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review 2017-07-21 16:02
The Mage King (The Ice Queen #2) by Rebecca Bauer
The Mage King - Rebecca Bauer
The Mage King is the second book in The Ice Queen series, and we return to see what Aria and Cas are up to, two years after we last saw them. They are now proud parents of Elena, although Cas seems to have taken to it a bit easier than Aria has done. They have worked hard for peace, but it seems like the mages are up to their tricks again. Not only that, but the magic of the mages seems to be failing. It becomes apparent that those who are not having problems (like Cas) may have a different blood line than others. Not only that, but King Liam from the west is making his way eastwards, and no one is quite sure why.
 
So much happens in this book, and yet it is easy to follow and is not unnecessarily complicated. Aria and Cas continue to go from strength to strength, no matter what is thrown at them. Their love and trust in each other is a strength that others just don't understand, and yet I adore it! They are not saccharine sweet, one of the things I love about Aria is her razor-sharp tongue, but are unfailing honest and loyal although they both play the deception/political game with style and finesse.
 
I refuse to give out any spoilers about this book. Trust me, you will want to immerse yourself in the Ice Realm, along with the other places, just like you did with The Ice Queen. I will say that there were no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow. Once again, this is an exceptional adult fantasy that I highly recommend.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

#Adult, #Fantasy, @Xpresso Reads, 5 out of 5 (exceptional)

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/theicequeen12byrebeccabauer
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review 2017-07-21 16:01
The Ice Queen (The Ice Queen #1) by Rebecca Bauer
The Ice Queen - Rebecca Bauer

The Ice Queen is the first book in The Ice Queen series, and we meet Aria for the first time when she is in 'training' in the courtesan area of the Temple of the Moon. Immediately, you are drawn into a world of intrigue, where someone may be completely different to who you thought they were, and their actions are different to what you supposed.

 
Aria is a fantastic female lead - she is strong, authoritative, caring, wilful, and determined. She has a reason for everything she does, even if she doesn't realise it until that light bulb moment. And then you have her 'advisors' - Casimir, Valtteri, and Seb. All three of these characters are amazing and well rounded, and yet they too have their own advisors. It is layer upon layer of support and intrigue, and it makes for one heck of a ride!
 
With plenty of battle action, some love action, oodles of political manoeuvrings, and an outstanding amount of honesty, I can easily say that I loved every word and I can't wait to read book two - The Mage King. For all fans of fantasy, I can highly recommend it. 
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

#Adult, #Fantasy, @Xpresso Reads, 5 out of 5 (exceptional)

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/theicequeen12byrebeccabauer
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review 2017-07-16 12:35
Der letzte Stern
Der letzte Stern: Die fünfte Welle 3 - Roman (German Edition) - Thomas Bauer,Rick Yancey

Die erste Welle brachte die Dunkelheit, danach kamen die Zerstörung und der Tod. Die vierte Welle hat das Vertrauen der Menschen weggespült und nun steht zu guter Letzt die fünfte Welle am Programm.

„Der letzte Stern“ ist der Abschlussband von Rick Yanceys Trilogie um das Ende der Menschheit und wie sie von Aliens vernichtet wird. 

Menschen sind tot, Häuser sind zerstört, ganze Städte liegen als ausgebrannte Gerippe brach, und die Menschen bringen sich gegenseitig um, weil dein bester Freund, eigentlich dein Feind sein kann.

Mitten in diesem Inferno gibt es nur mehr wenige Überlebende. Cassie, Ben und Evan stellen sich dem Kampf gegen das Ende, auch wenn ihr eigenes Leben der Preis dafür ist.

Die Handlung ist grandios! Rick Yancey hat ein wahnsinnig komplexes, düsteres und exzellent durchdachtes Szenario erschaffen, dass an Perfidität kaum zu überbieten ist. Die Menschheit wird systematisch von der Erde getilgt und die Aliens scheinen tatsächlich an alles gedacht zu haben. Wie soll sie sich gegen die Vernichtung wehren, wenn sie sich niemals zusammenschließt? Die fünfte Welle naht und damit wird die Erde letztendlich den Anderen gehören …

Trotz der großartigen Handlung hat mich der Autor mit seinen vielen Perspektivenwechseln verwirrt. Einmal ist man Cassie, dann wieder Evan, ist mit Ringer unterwegs oder bekommt von einem fremden Priester die Welt erklärt - ich glaube damit hätte die Spannung angeheizt werden sollen, jedoch hat es bei mir stark den Lesefluss gehemmt.

Denn von den Figuren sind meinem Empfinden nach nur die Sichtweisen von Cassie und Evan wirklich gut ausgearbeitet. Sobald ein Abschnitt aus ihrer Perspektive erzählt wurde, wusste ich, mit wem ich es zutun hatte. Bei den anderen Charakteren war es mühsam, sich zu orientieren und sich zu erinnern, wie diese Person ins Gesamtbild passt. Es ist wirklich schwierig, den Überblick zu behalten, weil die Vielzahl an Figuren auch noch zwei unterschiedliche Namen hat. Damit hat sich der Autor meiner Meinung nach selbst ausgebremst und das Lesevergnügen deutlich beeinträchtigt.

Schon im Mittelband ist mir dieses Punching-Ball-Verfahren negativ aufgefallen. Ständig wird man von einer Perspektive zur anderen und von einer Figur zur nächsten geworfen, dabei auch noch im Kreis gedreht, bis man ganz wirr im Kopf vor der Gesamthandlung steht. Ich hätte mir gewünscht, dass Yancey zu seinem ausgezeichneten Stil aus dem 1. Band zurückfindet, was leider nicht der Fall gewesen ist.

Das Ende hat mich doch im positiven Sinn überrascht und ich habe mich gefreut, dass der Autor Nägel mit Köpfen macht. Es wird dramatisch, es wird brenzlig und spannend zugleich, wobei aber die meisten Geheimnisse schon im Mittelband gelüftet sind.

Ob man sich den Abschlussband wirklich gönnen soll, kann ich nicht beurteilen. Ich denke, wer den Mittelband mochte, sollte auch noch das Ende miterleben, weil es von der Handlung her schon lohnenswert ist. 

Alles in allem finde ich es schade, dass Rick Yancey durch den wirren Stil meistens die Spannung aus seinem großartigen Endzeit-Szenario nimmt. Ich hätte es gern mehr genossen und mich an die Seiten fesseln lassen, was leider durch die zu abwechslungsreiche Erzählweise nicht möglich war. 

 

Die Trilogie:
1) Die fünfte Welle [Rezension lesen]
2) Das unendliche Meer [Rezension lesen]
3) Der letzte Stern

Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.co.at
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review 2017-07-15 03:53
HUSH by Tal Bauer (My VERY first book review – yaaay!!!)

 

 

I need to preface this review by telling you that I am a _crazy_ Tal Bauer fan. My love of his writing began when the bff texted me: “Oh. My. GOD. You _have_ to read this series called The Executive Office!” Okay, I may have paraphrased a little, but that’s essentially what she said. And so I did. And… Oh. My. GAWD! You _have_ to read his Executive Office series, but this review isn’t about those books so I won’t gush about them overmuch. 

 

I recently found out that Mr. Bauer has only been writing professionally for 18 months. Whaaat? Shut the front door, not possible, and yet he’s the one who said it so it must be true.

 

Tal’s attention to detail and fact floor me. The massive amount time he has spent researching is what breathes life into Hush and his other books.  His knowledge on a wide array of the subjects he writes about is truly impressive. And knowing that he does a deep dive into those areas he’s unsure about, in order to make the stories he writes authentic, only make the books that much more real. Both The Executive Office series and Hush could be ripped out of multiple headlines in today’s media. He tackles politics, prejudice, racism, climate change, intolerance and persecution head on in a thoughtful and factual manner. 

