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review 2018-09-29 18:39
Series Thoughts: Circle trilogy
Morrigan's Cross - Nora Roberts
Dance of the Gods (Circle Trilogy #2) - Nora Roberts
Valley of Silence - Nora Roberts

Circle trilogy

by Nora Roberts
Book #1:  Morrigan's Cross | Rating:  2.5 Stars
Book #2:  Dance of the Gods | Rating:  2.0 Stars
Book #3:  Valley of Silence | Rating:  2.5 Stars

Series Average Rating:  2.33 Stars


This series reminded me of the Cousin's O'Dwyer trilogy.  I know that this one came first, but I read that one first, and the similarities in dialogue, narration, and even the awkward timing of the dialogue, as well as the overall awkwardness of the dialogue itself is much too similar to be ignored.  To be honest, I kept getting the distinct feeling the characters weren't sure which time period or what genre of book they were in.

Honestly, this entire trilogy probably could have been cut down to one book, although I then suspect that we wouldn't get to showcase each couple as the front and center.  But the romances weren't all that great, so I'm not sure if that's really an issue.  The couple who had the best chemistry were Glenna and Hoyt in the first book, but even then it felt lacking.  The couple with the worst chemistry happened to be Blair and Larkin--those two just didn't mesh at all and I couldn't figure out how Blair even fell for Larkin, because he annoyed the crap out of me.

To each their own, I guess.

The last book might have been the best one, but due to certain factors, it was still graded an average 2.5 Star 'Meh' Rating.  There were too many things wrong with the way the book, the entire series, really, was set up and outlined.

Anyway you see it, I've read better Nora Roberts books.

 

 


 

 

In the last days of high summer, with lightning striking blue in a black sky, the sorcerer stood on a high cliff overlooking the raging sea...

Belting out his grief into the storm, Hoyt Mac Cionaoith rails against the evil that has torn his twin brother from their family's embrace.  Her name is Lilith.  Existing for over a thousand years, she has lured countless men to an immortal doom with her soul-stealing kiss.  But now, this woman known as vampire will stop at nothing until she rules this world—and those beyond it...

Hoyt is no match for the dark siren.  But his powers come from the goddess Morrigan, and it is through her that he will get his chance at vengeance.  At Morrigan's charge, he must gather five others to form a ring of power strong enough to overcome Lilith.  A circle of six: himself, the witch, the warrior, the scholar, the one of many forms and the one he's lost.  And it is in this circle, hundreds of years in the future, where Hoyt will learn how strong his spirit—and his heart—have become...



As I've stated above, there were a lot of things about this book that bugged me, least of all were the similarities to the Cousin O'Dwyer trilogy I read a couple years back, the first book of which had been read for Halloween Bingo 2016.  While the premise seemed interesting and promising enough, I can't say that the execution of the entire ordeal was really that great.

I was a little overwhelmed that so much was thrown at us in this first book, including all the six players, their thoughts and histories and conflicts, as well as more to grow on.  There was a lot of predictability to the actions, and also a lot of frustration with these characters.  And, as I'd felt with the Cousin O'Dwyer trilogy, the dialogue just feels too unnatural, too poetic, to feel real--it's a bit jarring.

Nonetheless, I found myself enjoying this book and interested in following the rest of the trilogy to the end.  It would be interesting to see what comes of Cian, as the one and only vampire in this army of vampire slayers.

On a side note, I was a bit ecstatic when Blair pops into the picture and her introductory was actually quite kick ass--so I find myself hopeful for the second book wherein Blair's kick-ass self will be expanded upon!

 

 


 

 

With one vampire determined to rule the earth, the Circle of Six prepares to battle for their lives—and their hearts...

Blair Murphy has always worked alone. Destined to be a demon hunter in a world that doesn't believe in such things, she lives for the kill. But now, she finds herself the warrior in a circle of six, chosen by the goddess Morrigan to defeat the vampire Lilith and her minions.

Learning to trust the others has been hard, for Blair has never allowed herself such a luxury. But she finds herself drawn to Larkin, a man of many shapes. As a horse, he is proud and graceful; as a dragon, beautifully fierce; and as a ma ... well, Blair has seen her share of hunks, but none quite so ruggedly handsome and playfully charming as this nobleman from the past.

