Well, that ended on an unexpected note. Despite how HARD I rolled my eyes through many points (i.e. the sexy segments, and the blurt out our past and wounds, and the hit you love you) for sheer teen-angst intensity, I'm somewhat interested in what follows. I mean, we are past the AWESOME FIRST ORGASM, and the first blushes of ONE (FIRST) TRUE LOVE! (what? I can totally use caps, they are serious business here). I imagine I'd be setting myself for a lot of I CAN'T BE WITH MY BELOVED angst for volume two, though, so not sure yet. Might be that volume three is worth it? So little time, so many books. Maybe if I want another fry in my next slump.
~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~
Bogged down by used and abused tropes, mediocre writing, a silly heroine with a foolish "life-plan" …thank goodness, I listened to this on Audio. It made it possible for me to roll my eyes and not lose my reading spot. In fact, I played and got distracted by FreeCell all I wanted while listening to this. It was the only reason I made it through the entire story.
☆1.5☆STARS - GRADE=D
~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~
Main Characters~ 1.5/5
Secondary Characters~ 2/5
The Feels~ 1.5/5
Theme or Tone~ 1/5
Flow (Writing Style)~ 2/5
Backdrop (World Building)~ 1/5
Ending~ 1/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.
Book Cover~ It's kind of cute…
Narration~☆3.7☆ -by Lauren Ezzo, wasn't horrible, but her male voices could use some work.
Series~ Shine Not Burn #1
Setting~ Las Vegas, Florida and Oregon
Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)
Drat, barely a vampire cameo. Will need another book. No matter.
I'm not as invested in Andrea, much less in her hit-me/kiss-me relationship with Raphael, but I had fun. It's inevitable with any of Andrews' books. Fast pace, mythology tie ins, and badass characters all around are always good. And I'm closer in filling in the bits of Kate Daniel's world.
This my first stab at Howard, of Conan fame, and I don't know how to rate it, or if I'll ever read something by him again.
In favor it has the fact that it has no compunctions about pulling in elements from any source, and mimic any style to flavor and serve the current story. Makes for diverse settings and background mythos, always an entertaining plus.
The downside: It is so heavily male. I'd call it misogyny (and it is), but women so seldom make even a peep appearance in this volume, and affect the stories none at all, it goes past contempt or hate to total disregard territory (I went into minute detail here, so scant they are). It is a man's world he writes, and what makes it worth it are guns, swords and fighting monsters so you can tell a tale *eye-roll* White man's world. Blond white man's world... yeah, you get the drift.
So, the run of the stories:
- The Black Stone: Cthultuish account, with a nice dash of bookish love for ancient tomes. The name Xuthltan comes up.
The flogged dancer, and the sacrificed girl.
- Valley of the Worm: Norse myth flavored epic (Aesirs). Big on white and man.
Some mention of women being fierce too. None named, one appeared a second without lines.
- Wolfshead: Swashbuckling European nobles in Africa, and a werewolf. Reminded me of Quartermain's adventures.
One pretty virgin, one flirtatious twit (who might be the best female character of the whole book, for what it is).
- Fire of Asshurbanipal: Hunting for treasure in the dessert turns Lovecraftian. Another mention of Xuthltan.
- House of Arabu: More blond male. If nothing else, the pretty pictures it painted in my mind and the hour reading on Sumerian mythology it spurred may make it worth it. Aesirs' world. Fits the demon square.
One assassin courtesan (that sounds like it could be sooo cool, but no), one backstabbing, abused slave girl, one demoness, geee, we are overflowing.
- Horror from the Mound: Vampires in the old west.
Again, not even mentioned.
Since it's an anthology that runs the gamut, this one could fit Vampires, Demons, Supernatural, Monsters, Classic Horror, likely a couple more if you squint, and my pick: