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review 2017-11-02 15:20
Review: Fireblood
Fireblood (The Frostblood Saga) - Elly Blake

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

This is one of those delightful fantasy series that the plot twists are actually pretty ridiculous and kind of laughable, but it’s just SO GOOD you can overlook how silly it really is because it’s so exceptionally well written and the characters are excellent. Definitely one of my favourite fantasy series of this year.

 

Review contains spoilers for the first book.

 

Picking up shortly after where the first book ended, Arcus is now King of the Frostbloods and Ruby is now a Lady living in his court. She still has the hideous Minax monster hiding in her mind and is on a quest to figure out how to destroy it. Her friend from the first book, Lady Marella is helping her with court etiquette. Despite the fact that the Frostblood curse and throne is gone, and the evil king Rasmus along with it, not all the nobles are over joyed with the changes Arcus wants to implement, giving the regular people more fair trade terms for farmers and such. And treat the Firebloods better. Ruby is still met with scorn and suspicion. But she handles it a lot better.

(spoiler show)

 

She’s definitely got a spark and attitude and a delightful snarky manor about her, given everything Ruby went through in the first book, she’s an incredibly strong and well-adjusted character and is definitely (in this reader’s opinion) entitled to her moments of moaning and temper. She’s smart enough to know and understand that everything isn’t going to go smoothly.

 

During a fancy ball, after an assassination attempt Ruby makes the acquaintance of a strange but handsome boy Kai, who has an interesting offer for her. He’s a Fireblood like her and can take her to the Fireblood island to meet with the Fireblood Queen. One of the new ideas Arcus is after is a peace treaty between the Fireblood lands and the Frostblood lands. The Queen didn’t respond to his invitations to the ball and talks. Ruby figures if she takes Kai up on his offer then she can be the emissary for peace talks. And she’s also learned that the book she needs to destroy the Minax in the library at the Fireblood palace. So another reason to go.

(spoiler show)

 

Of course there is naturally some suspicion there. Wouldn’t be that simple. (And of course if everything went according to the plan there wouldn’t be much of a book.) There’s a lot of arguing between Ruby and Arcus on this point which makes a lot of sense if you think about it. There’s not a lot of information on who Kai is, or if he’s really who he SAYS he is. Or what he’s really doing there. Is she just going to blindly trust him and believe what he says? You can understand Arcus’s reasons against it.

 

 

 

At the same time Ruby has the chance to learn more about her own people and her own powers, she’ll be with others the same as herself – Firebloods. You can understand as well why Ruby wants to see the Fireblood lands. It’s a well reasoned argument with good points from both sides, made more frustrating by the deep attraction and the love that the two have for each other. And it’s almost painful to read about for the two of them clearly care deeply for each other but both are damned stubborn.

 

So Ruby heads off for the Firebloods lands across the sea. Where she’s met with some disturbing home truths about how the Fireblood Queen really is. Kai of course has kept his own secrets and reasons for bringing Ruby to the island. She’s pissed, naturally, but that doesn’t stop the fantastic bantery flirting between the two of them. Leading to internal conflict inside Ruby because she still has strong feelings for Arcus. <

(spoiler show)

 

Ruby has to take trails to become a Master before she can get access to the information she needs. And nothing goes according to plan. As the training increases and the tests she has to pass become more and more difficult, she’s hit bit a number of startling revelations about who she really is and who her own deceased mother was.

 

The twists are a bit silly to be perfectly honest, but like I said earlier, this is such a brilliantly written book, the daftness of the plot which can be eye rolling at times, doesn’t particularly matter because it’s so much fun to read. Left at a cliffhanger (of course) for the final instalment. Which I am really looking forward to.

 

This is a fantastic series I can’t recommend enough. I’ve already pre ordered the last book.

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text 2016-06-01 16:53
Reading progress update: I've read 255 out of 439 pages.
The Raven King - Maggie Stiefvater

Putting this on hold for now. Just not enjoying it as much as the others. Thinking about rereading the whole series from start to finish, cause there are parts and characters referenced I'm lost with. Not in the mood for it at the moment.

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review 2016-03-29 12:18
Shielder (Shielder, #1)
Shielder - A Science Fiction Romance (Book 1, Shielder Series) - Catherine Spangler
Leonessa dan Ranul; a 22 year old Shielder woman, who seeks the approval of her people. Abandoned and outcast at the age of 12 because of a medical condition that shows itself in seizures, she lived for the last 10 years on her own in a cot next to her city. On top of that she is disfigured by a severe leg injury that left her with a limb. Her only visitor in all that time was her brother.
A deathly virus threatens the Shielder people and she volunteers for a dangerous mission to save her people, which involves an injection with the virus and 4 weeks to get to secret lab on another planet in hope to develop an antidote. If she fails it’s her death sentence.