In two months' time, the circle of six will face Lilith and her army in Geall. To complete preparations and round up forces to fight, the circle travels through time to Larkin's world, where Blair must choose between battling her overwhelming attraction to him - or risking everything for a love that can never be..



All of my hopes for this series picking up with Blair's inclusion pretty much shattered with this second book.  This isn't Blair's fault, however, as I still think she's pretty kick-ass, and I like that she comes to the circle as 'The Warrior.'  Of course, she seems to have a little bit of Buffy in her, but there's nothing wrong with that.

What was wrong with this second book was that it truly contributed nothing new to the series.  It was entirely a bridging book, created for the sake of having a second book, and for the sake of giving Blair and Larkin their romance.  And if the romance had been any good, I probably would have been okay with it, even as the book was quite draggy.

But Larkin annoyed the ever-loving hell out of me, and I can't even really pinpoint why.  He was always flirting and always trying too hard to be charming.  Why that annoys me, I'm not entirely sure.  While Blair is trying to organize a fight with the vampires, he's acting like a teenager who's playing some game, having fun with his training, seeing the sights of the modern world, and flirting with every female he comes in contact with.

The fact that the romance started developing before I could even pinpoint where the chemistry was coming from didn't help.

And finally, Larkin's shape-shifting abilities remain fully unexplained for 90% of the book, and everyone just kind of goes with it.  Because, you know, sorcerors, witches, vampires... people from another world.  Obviously no one ever questions why any of these people exist, which is not surprising.  But I think I would have liked to have had Larkin's shape-shifting abilities brought to light more than the simple one paragraph flashback that was given to us at the end.

At least we got to see Blair's journey starting as an ordinary girl living in a demon hunting family, to becoming a full blown demon hunter.  There was more depth to her background than Larkin's, though I'm not sure I like that her conflicts weren't really addressed.

 

 


 

 

The battleground has been chosen for the final showdown between those selected by the gods and the minions of the vampire Lilith. But there is one vampire who dares stand against her. And his love for the scholarly queen of Geall will complete the circle of six - and change the face of eternity.

Having traveled through the Dance of the Gods to the land of Geall, the circle finds themselves convincing then training the people of Geall to defeat Lilith’s vampire army. The Valley of Silence is a forbidding place for the battle of all battles, but the circle continues to prepare through magic and a few early stakeouts that test their strength individually and as a team.

Moira finds herself playing the roles of warrior and royal, as she follows the tradition of her people and prepares to take the crown before leading them into battle. And if that isn’t enough, she finds her thoughts turning to Cian more often than not.

So what’s a chaste and intelligent young woman to do when given less than a month with the man she loves, who’s not a man, but a vampire? And how will the people of Geall fare against an army of blood-thirsty vampires who have had centuries to prepare?



While the entire series isn't really much to write home about, I'd say that Valley of Silence was the best of all three books.  Not that that's saying much, because it didn't receive more than a 2.5 Star Rating from me anyway.  It was 'Meh', though certain aspects of this book probably should have yanked the book's rating down to 'It was less than Meh and didn't do anything for me.'  There were things in this book I'm not sure were handled very well.

Secondly, I didn't really like Moira all that much.  She wasn't irritating, nor was she a speshul snowflake.  She was just there... and she was kind of flat and boring.

In contrast, I loved Cian's relationship with the other two women in this book, even as just friends.  He regards Glenna with endearment; and he seems to have some sort of rapport with Blair.  In contrast, I'd noted that neither of the other men in the series had much to do with the other women in this series who weren't their significant other.  I would have expected Hoyt and Blair to at least have something to talk about, but they barely did.  I figure it's because Blair and Cian are so much alike when it comes to their ultimate goal and mission, because they both understand the ruthlessness of their enemy and the fact that they also need to act towards the bigger picture of things.

I liked that Cian understood that both men and women were equally necessary in the war.  Whereas Larkin and Hoyt spent more time playing the big, neanderthal of a macho man.

And I suspect that this has a lot more to do with which time period each of these people come from.  Hoyt, Larkin, and Moira come from a land where honor is held much more highly than Cian, Blair, or Glenna would see it.  The latter three come from a land where--not that it isn't held highly--but in the face of war and survival, sometimes honor needs to take a back seat, and emotions can mean either life or death in a millisecond.

