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review 2017-05-26 06:38
Consider me impressed... again!
The Poison Within: An Order Universe Short Story (Inspector Skaer Book 1) - Kasia Bacon
FOUR HEARTS--And once again, I'm impressed with this author's writes.



Two for two, both short stories that left me wanting more but enjoyed the hell at what was given.

Set in the Order universe, a fantasy based world with supernatural beings and humans coincide, The Poison Withinis another creation from the author where the characters took a mind of their own.

And I'm not mad at it.

In fact, I need to send a bottle of bubbly to those blokes for getting their stories, or should say, start of their stories out for public consumption.

Clandestine human lovers of two years, low born Inspector Käyru Skaer has been meeting whenever he can with his lover, Count Ellydhar Finn-Jánn. Käyru worries that his lower class status will call an end to this love affair with his "Elly". He knows one of these days Elly will wise up and leave him, even if it would crush his heart. He'd let his lover go. He tries to hide his feelings and takes all that he can get. Did I mention there is a noted size difference? And D/s undertones? Someone has a penchant for writing hints of D/s.

*stares*

The world they live in is xenophobic, some humans regard non-humans are lesser. Political warfare and unjust treatment runs rampant. Case in fact, nymphs are living on Elly's land due to being ousted by a power hungry, racist power that fuels on scaring the masses (sounds familiar?) Käyru is called on duty from his lover's thighs to a solve a multiple murder. And it gets a little graphic when described which I liked.

The suspense is very quick. Justice is met swiftly--hooray! And we're introduced to a new being, cousin to the vampire, the Furia. What they can do is cool! (And if this character shows up in future works, I'll have excite)

I can go either way with established couples. This couple wasn't boring in the least. The story is told from the Inspector's POV, so the reader has to rely on his feelings for Elly to get a sense of their relationship.


I craved his proximity to a degree that would've been mortifying if I hadn't long stopped caring about hiding my want for him.


I thought the author succeeded on that front. There was even snatches of snark. I don't want to include my fave snippet as it'd give away a key part to the action/suspense bit.

Now my nitpick: despite the story being short, there were two instances where the scene ended weird. Like there was either something more to be said or done or shown. Both instances are when Inspector Skaer leaves Elly. The last time, after such a pivotal moment, seemed off. The love of his life just survived, and he leaves quietly? It's a minor nitpick and most likely a me thing. The inspector has a bit of an issue with his self confidence with his lover... so it could just be his way,

This is the start of a serial, by the way. The story ends with: to be continued . After 'the end', has there ever been more cursed words?

The writing is sharp. The sense of setting is just right. The story has a way of pulling the reader in. This story has a little bit of a lot of things I enjoy reading: hint of kink, strong main characters, interesting worldbuilding, cool concepts and a hint of dark. (I wonder how dark this author could get, hm?)

A suggestion as this world and the beings seem to be intricate; a glossary of the types of beings wouldn't hurt. Especially if there are going to be more detours from the main event.

I've fold my napkin.

I'm holding my utensils.

I'm waiting super patiently.



So patiently.

Consider me there once the novel drops, which I hope is soon. Or maybe I'll need to chat with the characters a bit, ask them to plague the author.

The Order universe has facets. I'm curious to read them all. And looks like I'm victim of another serial. ;D

Recommended.

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review 2017-05-15 17:32
The Sweet Scent of Blood / Suzanne McLeod
The Sweet Scent of Blood - Suzanne McLeod

'My name is Genny Taylor. I work for Spellcrackers.com. It’s a great job, pays the rent, lets me do the thing I’m good at – finding magic and cracking it – and the bonus is it’s run by witches, which stops the vamps from taking a bite out of me.

Not that vampires are the big bad any more, not since they launched a slick PR campaign – ­ oh, and they brought the goblins on board. Now the vamps are sought-after celebrities, and Getting Fanged and taking the Gift are the new height of all things cool.

