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review 2017-07-23 18:53
Saved the best for last
First Blood (Awakening Series Book 3) - ... First Blood (Awakening Series Book 3) - Jane Hinchey

As with the first two books in this series, there's plenty of action and suspense as the big bad is finally revealed. Georgia has grown on me throughout this series and I've enjoyed watching the character develop and grow as the story has progressed. With impending motherhood, she's finally reached a level of maturity. She still has quite the temper, and often acts when she should plan, but she shows just how strong she is in this final book. With more power than even she knows she has, she still has her work cut out for her and realizes that she can't do it all alone. The continuing questions about the ring and dagger are answered as well as Zac's very long past as the couple prepares for parenthood and what they hope is a happily ever after. 

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review 2017-07-23 18:49
Even better than the first
First Witch (Awakening Series Book 2) - ... First Witch (Awakening Series Book 2) - Jane Hinchey

The intensity picks up in First Witch with Georgia, now a vampire, learning that she's also a witch. There's a hunter looking for Georgia and the tale gets quite creepy when he comes on the scene. The story is fast-paced and packed with suspense, action, betrayal, and some great twists and turns (the one at the end is a whopper). We do learn more about the ring and the blade and the connection between them, but the reason for their creation is still a mystery.

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review 2017-07-23 18:44
Good series starter
First Blade (Awakening Book 1) - Jane Hi... First Blade (Awakening Book 1) - Jane Hinchey

I read First Blade about a year or so ago and at that time, it was written as a standalone. Along with some grammatical errors, there was also the feeling that Georgia and Zac's story wasn't finished. At that time, I was on the fence about this one. When I heard that the book had been tweaked and was now part of a continuing series, I reread it and came off that fence quite quickly.

In this first book in the series, Georgia is psychic, often getting visions of other's future. Bring in Zac, the sexy angel/vampire hybrid and things escalate rapidly. Georgia frustrated me in this one with her attitude and tantrums. I could understand her reasoning for some of it, but she came across like an angry teen more often than not, rather than an adult who co-owns a business. That aside, the other characters were likable and the story flows nicely with plenty of action to keep things moving. The attraction between Georgia and Zac was palpable in its intensity and the suspense of the connection between the ring and blade add to the suspense. There were some unanswered questions, but that's to be expected in a continuing story. 

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review 2017-07-17 01:10
The Edge of Awakening (The Soul Tamer Series #1) by Alanna J. Faison
The Edge of Awakening - Alanna J Faison
Jasmine died. She died in utterly terrible, awful conditions.
 
But for Jasmine death is not the end - she has a destiny and a mission to train for as she and her allies prepare for the battles ahead
 
But how much was her family hurt by this destiny?
 
 
 
This book is a spin off series of the Rayne Whitmore Series, following Rayne’s dead sister, Jasmine. Jasmine is destined to become a Soul Tamer, joining a team of other new Soul Tamers, trained by Micah and other mentor Soul Tamers into their powers, skills and missions.
 
This adds a whole lot of interesting world building to this already excellently rich world. I think it’s an excellent idea to use a new protagonist to do this as Rayne couldn’t exactly stretch to cover this without severely distracting her own story and generally slowing things down
 
Instead using a new character and a new world we have an excellent chance to build into more world building, using the first book in a series to have the usual introduction to a series without derailing an already ongoing plot line.
 
And this world building is extremely good and interesting - the general use of ghosts and demons, the different powers and abilities and how they work and interact. I really like the little nuances like how simply being the most powerful doesn’t make you the most effective.
 
But more than the general world building is the personal stories of her fellow Soul Tamers - albeit some of the needing more development. All of them are young and all of them have had tragic pasts - but their pasts point to a lot of terrible injustices in the world, from starvation and poverty to hate crimes that starkly covers a lot of this diverse cast.
 
A lot of this book covers their training and I do like some of the interractions - probably Cas and Rayne the most because they do strike sparks - there’s respect and competitiveness and they’re probably not a great fan of each other but it’s not full on girl hate we see quite often in urban fantasy and young adult.
 
Her closest companion is probably Jayce, but Jayce is the LGBTQ representation in this book and it’s not really done well (another character may be a lesbian or bisexual but she also may be asexual, it’s not clarified yet). At one point he calls someone out for assuming bisexuals are just looking to have sex with anyone all the time - which is great. If that pretty much wasn’t the sum total of Jayce’s character. He exists to hit on guys, and that’s basically his characterisation even when said guys are not interested in him.
 

Her mentors and fellow Soul Tamers come from many different races - Micah is biracial and from segregation America, Dorian is Middle Eastern, Kenji Japanese and Atara, one of her peers is described as having brown skin
 
We also have minor passing characters not part of Jasmine’s group who are also racially diverse
 
Jasmine herself is Black.
 
This is an extremely racially diverse book and we do not have racial stereotypes or tropes clinging to them and that diversity extends from both minor characters to the protagonist herself
 
There’s also some brief looks at class as Jasmine is very aware of her family’s great wealth that she became so used to and stands out starkly against her fellows who faced hunger and debt.
 
I do think that Jasmine’s mentor etc were both not very forgiving and kind of dismissive about what she went through. How she died, how she became their chosen one, the implication that they were behind her “earlier” death. There seemed to be little acknowledgement that she was only 14 or how her death deeply affected her sister and led her to take some very severe risks. Yes, everyone has had a tragic past - but hey that kind of makes me question the way they treated everyone, rather than think Jasmine needs to suck it up and move on. While there’s a lot of bonding there’s also a real sense of judgement at times where they’re quite harsh, make no allowances expect a lot of her and even a little gaslighting. Like they seem to use the team to guilt her for feeling, for hurting, for feeling angry. It had an edge of manipulation that made me considerably suspicious of the powers that be here and I’m not sure I was meant to regard them with this level of suspicion - because part of me is kind of expecting them to get a severe call out or be revealed as a villain. But I think I’m getting the utter wrong end of the stick there.
 
 
 
 
 
Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/06/the-edge-of-awakening-soul-tamer-series.html
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review 2017-06-02 00:25
Fantastic Sizzler
The Awakening Society Box Set - J.M. Madden

The Awakening Society Box Set by J.M. Madden is proof this author can write anything and make it an entertaining read.  I would say this book is borderline erotica so it may not be for everyone.  Tonya and Harrison's story is about sex.  To start.  And there is plenty of sex in the book, but as Ms Madden has their story unfold, it's a pleasure to read.  There is plenty of drama and a bit of humor to balance this story.  The characters are fantastic and always my favorite part of a J.M. Madden book.  I enjoyed The Awakening Society and can't wait for my next J.M. Madden book.  The Awakening Society is part one of the story, The Awakening Society Box Set is the whole story, not a cliff-hanger.  

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