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Search tags: dark-fantasy
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review 2018-02-16 21:24
4.3 Out Of 5 STARS for this first installment of "The Bargainer" Series.
Rhapsodic - Laura Thalassa

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~ABOUT THE BOOK~

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Callypso Lillis is a siren with a very big problem, one that stretches up her arm and far into her past. For the last seven years she’s been collecting a bracelet of black beads up her wrist, magical IOUs for favors she’s received. Only death or repayment will fulfill the obligations. Only then will the beads disappear. 

Everyone knows that if you need a favor, you go to the Bargainer to make it happen. He’s a man who can get you anything you want … at a price. And everyone knows that sooner or later he always collects. 

But for one of his clients, he’s never asked for repayment. Not until now. When Callie finds the fae king of the night in her room, a grin on his lips and a twinkle in his eye, she knows things are about to change. At first, it’s just a chaste kiss—a single bead’s worth—and a promise for more. 

For the Bargainer, it’s more than just a matter of rekindling an old romance. Something is happening in the Otherworld. Fae warriors are going missing one by one. Only the women are returned, each in a glass casket, a child clutched to their breast. And then there are the whispers among the slaves, whispers of an evil that’s been awoken. 

If the Bargainer has any hope to save his people, he’ll need the help of the siren he spurned long ago. Only, his foe has a taste for exotic creatures, and Callie just happens to be one.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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If I was still really into paranormal romance, I would have really loved this, but lately, I haven't been feeling this genre.  That being said, this is still a remarkable start to an imaginative series.  Mostly well written (despite the lack of a decent proofreader) with genuinely likable and kick-ass characters.  The romance is not only sweet but hot AF too. 

 

If you're into paranormal/urban fantasy with adult themes and like adeptly penned, witty banter that draws you in; then you should give this little-known author a chance.

 

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

~MY RATING~ 4.3/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4.2/5

Pacing~ 4.2/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.2/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 4.2/5  Cliffhanger~ "to be continued"

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Book Cover~ Not all that great, I mean, in the story they say the wings are beautiful, but this wing is…well, it looks like a sad Halloween costume.

Setting~  California and the Otherworld

Series~ The Bargainer #1

Source~  I own a Kindle eBook

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review 2018-02-14 17:11
Tarnished City, (Dark Gifts #2) by Vic James
Tarnished City (Dark Gifts) - Vic James

 

TARNISHED CITY is an amazing follow-up to last year's GILDED CAGE. In fact, I think I liked this one just a little bit more!

 

Even though I see this listed and shelved as YA, it's much darker than most YA I've tried, (which admittedly is not a lot because it's usually too angst-y for me.) In this case however, the author nixes a lot of the extraneous stuff and focuses on the characters and the intricately plotted story.

 

It took me a little while to get back into the flow, (it's been just over a year since I've visited this world), but once I did, I was so happy to be there! There's no real re-cap, which I appreciated. I feel that if an author's characters are strong enough, they should come back without my having to be reminded and these certainly did. There's a large cast here and the characters refer to other characters using the names by which they know them-sometimes resulting in 2 or 3 different names for a person, depending upon the point of view at the time.

 

I noted that a lot of what is going on in this book is going on in the real world right now. Perhaps not slavery exactly, (those with no Skill must serve 10 years as a slave), but classism, (against those born with no Skill), and the increasingly outspoken attitudes and acceptance of those with racist views. It comes all the way up to the sanction of violence against those who disagree or who dare to stand up against those in power. I guess I'm trying to say that it's obvious to me that the author knows what she's talking about as far as how the story relates to the world today, and it's downright scary.

 

I feel like I needed to make these points, but now that I have, I want to say how much I loved this tale! I loved the characters, they're well drawn and oh, so human. They aren't perfect, in fact, many of them are downright horrible people, but they're fun to read about. The machinations and the conniving going on rival that in any adult fantasy that I've read-with the added bonus of not having to wait 5+ years for the next book.