 

Take Hush, the book this review is about, it came out on July 13, 2017 and the story captivates you from the very first sentence.

 

The book is about Tom Brewer, a _deeply_ closeted 40-something year old US Federal court judge who is a recent appointment to the Washington bench. Tom’s closet was built from past events that impacted him profoundly and caused him to lock that part of himself away for the past twenty-five years. He has channeled all his passion into law, cutting himself off from his community and isolating himself from everyone but his beloved basset hound, Etta Mae, in the process.  

 

But the changing social landscape of the world and an unexpected friendship with co-worker U.S. Marshal Mike Lucciano, as well as a supernova heat of attraction, slowly coax him out of his closet one terrifying and painful step at a time. And you do _feel_ his pain, his fear, and his anxiety with every word Tal puts to paper. But it will make you hurt sooo good.  Tom and Mike will rip your heart out, toss it into a wood chipper, gather up the shredded pieces, and then make you whole again.

 

Mr. Bauer not only lets you see one of the most terrifying chapters in LGBTQ history through Tom’s eyes but he makes you realize how profoundly, and rapidly, the world has changed as he shows you the same world through slightly younger man Mike’s eyes. He makes you see how much just a few short years can impact and change the world. Tom and Mike come from different places in the struggle for LGBTQ rights and somehow manage find common ground in the slow burn of mutual attraction and flared passion; they celebrate together the joy and colours of Pride as Tom takes his first brave steps into outing himself to the world and then…

 

Tom’s world turns on its axis, and he and Mike are thrust headlong into events that neither of them could have dreamed of in their worst nightmares, an assassination attempt on American soil in Tom's judicial district. Their newly formed romance is threatened by events beyond their control; but not just their love is in danger of being destroyed, Tom’s life may be on the line as well as he is thrust into the international spotlight and forced into a role that he never thought he’d find himself in, trial judge for the most important case of his career, one that could have global reprecussions.

 

How far will Mike go to keep the man he loves safe? Will Tom allow his newly found courage to wither and die before it had chance to flourish, chasing him into his Narnian-deep closet once again? Will the world, which teeters on the knife edge of war, tip over to chaos or back into peace?  If the first half of the book was a slow seduction, the second half is a nail-biting car chase that leaves you breathless and constantly second guessing yourself, and the author, with all the twists and turns that come at you.

 

Tal Bauer compliments the main characters with fully fleshed-out secondary characters (and Etta Mae) who will make you fall in love with them, sympathize with their plights or hate and despise them completely.  They fill out the book, add more life  and vibrancy to it's pages and play pivotal roles in the story of Tom and Mike. From cover to cover, Hush will leave you feeling punch-drunk, like you’ve survived the most amazing thrill ride you could possibly imagine; breathless, shaken, exhilarated and wanting more.

 

 And yet, despite the political and legal backdrop and all the thriller aspects of this story, at the very heart of it, this book is about relationships; about accepting oneself, opening up to love, to the possibility of happily ever after and being unafraid and proud to live one's life. THAT message is what makes it such a profound read. Everything else? Icing on the delicious cake. 

 

I cannot recommend Hush enough. Go, buy and read it ASAP! You’ll thank me.

 

(I also suggest you have a fresh box of tissues next to you because this book hits you right in the feels. All the feels!)

 

      5/5  hearts from me! 

 

Also, I want to thank Jamie from Alpha Book Club (https://www.facebook.com/Alphabookclub/) for running the Advanced Reader Copy contest that let me start the book 2 days early! I needed the extra reading time :D

 

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quote 2017-06-25 09:52
Na północnym brzegu morza (Śródziemnego), gdy uciekinierzy już tam dotrą, Europa udaje miłosierną, na południu prowadzi bezwzględną wojnę cudzymi rękami.
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