Hoyt and Larkin come from a land and time where you protect women and children and babies and the elderly... which really doesn't leave a whole lot of population to fight a war, but whatevs.  Meanwhile, the latter three, more modern characters come from a world where everything should be equal opportunity.  Which also helps the former three time-bound characters understand that everyone needs to learn how to protect themselves and those around them, rather than just having the women rely on all the men to do the protecting.

I suppose that's why this circle sort of works--they balance each other out, I guess.  They're all even paired as such romantically.

Anyway, the conflict in this book was a little deeper, if only because of Cian.  He made this last book work for me.  Meanwhile, the romance between him and Moira did not work for me, because, much like the previous book, I couldn't find that chemistry between them.

The ending was too abrupt for my liking, and while there were some emotional feels towards the end of the book, there still seemed to be a feeling of unsatisfied incompleteness.  And I'm not sure if it's just because the series itself was a bit lacking.

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/09/series-thoughts-circle-trilogy.html
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text 2017-07-09 18:39
Went down the freebie rabbithole browsing over on Amazon again
Superfoods Cookbook: Book One: Over 75 Recipes of Quick & Easy, Low Fat, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Low Cholesterol, Whole Foods Superfoods for Weight Loss ... cookbook - weight loss plan for women 29) - Don Orwell
The Burning Point (Circle of Friends Trilogy Book 1) - Mary Jo Putney
Spellbound (The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor Book 4) - Claire Delacroix,Jane Charles,Claudia Dain
An Affair to Dismember (Matchmaker Mysteries Book 1) - Elise Sax
Champions of the Dragon: Humorous Fantasy (Epic Fallacy Book 1) - Michael James Ploof,Holly M. Kothe
Instant Pot Cookbook: Quick and Easy Recipes For You and Your Family (Vegetables, Poultry, Pork, Beef, Fish & Seafood, Vegan, Beans & Grains, Desserts) - Karen Benett
Better Off Wed (Annabelle Archer Wedding Planner Mystery Book 1) - Laura Durham,Laura Durham
Ketogenic Diet: The Ketogenic Diet Cookbook: 75+ Delicious and Healthy Recipes for Rapid Weight Loss and Amazing Energy (Ketogenic Diet, Intermittent Fasting, Paleo Diet, Ketogenic Recipes Book 1) - John T. Smith

Well, these were free today so despite my trying not to download so many freebies ...

 

I did avoid the ones with book descriptions not readable without a lot of "read more" scrolling so — you know the ones that the synopsis says things like the actual screenshot below:

 

 

 

 

 

Five chapters a week for July bookclub read of Old Man's War.

 

Breath of Heaven (Well of Sorrows) (Volume 3) - Joshua Palmatier,Benjamin Tate  Breath of Heaven (Well of Sorrows)    

 

Plus whatever library ebooks I borrow (lots on waitlist plus binge-ing some series) will interrupt regular reading schedule.

 

Another bookclub read of whatever TOR offers free (mid-month?) plus 24in48 readathon July 22-23 will also disrupt or remake plans.

 

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text 2016-03-10 11:43
Story Sprites Round 3 Complete
Dreams of Gods & Monsters - Laini Taylor
The Circle (The Engelsfors Trilogy, #1) - Sara Bergmark Elfgren,Mats Strandberg
Sword and Verse - Kathy MacMillan
By Dahlia Adler Behind the Scenes (Daylight Falls) [Paperback] - Dahlia Adler
Winter (The Lunar Chronicles) - Marissa Meyer
Ice Like Fire - Sara Raasch
Some Girls Bite - Chloe Neill
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater
Happily Ever After: A Companion to the Selection Series - Kiera Cass
Truthwitch - Susan Dennard

Another Round of Story Sprites Completed!

