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review 2017-03-24 11:36
This author has skills! Urban fantasy lovers might want to check it out
Warlock in Training - T.J. Nichols
  4.5 HEARTS--I knew this author's first novel would be great. It was magical.



This isn't my first T.J. Nichols; all previous works were urban fantasy/ paranormal short stories: The Vampire's Dinner and A Wolf's Resistance . Both works had great world building and paranormal ideas. The same can be said for Warlock in Training. But what I wanted to see is what the author could do with something novel length.

Not disappointed.

Earth has changed, new countries have formed and magic is known. Well I should say warlocks and wizards are real on Earth, or Humanside. The Earth is continuing to change, forget global warming, it's approaching an ice age. Most of the population doesn't know what the cause is for it. Warlocks are believed to be the saviors to stop it, But what they don't want people to know is they're the culprits. Magic exists in Humanside and Demonside, a second world where demons and other paranormal beings live. Demonside is experiencing extreme global warming, the world turning into a desert, water is scarce. Do these changes share something in common?

Wizards practice magic without using demons. Warlocks on the other hand drain demons for their magic to be more power, have stronger magic. Wizards are looked down on in the magical society. Warlocks are the upper echelon, the 1% if you will.

Nineteen year old ginger Angus Donohue doesn't want to be a warlock, despite his prestigious warlock family history. His father is forced him to attend warlock college and threatened him not embarrass the family name or him. Angus doesn't even want to summon a demon during a requisite class and tries to fail.

And that's where the magic begins.

Enter demon Saka (I am 1000% for him). He chooses Angus despite Angus trying to fail and takes him to Demonside across the void (the bridge between the two worlds). Points to the story being dual POV. Both worlds are too interesting not to immerse yourself in.

The cover is so fitting! Because I think Angus has the potential to be the bridge.

Saka is a demon mage and is trying to help his world. He's smart, calm and wicked with a knife. He shows Angus there is more to life and magic. I couldn't help but imagine Saka something like Hellboy (black horns instead, no hair, the similar skin tone)



I always try to find a Hellboy in demons I read about. LOL

Saka teaches different types of magic: soul, blood and sex. Saka's really great at the last two.

A lot of urban fantasy, tends to have an alpha type as the lead. Not the case in Warlock in Training. Angus is nineteen and reads nineteen - unsure of himself, still learning his place in the world, exploring relationships with potential partners. But he's not the typical teenager. Demonside helps open his eyes.

There is a battle between two magical worlds that felt similar to what the political and global feel is right now. The 1% is ruining both worlds, damn the results as long as they're in power. It's magical politics. People are dying for a cause that does not benefit the greater good. The ones in charge lie to the masses and attacks any form of resistance.

But there is a resistance.



And it's growing.

The book ends with a cliffhanger of sorts. There are loose threads that need to be answered. Such as who really is in charge? Why the harvesting of so much power? The suspense is well written.

Before jumping all over this, I feel I should warn potential readers of possible triggers/deal breakers: There are romantic undertones rather than a defined romance. Both main characters have sex with other people (But I feel I should explain demons have different views on 'relationships' - monogamy is not the norm,) There were brief MF moments. (Also, didn't mind. The moments were a blip on the entire scale of things) Cutting is practiced for magical purposes.

How erotic does this get? There is on page sex but don't expect pages of a drawn out sex scene. (Quite happy about that, it can be a chore to read drawn out pages) The relationship between Saka and Angus is still forming, is kinda fluid. There is another character that has a potential of maybe making this a love/lust triangle. It's not romantic. More as a means to an end but there is potential for deeper feelings. Sex on Demonside can be and is used for ritualistic needs. If you are a reader who needs the one and only, I would say to approach with caution. Because the way the sex, relationship and openness is written fits the characters. And they struggle. But it's secondary to the world building, action and suspense.

I want to rate this all the hearts but I have tiny issues, pretty minor. Technically, the story reads well. But I feel some of the chapters ended in odd spots. I like the fact the chapters aren't overly long but some ended with where it could have just combined with half of the next chapter for better impact.

But I see this book as the foundation for more to come. War is approaching. What side are you on? Will the resistance win?

Bonus was that this book stars my favorite paranormal beings: DEMONS!



