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review 2018-06-18 16:13
"On The Prowl" by Patricia Briggs, Ellen Wilks, Karen Chance, Sunny
On the Prowl - Patricia Briggs,Eileen Wilks,Karen Chance,Sunny

"On The Prowl" is an urban fantasy short story collection in which each of the four authors has a story.

 

I bought it (despite the tacky cover art that makes me glad I'm reading the ebook version) because Debbie's Spurts told me that I should read the Patrica Briggs' prequel to her Alpha and Omega series before starting the series.

 

The stories by the other three authors were by way of a bonus as they are all new to me.

 

Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs

 

On her website, Patricia Briggs describes the Alpha and Omega series as:

Patricia Briggs"...set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson Series, but on a slightly earlier time line. It begins with a novella titled Alpha and Omega published in the On the Prowl anthology. The decision to continue the story was made after the anthology had already been published, which has caused some confusion, since "book 1" is a actually a continuation of the short story."

She characterises the series as placing:

"... more emphasis on the romantic attraction between the hero and heroine. On a romance-readers scale, this series is sweet rather than steamy."

While it was interesting to see more of the world the Mercy Thompson novels are set in, I was a little disappointed in this novella. The story works as a standalone. The action is well-done. I just found myself thinking: "Patricia Briggs can do much better than this."

 

My main problem was the lack of emotional depth. It seemed to me that the "focus on romantic attraction" translated into making other emotions take a backseat.

 

The main female character, Anne has been attacked, forcibly turned into a werewolf and passed around the Pack by her Alpha as a rape-toy so often that she's attempted suicide.

 

The main male character is a laconic, emotionally withdrawn enforcer whose job is to kill those who break his father's rules.

 

Perhaps I'm not widely enough read on the topic but none of this sounds romantic to me.

 

The idea that these two would be able to set aside trauma and learned low self-esteem on Anne's side and a long lifetime of keeping emotionally distant in order to be able to kill on command on Charles' part and find a mating bond instantly was hard to take.

 

The attraction was well described but it seemed to be at the price of downplaying the baggage the pair have.

 

I think one of the strengths of the Mercy Thompson series is that when a rape occurs there, it is not downplayed and its effects are felt for a number of books.

 

This story felt like "Mercy-Lite". Still, perhaps Patricia Briggs needs the novel format to do what she does. I'll read the rest of the story in the first Alpha and Omega novel and find out.

 

"Inhuman" by Eileen Wilks

 

eileen wilksThis was my first Eileen Wilks story so everything had the advantage of being new.  The world building was original and stimulating. There was a relatively complicated plot for a short story. It managed to surprise me more than once, making me revisit the meaning of the title repeatedly.

 

The romance part was a little plodding. The people felt half-formed and inappropriately inexperienced or inarticulate. On the cusp between cute and you've-got-to-be-kidding.

 

The heroine's name confused me at first as everyone I know called Kai is male. Here it's pronounced like Sigh, not Hay. It took me awhile to work out that this was Kay with innovative vowel usage. I was also unclear how I was supposed to know that Kia was Native American (other than who isn't in Urban Fantasy - being WASP is so uninteresting).

 

The ending was a good set up for an upcoming book but I felt it walked away from a lot of what the plot was set up to do. I'd been following a hunt for a killer and when the hunt was over the outcome left me wondering what all the look-how-awful-this-killer-is build-up was for.

 

Even so, I was impressed with the originality of the ideas and the pacing of the execution.

 

"Buying Trouble" by Karen Chance

 

Karen ChanceThis made me laugh and it took a turn that I really didn't see coming.

It's a fast, light read filled with fast, light violence and sex and sprinkled with slightly indignant humour.

 

The ending was a bit - whoops-running-out-of-space-let's-skip-to-an-epilogue for my tastes but the story was a smile and the world was original so it was worth the read.

 

 

 

"Mona Lisa Betwining" by Sunny

 

SunnyI'd wondered why there was no editorial credit for this collection. The inclusion of "Mona Lisa Betwining" suggests to me that the ommission was driven by sheer embarrassment.

 

It's a short story that I lacked the stamina to make it to the end of.

 

First, there was this set of sentences which read like a rough first-draft yet are offered as the finished product:

"He was handsome, strikingly so. Like a Greek god of old. And he was more than just a pretty face. He was my new master of arms."

A little later I dragged my mind through the following sentences and realised that this prose was too awful to live with.

 

"I moved toward the door but he did not step away, allow me to pass. I stopped a mere foot away and looked askance at him."

