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Search tags: Urban-Fantasy
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review 2018-04-20 05:01
Skin Trade: Anita Blake #17
Skin Trade (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #17) - Laurell K. Hamilton

*shrug*

Things I liked about this book: Edward. All the Edward. He remains fantastic. It was also nice seeing Anita actually out working on a murder case for once. How quaint. Also: I quite like Las Vegas, so it was fun seeing the characters run around in Sin City.

Things that drove me nuts: Lack of editing, weird pacing, and repetition plague this book. Hearing the same phrases over and over again to the point where I wanted to start a drinking game. Also, you can't have a character insist, probably about three dozen times, that they are acting A-typically then have them continue to act in that fashion. At a certain point there's just no credibility. And then there is the fact that the pacing is downright bizarre. It starts out glacially slow as the book catalogues every detail and interaction, minute by minute, for the first 450 pages, then falls into numerous sex scenes all back to back, then has about 15 pages of final confrontation (but also, oddly, also sex) and no falling action. It was weird.

This is one of those books that needs to be heavily edited, cut in half, and to have the scenes re-ordered. There is a story in here, it just gets bogged down. It's like Hamilton was trying too hard not to write a book populated entirely by erotica but forgot how to write a mystery. All in all I didn't hate it, but it wasn't a good book by any stretch of the imagination. So yeah, shrug. I'm reading these so you don't have to. ;)

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review 2018-04-14 15:42
Phaethon Review
Phaethon - Rachel Sharp

Source: Rosie's Book Review Team

 

Phaethon was one of the better books I've read this year. It's a simple, uncomplicated story. The main characters are friendly, caring, relatable, and pleasingly snarky. Even the bogle. (Maybe especially the bogle?) What can I say? I love an honest smartarse. It's also fast-paced, contains an interesting adventure, and doesn't require anything from the reader except enjoyment.


I loved the easy mixing of fantasy and science fiction in Phaethon.I was able to very easily suspend disbelief and sink into the story the author was wanting to tell. When certain LED-laden individuals got introduced into the story, I might have had a small flash of Transformers. (However, considering I rather like them, that wasn't exactly a bad thing.) 

Rachel Sharp has a way of putting things that states the truth and makes you snicker at the same time. Like the following statement about horses.

"People could be assholes, too, but when horses were assholes, one had roughly a half a ton of asshole to contend with."



Of course, her insults in Phaethon could be pretty good too.

"Get with the times, you bloody nuisance fish-hags! The iron bastards will make calamari out o' ye! CALAMARI!"





I actually recommended this book to one of my best friends shortly after I finished it. (She's a fantasy fan and hates dark stuff and most sci-fi, so we often don't have any books to mutually adore.) It was nice to be able to toss another book recommendation her way. As I told her: "Phaethon is so light, it's practically floof. BUT it's entertaining floof with a side of good versus evil!"

I will say that while I might be willing to read more in this series, I don't see a lot of potential in it. It was a fantastic stand-alone novel, but I'm not sure how it would work if she tries to draw it out. Still, she's obviously talented, so if anyone can make it work, she can. 

If you're looking for an undemanding read that will entertain you and lift your spirits, look no further than Phaethon by Rachel Sharp.


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the author as part of Rosie's Book Review Team.

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review 2018-04-14 13:59
Book Review of 'Til Death Do Us Part (an adult retelling of The Little Mermaid) by Dianna Hardy
'Til Death Do Us Part (an adult retelling of The Little Mermaid) - Dianna Hardy

BRAND NEW COVER! (Same content.)

 

"The day you get married, is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. Dreams are made of such things. But I forgot. I could blame the witch if I wanted to - in fact I did, for quite a while after - but the fault can only lie with me. Being with him made me so happy - so very, very happy - that I chose to forget. I chose amnesia. If I had had any foresight into how my flippant choice would ruin him, I would have saved him the heartbreak. I would have forfeited my knowing him, my own selfishness, lived forever in the pain of unfulfillment, if it meant he could be spared...."

 

When you love someone so much that your heart aches without them in your life, would you give up everything you've ever known to be with them? Would you give up your identity?

 

This is exactly what Aria did. But her sacrifice comes at a great cost, with startling consequences. With no memory of her previous life, she's forgotten what she really is, and who she's left behind: a jealous, possessive God, who's finally found her, and will stop at nothing to keep her heart from ever straying again.