And a ginger warlock! It was like it was written just for me. ;P

Fans of urban fantasy should definitely check this series out because the world building is tops. The author obvious is an urban fantasy fan and it shows in their work. The first third is mostly building. The other two thirds are fast paced and filled with intrigue. My heart started to crumble in the last 5-8% but the author pulled it through.

I am so there for this series! And I'm definitely a fan of this author after this. It's 3 out of 3 for me!

Recommended.



A copy provided for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-02-16 15:28
DNF: The Shadow Society
The Shadow Society - Marie Rutkoski

Calling it quits at 200 pages.

 

Not for me. I made it 200 pages but I'm just not connecting with the main character and not that interested in the plot, I'm finding it very boring and repetitive. DNFing.

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review 2016-12-24 20:42
Burning Paradise by Robert Charles Wilson
Burning Paradise - Robert Charles Wilson

Imagine you are an orphan, your parents part of a small but worldwide group investigating an alien presence that appears to be manipulating humanity for unknown reasons, and they were murdered in order to keep that knowledge secret.

 

You may have the means and opportunity to destroy the entity responsible - would you?

 

Now imagine that other than your parents and their group, the alien presence has been essentially benevolent. It's been subtly adjusting humanity by manipulating our communications to make us more peaceful since the dawn of radiocommunications. An inflammatory word missing from a news report here. The news anchor given a sympathetic mien there. Nothing dramatic in isolation for the majority, but a totality that has resulted in no major wars since The Great War of 1914-1918. The world carries on as usual otherwise.

 

Would you still attempt to destroy it, knowing the consequences?

 

This is the big idea at the centre of this novel, and it's certainly a "big idea", but the story itself is centred on it's characters, primarily the main character Cassie, 19 years old and on the run with her younger brother. I very much liked the big idea here: How can an act of revenge take precedence over the fate of the world? Under what extenuating circumstances could that be justified?

 

I also liked the writing. Robert Charles Wilson writes like a modern thriller writer, there's a sort of no-nonsense sense of urgency, a get to the pointless and general lack of fluff that suits me. I find his books fairly fast and easy reads.

 

Unfortunately I wasn't overly enamoured of the lead character, and I found her a little too passive for a lot of the time. Odd considering the first couple of chapters revolve around her jumping into action, going on the run when she realises her own life and that of her young brother are in danger, but once she's met up with an ally or two, she just lets go of the reins and lets others decide what's going on, and what happens next. Even more, she doesn't seem to have much of an opinion about any of what's going on, taking everything she's told on faith and not questioning it. So by the end of the book when she suddenly decides to pick up those reins again and the entire fate of the world is resting on her shoulders, it's a little hard to believe.

 

Still, it's not a bad book at all.

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review 2016-11-19 15:35
Review: "Where There's Fire" (Panopolis, #2) by Cari Z.
Where There's Fire - Cari Z.

Very creative and imaginative, but alas, as far as the heroes/villain theme is concerned, this is more Adam West than Christian Bale. Bummer, because the premise sounded really good from the blurb. The execution though was rather silly.

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-11-09 20:12
Review: "1/27: An ICoS Anthology" (In the Company of Shadows, #5) by Santino & Ais
1/27: An ICoS Anthology - Ais,Santino Hassell

 

"1/27 answers the important question: What happens next?"

 

Well, wasn't this just a huge fucking disappointment.

 

 

I thought this anthology would explain some of the questions that remained after "Fade". Maybe give me some answers or even some closure.

 

But instead, this was just a set-up for a possible sequel that - according to the authors in the author's note at the end of the book - "is now about 85% more likely than it ever had been before". Um, fuck you very much?

 

Everything that went down with the Agency in "Fade" was nullified by the fact that a new and even more dangerous Agency was arising, and everyone who managed to escape in the last book was now just miserable and in a bad place.

 

I cannot BELIEVE that Boyd and Sin's very last scene ended with them being in a jail cell. Or that my beloved Ryan ended up as an addict.

 

I've spent weeks MONTHS with these characters. I've read thousands and thousands of pages and this is how it ends? With a 85% chance of a sequel?

 

Sorry, but this is NOT how a long-ass series like this should bow out.

 

 

 

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