But only if you’re human.  And I’m not.  I’m Sidhe fae.  And I know firsthand just how deadly a vampire can be.’

When Mr October, a sexy calendar pin-up vamp, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, an old debt is called in and Genny is forced to help prove his innocence, risking her job and the protection it offers – and threatening to expose her own dark secrets. Searching for the killer plunges Genny deep into the hidden heart of vampire society. It’s not long before she realises that she and Mr October are both unwitting pawns in a centuries-old power struggle between London’s non-human communities . . . and it’s not just her own neck that’s at stake, but the lives of all London’s supernaturals.

 

I am a fan of all things Fae, so I was predisposed to enjoy this book. The main character, Genny, is Sidhe fae and she reminded me a little bit (but only a little bit) of October Daye (written by Seanan McGuire). McGuire’s fae world doesn’t include vampires, witches, or goblins, so McLeod has taken things in a very different direction.

As in so much urban fantasy, the vampires have ‘come out’ of the coffin and have become wildly popular, but regular humanity doesn’t know everything that the other supernatural creatures know. Genny has an interesting history with vampires, which will no doubt shape upcoming books.

As is traditional in this genre, there is a bit of a love triangle, between Genny, the handsome Satyr who she works with, and an alluring vampire. It doesn’t overwhelm the plot, thankfully, but will probably provide some tension for at least one more book.

I chose to start this series as I’ve heard through the rumour-mill that characters from another favourite series (Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London) make an appearance in this one at some point.

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review 2017-05-08 20:57
First Book in Mercy Thompson Series Shows Growth When You Read Latest
Moon Called - Patricia Briggs

I own all of the Mercy Thompson books and decided that I would try to re-read some of them since I just finished the latest book and really wanted some Mercy to read.

 

I guess I am shocked how I even continued with the series when I see a lot of problems here and there with the story-line. I did give it four stars, but that's because I know what's coming and how good the series gets. But I can see why some people read book #1 and said I am out. 

 

Set in the Tri-Cities in Washington state, we have a world where the fae, werewolves, and vampires walk alongside humans. And we even have a young woman (Mercy Thompson) who has the ability to shape-shift into a coyote.

 

I liked Mercy from the first. A half Indian and white woman, she is a mechanic working alongside a fae called Zee. We find out right away that Mercy has issues. And who wouldn't. When her mother realized that Mercy wasn't a typical baby, she went and sought help from someone (Bran "The Marrok" Cornick). Mercy ends up being raised by werewolves, but is quickly sent away again when she falls in love with The Marrok's son, Samuel. Eventually Mercy makes her way to the Tri-Cities and even though she know she's displeased The Marrok and her mother, she does what she wants and even lives next door to an alpha werewolf (Adam).

 

When Adam's teenage daughter Jesse is kidnapped, and then Adam is injured, Mercy goes investigating and even goes back to The Marrok in order to get answers about who is behind what is going on in the Tri-Cities and what they have planned for Adam and his Pack.

 

The writing in this first book is a little rough. And there is some info-dumping here and there. I think that in this first book, Briggs was trying to do too much. We get so many introductions to people, places, and things it was hard to keep things straight at first. Even I who have read this entire series went wait a minute what a couple of times. This is also kind of short (it's only 298 pages, electronic) and leaves a lot of questions that do get answered later on in the series. But I have to say that besides Mercy, I didn't get a good sense of anyone.

 

Also there were so many plot holes that bugged me. I also didn't get why Mercy didn't confront her mother, The Marrok, heck even Samuel more about how they played a game of hot potato regarding her. And even though Mercy doesn't act like it, I definitely in the first couple of books got a sense of her hurt that her foster father committed suicide after his wife died leaving her all alone again.

 

And people, there is a love triangle in this one. Thank goodness Briggs doesn't drag that out beyond book # 2 though the decision is finally made in book #3.