 

I say BRAVO, Vic James! You've created a compelling, fun and interesting world, populated with deep, complicated characters and I can't wait to come back to it once again. Highly recommended!

 

*Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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review 2018-02-14 15:50
Saga, Volume 1 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga, Volume 1 - Brian K. Vaughan,Fiona Staples

What can I add to what everyone else has written? Nothing. This was awesome! That is all.

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review 2018-02-05 13:21
#9 - Orpheum by D.S. Murphy
Orpheum (Part One): A Dark Fantasy Romance - James D. Murphy

This is the first part of the story and I got the e-book for free a long time ago. I finally decided to read it and I was not disappointed. 

The story takes place in Sofia, Bulgaria, a place I’ve been wanted to visit for quite a long time (and I will someday), so it made it even better. 

This is the story of Samantha, an ordinary teenage American girl who plays the violin and whose dream is to go to Julliard. Unfortunately, it does not go as planned and Sam is devastated. However, she received an invitation to go study music in Bulgaria with a great musician. She decides to give it a try, but she will soon discover that everything is not as it seems. 

It was not my first book y D.S. Murphy and as usual, I really liked discovering the new world he created. Some things about Samantha were not okay with me, I kind of found her sometimes too pretentious and it did not work for me. She could be really annoying at times. 

The ending was absolutely brilliant though, I really think of this as more of a sneak peek and I will definitely check out the rest of the story when it is out.

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review 2018-01-30 15:40
Strange Weather by Joe Hill
Strange Weather - Wil Wheaton,Joe Hill,Kate Mulgrew,Stephen Lang,Dennis Boutsikaris

Snapshot is the first story and it’s narrated by Will Wheaton who does a most excellent job.

Set in the 80’s, Strange Weather is the story of a 13 year old boy and his run in with a man he calls “The Phoenician”. The Phoenician is the villain of the tale. He’s ugly, vaguely imposing and possesses a camera that steals memories. 

It’s also a story about aging, and about caring for those who once cared for you. It has some misty eyed moments and just a wee bit of eeriness. It lags pretty badly towards the end though and left me feeling gloomy. 

Loaded is narrated by Stephen Lang who is deadly serious for a deadly serious story.

This dark tale is about guns, hate, prejudice, revenge and the media. I’m going to admit that there are many days that I have to turn off the news because I can’t take in any more of the unending ugliness occurring in the US right now (as I write this there has just been another senseless school shooting that is barely getting any media coverage). This is a story I never would have chosen to spend my free time reading had I known more before going in. I read to escape this true life horror. This story introduces a group of mostly loathsome people who come together in a climax of bloodshed at a shopping mall, taking out a few innocents along the way. In the aftermath, it turns into a story of the stupidity of hero worship and the suspicious reporter who smells something fishy. Though well written, it wasn’t my favorite and I would never read it again.

Aloft is narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris and just like the previous two narrators, he nails it. 

Things go awry for a young man with an extreme fear of heights when he attempts to skydive to fulfill a wish made to a deceased friend and he ends up stranded on a cloud. This story is super imaginative but it also wasn’t my favorite. Something about Aubrey just grated on my last nerve. I don’t know if it was his fearfulness and gaseous emissions in the beginning, his never-ending pining away for a girl who was so not into him or just his personality. At any rate, it was a struggle and it shouldn’t have been. I found his thoughts boring and all we get are his thoughts. Sorry, I’m a jerk. I know this. If you’re going to throw anything my way, make sure it’s a horror book. 

Rain is the final story and, if you ask me, the best in the collection. It is read by Kate Mulgrew who is one of my most favorite of all the narrators in all of the lands. 

So many people seem to loath this story and find it ridiculous (and yeah maybe it is that) but I thought it was heartbreaking and sarcastically funny and Honeysuckle was a character I loved spending time with (unlike that Aubrey fellow) which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. She’s tough and resilient as a spiky rain falls from the sky and reigns terrors on those caught up in it.

I have to say, with the exception of Rain, I found this collection a wee bit unsatisfying.

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