 

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text 2018-05-31 14:55
May Re-Cap
LIFEL1K3 - Jay Kristoff
Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin - Mariana Zapata
Honor Among Thieves - Ann Aguirre,Rachel Caine
With Malice - Eileen Cook
To Kill a Kingdom - Alexandra Christo
Midnight at the Electric - Jodi Lynn Anderson
Atheists Who Kneel and Pray - Tarryn Fisher
White Trash Zombie Unchained - Diana Rowland
Just A Little Junk - Stylo Fantome
Red Rising - Pierce Brown

 

Another good reading month for me...13 books total.  I could have probably finished a couple more, except I've been doing some major cleaning because we're having another Open House this year for my youngest Daughter.  Thank goodness, I don't have worry about another Graduation until 2021, that sounds so futuristic, but it's only like 3 years away.  This one for my Step-Son.  

 

I had a quite a few books with three-ish to four-ish star ratings and one book that is definitely a favorite of 2018.  I loved Lifel1k3.  I'm obsessively stalking Jay Kristoff on Instagram, so I know when the second book is coming out.  Plus 1 dud...Rhythm, Chord and Malykhin, that one had me rolling my eyes way too much.  I also finished a much-loved Series (White Trash Zombie)...at least I think it's the last one.

 

 

 

(Netgalley e-ARC) Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

Finish Date:  05/02

☆5+☆STARS - GRADE=A++

 

(Audiobook) Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata

Finish Date:  05/2/03

☆1.5☆STARS - GRADE=D

 

(Audiobook) Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

Finish Date:  05/07

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) With Malice by Eileen Cook

Finish Date:  05/09

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Finish Date:  05/12

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Finish Date:  05/14

☆4☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(eBook) Atheists Who Kneel and Pray by Tarryn Fisher

Finish Date:  05/15

☆4.3☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) White Trash Zombie Unchained by Diana Rowland

Finish Date:  05/18

☆4.5☆STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(eBook) Just A Little Junk by Stylo Fantome

Finish Date:  05/20

☆3.3☆STARS - GRADE=B-

 

(Audiobook/eBook) Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Finish Date:  05/22

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Finish Date:  05/23

☆3☆STARS - GRADE=C

 

(Audiobook) Zer0es by Chuck Wendig

Finish Date:  05/28

☆3.8☆STARS - GRADE=B

 

(eBook) The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

Finish Date:  05/29

☆4.2☆STARS - GRADE=B+

 

I also had one DNF, which unfortunately was a Netgalley eARC with

 

 

May's Reading consisted of 13 books. 

Broken down to 9 Audiobooks, 2 Netgalley eARC's, and 3 eBooks.

For a total of 4,747 pages (including Audio).

 

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review 2018-05-21 01:14
GOOD COUNSEL by EILEEN WILKS
Good Counsel - Eileen Wilks

A deleted scene about Cullen meeting with the priest before his marriage. I don't know if it would have added much to the book, but I liked it and wish it would have remained there.

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review 2018-05-14 21:19
3 Out Of 5 STARS for With Malice by Eileen Cook
With Malice - Eileen Cook

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BOOK BLURB~

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron's senior trip to Italy was supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime. And then the accident happened. Waking up in a hospital room, her leg in a cast, stitches in her face, and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be, Jill comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident in her travels abroad. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident...wasn't an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The Good: 

 

 

  • A quick, easy listen with no extra filler added to it.
  • A really good narrator.  When dealing with books that have whiney teens, its always good to have a narrator that doesn't come off as overly whiny.
  • This felt like it was really going somewhere…like it was full of potential.

 

The Not So Good: 

 

  • About halfway through I started questioning the plot…could this have all played out like this???
  • The MC comes off as unlikable…but this could have been due to fact that she seems to have no one who is in her corner. You're left wondering if this all because of her personality, or because she has such crappy people in her life.
  • A somewhat open-ended ending.  Overall, I was left unsatisfied with the ending.

 

Despite all these issues, I was still drawn to this story and its potential…I wanted it to wow me, but ultimately it was just meh.

 

 

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

~MY RATING~

3STARS - GRADE=C

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plot~ 3/5

Main Characters~ 3.7/5

Secondary Characters~ 2.5/5

The Feels~ 3.5/5

Pacing~ 4.5/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 3/5

Originality~ 3/5

Ending~ 2/5 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Cover~ It's good...

Narration~ 4.3 -Very well done by Whitney Dykhouse.

Setting~ Italy and United States

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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review 2018-05-08 02:06
Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed - Eileen Christelow
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A very nice extension of the Five Little Monkeys series that is sure to hit home with any book-lover. In this one, the monkeys stay up past their bedtime enjoying various books, from the sad to the scary to the funny.

A very cute book. I do prefer the Five Little Monkeys books that incorporate counting, but this is still a very nice book. I love the rhyming. It makes for a very soothing read.

Fun and engaging, I really enjoyed the incorporation of speech bubbles. It is a great way to make reading more fun for beginning readers.

Great book for the young book-lover in your life.
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