 

The ending I thought was clever when you find out the who and why. And I thought that the book that should be read after this is "Cry Wolf" which shows you the immediate aftermath of what goes does in this book. It gives a much nicer resolution to some things. And let's you see a different side to the werewolves that Mercy can only guess at. 

 

Bank:
April 15: $20
April 17: $23. I read "The Wangs Vs the World", electronic pages 368.
April 24: $28. I read "Dream Wedding", electronic pages 512.
April 25: $28. Landed on BL and had to post a vacation photo or tell a story about a vacation.
April 29: $31. Read "Whitethorn Woods", 354 pages Kindle edition, $3.00
April 29: $34. Read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", 256 pages;$3.00.
May 4: $37. Read "The Ghost Brigades" Paperback, 346 pages; $3.00

May 8: $42. Read "American Gods" Hardcover, 465 pages; $5.00. 

May 8: $45. Read "Moon Called" 298 pages Kindle edition; $3.00.

 

 

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review 2017-04-26 15:44
Paranormalcy / Kiersten White
Paranormalcy - Kiersten White

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

 

Young adult novels can be hit-or-miss for me. This one is kind of in the middle, because I quite enjoyed the story while being disappointed by the writing.

There are so many good elements—Evie herself has great potential, as a teenage agent for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But she’s a teen, so she has teen concerns like forging an identity for herself, getting motivated to do school work, wondering if she’ll ever meet a boy, and trying to figure out what “normal” life is.

Evie’s best friend is a mermaid who runs the command centre at IPCA and they communicate through a translator of some kind. When Lisha, the mermaid, gets riled, her curses are translated by the machine as “bleep.” Resulting in Evie using “bleep” a lot in her everyday conversation. A neat way around the swearing dilemma in YA fiction.

The ability to see through glamours is Evie’s special talent and she actually “sees” and apprehends the young man who becomes her boyfriend during the course of the novel. Once again, fitting with the YA format, this relationship is very chaste and they get no further than hand-holding and kissing.

My major complaint is the lack of emotional depth to Evie. When people important to her IPCA life are killed, she seems to barely register these deaths, but instead concentrates on prom dresses and whether her boyfriend actually likes her. Although faeries are set up as the bad guys, they lack any real grit as villains.

For my money, if you like Paranormalcy, you should definitely try Lisa Shearin’s SPI Files, starting with The Grendel Affair. I found it funnier, more suspenseful, and definitely better written.

 

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review 2017-04-13 22:45
A Court of Mist and Fury / Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses Book 2) - Sarah J. Maas

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world torn apart.

 

This is an enormous book. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to conquer it, however.

The things I liked?
- Getting to see more of various fairy courts (Night and Summer, for instance).
- Seeing Tamlin’s “perfect” plans being derailed by Rhys, the charming bad boy.
- Feyre escaping the controlling relationship that she found herself in.
- Watching Feyre explore her new abilities.
- Seeing the set-up for an extreme Fae-Human war.

The things I wasn’t crazy about:
- This book could have been one third the size without all the angst about what Feyre feels, what she should do, was she being fair, all that crap that unnecessarily complicates relationships.
- It reinforces the “women like bad boys” sterotypes that plague us. Despite the fact that Rhys turns out to be a nicer guy that Tamlin in every way that is important.
- Yet another book which tells women that a relationship is the most important achievement in our lives, rather than our talents and accomplishments.

Basically, Feyre has gone from being a fragile human, needing protection, to a strong Fae woman who needs a supportive partner. Tamlin was her entrée into the Fairy realm, but once she returns with him to the Spring Court, he goes all controlling on her—restricting her contact with others, restricting her movements, and acting like an abusive spouse. I’m all for getting away from abusive partners.

The whole romance-y genre drives me crazy, because I enjoy the books, but the subtext messages in them drive me up the wall!

I wonder if Maas’ plan is to write a book set in each of the Fairy Courts? Despite my complaints, there is no doubt that I will be reading on, to see how things turn out.

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