 

 

Books Read

 

Pink Path

Book with Gay/Lesbian Romance – River Walker by Cate Culpepper – 5 Stars

Clairvoyance/Sixth Sense – Sage’s Eyes by VC Andrews – 2 stars  - Review

Characters with Code Names – The Rose Society (Young Elites #2) by Marie Lu – 4.1/2 Stars

Scandinavian Born Character – The Circle (Engelsfors #1) Sara Bergmark Elfgren

 

Yellow Path

>500 Pages – Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) Laini Taylor – 5 Stars

Book to Movie Adaption – The Devil’s Advocate by Andrew Neiderman – 1 Star - Review

Dragons! – The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire#1) by CJ Redwine – 3 Stars

Novel With a Map – Ice Like Fire (Snow Like Ashes #2) – by Sara Raasch 3 Stars – Review

 

Green Path

Stand Alone Fantasy – The Radiant Road by Katherine Catmull -5 Stars – In mini review post

Single Word Title – Fairest (Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer – 4 Stars

Enchanted Forest – The Raven Boys (Raven Boys Quartet #1) by Maggie Stiefvater – 5 Stars

Strong Female Friendship – Behind the Scenes (Daylight Falls #1) by Dahlia Adler – 4 stars

 

Purple Path

YA Sci Fi – Starflight (Starlfight #1) by Melissa Landers -  3.1/2 stas

Novel with a Rebellion – Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan – 5 Stars – in mini review post

Prince or Princess – A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing #1) by Rhiannon Thomas – 4 Stars

Last Book in a Series – Winter (Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer – 5 Stars

 

Blue Path

YA Fantasy – Truthwith (Witchlanders #1) by Susan Dennard – 2 Stars – Review

First Book in a Series – Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires #1) by Chloe Neill – 5 Stars – in mini review post

Purple Themed Cover – Happily Ever After (A companion to the Selection Series) by Kiera Cass – 5 Stars

Supernatural Feud – Winter Falls (Twin Willows Trilogy #1) by Nicole Maggi – 4 Stars – In mini Review Post

 

Save me linking every one - see the mini review post here

You can see my Goodreads Shelf with the dates of the books read here

 

Best Books

Dreams of Gods and Monsters, Winter, The Circle, Happily Ever After, Sword and Verse, River Walker, Daylight Falls,  The Raven Boys, Some Girls Bite

 

Worst Books

The Devil’s Advocate, Sage’s Eyes, Truthwitch

 

Honourable Mentions

The Rose Society, Fairest, The Radiant Road, Ice like Fire.

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review 2015-07-04 23:33
Fun trio
Circle R Ranch Trilogy - Tamara Hoffa

The Circle R Ranch Trilogy by Tamara Hoffa was a fun trio of books.  Each of the books (Roping Love, Chasing Love, Fetching Love) gave the story of one of the brothers of the Circle R Ranch.  There is plenty of drama, humor and sexy bits to keep this trilogy entertaining.  I look forward to reading more from Tamara Hoffa in the future.  These books are well written with lovable characters.  Each book is a complete book there are no cliff-hangers.  

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review 2014-02-20 14:34
Review: The Circle
The Circle (The Engelsfors Trilogy, #1) - Sara Bergmark Elfgren,Mats Strandberg

When I first got this book and I all I can think of was,” Wow dude! This book is HUGE!” It took me two-three days to read. Not because it was big but because I had a hard time getting into characters and the plot.

Plot: This plot is about several different characters being called by a council and coming into their powers. My problem with this plot is that it has SOOO much going. There is not one chance for the reader to be relaxed in one character cause once you get settle in, the plot moves again. The plot also moves very slowly when it comes to their powers and why they have them.  It’s like one minute they show powers and the next the plot moves again. For me, I got annoyed by this. I wanted to explore more instead of once again moving to another character.

Characters: There are several different characters that this story tells. I can’t name them all but I’m sure there are more than 6 characters that the reader is jumping between. And to be honest, I did not like this. There are a lot of story lines, a lot of minor characters to know. This is the one main reason why I read this book so slow. There is a lot to know and well if your not paying attention you can miss out on stuff.

Ending: The book ends with nothing really much explain. Instead the reader is left with lots of questions. There were only about two characters that I really latched onto and wanted to know.

This is an okay book. Be sure that if you decided to pick up this book that you dedicate time to it cause it will make you think. You have to read it slowly and take in each character carefully. If you think that your going to read it and fly right through it then you will only be left confused. Overall, it’s good. I think if the authors slow down the story and explored other storylines instead of creating others, I might have enjoyed it more.

Source: www.bookswithbite.net
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