 

In this dark and passionate retelling of The Little Mermaid, can a love founded on humanity, stand the passing of time, an angry sea-God, and even death itself?

 

*Please note: this book is NOT "erotica". (It has been mistakenly placed in that category, and you will be sorely disappointed if you are buying this for titillation!) It is a dark fantasy gothic romance, containing only a couple of mildly explicit scenes. In the vein of many dark fantasies, it also contains some violence which may disturb some readers.

 

Notes: The English translation of the original story, Den lille Havfrue, by Hans Christian Anderson, works out at just under 10,000 words. This retelling is just over 10,000 words.

 

Review 4*

 

This is an interesting retelling of The Little Mermaid. I loved it.

 

Aria is a character I neither liked or disliked. I did find her a little selfish and self absorbed with her love of Simon. However, she also showed an inner strength when faced with difficult decisions, and also had to deal with an abusive situation.

 

This short story was a quick read, with lots of twists to keep the reader guessing as to what would happen next. There is a scene that could potentially upset some readers, which could also be a triggering event for them if they’ve been in an abusive relationship or been abused. So reader beware! I did enjoy Aria’s journey of emotional growth through the tale though. She matures within it. However, I’m not sure about the ending. It left me with mixed feelings even though it concludes satisfactorily.

This book is one of Dianna Hardy’s earlier works, which is why, I think, I found it a little disappointing even though I loved it. Her writing has improved a lot since this book was originally written. I love her fast paced writing style and I found no problem with the story flow, so as an introduction to her storytelling, this would be the ideal way to start.

 

Due to scenes of a sexual nature and abuse, I do not recommend this book to younger readers under the age of 16. However, I highly recommend this book if you love paranormal/supernatural romances and adult-themed fairytale retellings. - Lynn Worton

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review 2018-04-12 19:06
Wendigo Rising
Wendigo Rising - James A. Hunter

[I received a copy of this book through Netgalley.]

Still an original setting, one that makes use of less known supernatural/folklore creatures (such as Sasquatches—I don’t think I’ve seen a single vampire yet in this series, and this is refreshing). We also find again some of the previously involved characters, such as agent Ferraro, Yancy’s old Vietnam comrade Greg, and James from the Guild, along with unlikely allies in the person of, well, Bigfoot and his daughter (he’s not named Bigfoot, although Yancy keeps calling him Kong, for want of being able to remember his full name). To be fair, at times I preferred these two Sasquatches, once they got past their tendency to refuse to explain their real reasons.

Some of the action scenes were pretty interesting. There’s a curious ‘battle of the bands’ at some point, mixing music with combat, and that isn’t something I’ve often read. Other such scenes left me quirking an eyebrow, though, like the one with Cassius. I quite dig Cassius, but I’d like to know more about him, apart from the little Yancy tells us about him, and the fight scene I’m thinking about, the one at the end, was… OK, I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to make of it. It was fun in a WTF way, but it jarred with the rest of the UF/supernatural-oriented action. I think a little less action in parts would’ve been good here.

This book tended to annoy me more than the previous ones when it comes to Yancy’s personality, though. I’m all OK for the grumpy, no-strings-attached guy who prefers to live in his car, but the way he acts at times is much too childish for someone with so many years of experience, and especially so many battles and betrayals behind him. I guess this is why I particularly appreciated the moment when ‘monsters’ put him back in his place regarding ‘all the people they had killed’ vs. ‘did you ever wonder if the monsters you killed had friends and families?’

Conclusion: 2.5 stars, there are good things in this series, and the end paves the way for more, since part of the threat is gone, but not fully… and things could still go terribly wrong.

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review 2018-04-10 11:10
Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free (Familia Arcana, #2)
Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free - Randy Henderson

I've got reviewers block.  I just finished this book, and had a lot of fun with it, but can't come up with a thing to say about it.  I loved that Sasquatch were major characters and I liked the vernacular the author gave them; somehow, it worked really well and I wasn't stuck with Harry and the Henderson's in my head while I read this.  I like Dawn, Finn's romantic interest, but the whole romance thing got on my nerves.  There's supportive and then there's after-school-special.  I liked that this book wasn't dependent on what it obviously going to be a series-arc-evil-nemesis; this was a self-contained plot (although the book does give massive spoilers for book 1).  

 

Mostly, it's well-written and entertaining.

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