwellings. Watching Olivia sleep, Cain soon becomes as obsessed with his archenemy’s woman as with killing Godfrey. She’s everything he’s ever wanted. But will she forgive him for killing her husband?

 

Man is the ninth and final book in the Seven Forbidden Arts paranormal erotic romance series, but also reads as a standalone. This book contains graphic language and sexual scenes. Reader discretion is advised.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the ninth and concluding book in the Seven Forbidden Arts Series. I loved it!

 

Cain Jones is a fascinating character. Although he appears in nearly every book of the series, he remains largely mysterious. I am glad the author decided to use the final book in the series to focus on him. He is the boss of the paranormal task force and oversees the team on behalf of his sponsors. He is also instrumental in playing matchmaker to his team (although they don't know it). Cain and his team have been searching for Godfrey, their nemesis, in an attempt to stop him achieving his ultimate goal - total world domination and immortality. When he finally tracks down Godfrey's wife, he finds himself completely obsessed with her because he can't read her mind. But as danger lurks in the shadows, will he be able to protect Olivia and stop Godfrey in time?

 

Olivia Reid is also a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is a determined and strong willed woman. She thought she loved Godfrey when she married him, but now she lives in terror of him. When a mysterious stranger appears in her bedroom, she only feels relief that she's about to die. But as her attraction to the mysterious stranger grows, she finds herself facing a psychotic husband who will stop at nothing to reach his goal.

 

This story is told through the eyes of Cain and Olivia. I enjoyed getting to see the other characters from the team once more too. This book continues on from the end of Chiromancist, though a month or so after the events in book eight, and it had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I said in my review of Scapulimancist that I thought it was the best of the series so far. I have now had to revise it to the last two books too. The story kept me hooked from the first page.

 

I have been awaiting the arrival of this book with mixed emotions: eager to read it, but dreading it too. This is because it is the last book of the series and it means the end of watching the team facing obstacles and overcoming them, as well as finding their significant other. The characters have become like friends and I will miss them. It also means the story arc reaches it's zenith, and what a rush it is! All the loose ends are tidied up for the most part. I still had a few unanswered questions buzzing around my head relating to a character that was introduced. I don't want to say too much as it could be a spoiler. However, I found this character most disturbing and I hope that he gets the help he needs. Otherwise he will be another dangerous sociopath/psychopath for the team to deal with when he gets older. There is still the mystery surrounding the quantamancist's identity who helped Ivan in Necromancist, and it remains unsolved by the conclusion. Having said that, the story ends satisfactorily. Whether it is a HEA or HFN remains to be seen. I would like it if the author were to re-visit the team in the future to see how they are getting on, but even if she decides not to, it has been an emotional roller coaster ride from the first to the last book, and I can always re-read the series when I get the chance.

 

Charmaine Pauls has written an entertaining standalone erotic romance series. Her characters are lifelike and come alive on the page. I love her fast paced writing style and the flow is wonderful. I have added her to my favourite authors list and am looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.

 

Although this book can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend that you read this series in order. Due to the explicit nature of some of the scenes, as well as use of profane language, I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 18. I do, however, recommend this book if you love science fiction, erotica, erotic romance or paranormal romance genres. – Lynn Worton

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review 2017-09-22 18:58
The New Reyes
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave - Darynda Jones

Reyes is not in good place, and he's not as was. Let's just say that he might be making Daddy proud. Charlie has this whole new title resting on her scared shoulders. Someone or something is killing gifted people and Charlie needs to find answers while protecting her friends and dealing with this not right Reyes. Life is messed up, but Charlie never stops looking for answers, and a distracting laugh. The ending, oh my, I cried. To do such a noble thing to be struck with such a cost, sorrow fell hard. My poor favorite characters, bruised but never beaten, I hope.

Ms. Jones, you are wickedly good at this. You took my heart through the shadows, through the rubble, into the struggle for good/evil, life/death, love/faith, and then threw me into a dark ravine with no bottom in sight. I loved it, couldn't get enough, and want more pain and laughs.
if you love snark, romance, action, love and coffee read this series.

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