Shadower Captain Chase McKnight; a gruff, harsh and grumpy man with an mysterious past and only one thing on his mind: vengeance. He’s a bounty hunter and on his way to catch the really bad dudes. And he is supposed to be her enemy.
On his way to earn another bounty he receives Nessa’s distress signal after her spaceship crashed and reluctantly decides to take her with him after she tells him she’s a pilgrim on her way to religious festivities. He promises to get her to a spaceport, which is in the vicinity to the planet with the religious festivities and the planet with the lab.

Since she can’t tell him the real reason for her journey and the urgency to get to her destination in time and his reluctance to make a beeline for the spaceport, they are bound for a whole lot of trouble, misunderstandings, developing feelings and other complications. (I especially loved the fun Nessa’s pet brought on board. Specifically that one time when they thought it was dead and he tried to replace it. He totally missed that these pets bind to the first person that touches them, which proved to be a problem, since he was allergic to them.)

I also liked the interactions with Sabin. He also kept secrets from his friend Chase. At first he was kinda hostile against Nessa but I thought after a while that he might be a case of tough on the outside, soft on the inside, same as Chase, because he kept her secrets and kind of supported her.

I loved this book and how the author slowly developed the bond between the two main characters. I loved the back and forth created by both their secrets but eventually everything worked out fine.
What I disliked a bit was that at the end, after the virus breaks out in Nessa, everything felt rushed. Granted we get to know Chase’s past but how they were able to cure her case of Orana and how they developed the antidote is handled within a few pages. Could have been handled better.
I also disliked her visiting her colony and parents again with Chase and the children to see if they approved of her success. That simply rubbed me the wrong way.

I would recommend it to people who like science fiction with a good romance ark, fantastic world building and a whole lot of aventures and action.
 
 

 

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review 2016-03-29 10:00
Hell & High Water (THIRDS Book 1)
Hell & High Water (THIRDS Book 1) - Charlie Cochet
I stumbled upon this series a few days ago and it sounded like I would like it, so I immediately got me the first book.
I half expected just to get some men and women in uniform, shapeshifters, a brewing struggle between human and shapeshifters and some romance, a setup that worked well for me in several other books I read so far, but I got more.

Let me elaborate:
The world Charlie Cochet created is one where shapeshifters (aka Therians) were created by accident by humans in the 70ies when biological warfare in the Vietnam War released a virus which later required development of an antidote. This antidote created the shapeshifter mutations.
To cope with that, the government created a Therian government called THIRDS (aka Therian Human Intelligence, Recon, Defence Squadron).
The counterpart for the human population is the HPF (aka Human Police Force).

The story starts with human homicide detective Dexter J. Daley’s testimony against his former partner after him witnessing him committing cold blooded murder. This leads to Dex being treated like an outcast and as a traitor of his precinct in the HPF and human race, since the victim was a young Therian.
Eventually he loses his job but he gets sort of promoted to be an agent with the THIRDS because his dad is a sergeant there. Therians clearly don’t have a problem with family members working together.
Agent Sloane Brodie is a jaguar Therian and Dex’s new team leader and partner. He previously lost his partner and rejected all other potential candidates so far. He and the rest of the team fully intended to do the same with Dex because they were all still grieving. All while they had to solve a case of murders of Therians.
But well Dex is Dex …. He somehow managed to find his place in the team and the heart of Sloane and the process of it was somewhat funny as hell. Dex is a dork. A huge ABBA singing dork.
I loved Dex’s banter with Sloane.

Sloane turned, arching an eyebrow at Dex.
“ABBA?”
“What kind of gay man are you?” Dex thrust a finger toward the door.
“Out of my house. Your kind isn’t welcome here.”


“You seem to forget where you are. You’re in Casa de Dex, and in Casa de Dex is much singing.”

“You gotta stop doing that!”
“Doing what?”
“That popping-up-outta-nowhere thing you do.”
Sloane’s brows rose in amusement. “ I use doors like everyone else.”


“Are these,”-Sloane peered at the wrapping paper-“stripping Santas?”
Dex wiggled his brows, “In thongs. Pole dancing.”
“Sometimes I worry about you.” Sloane shook his head, before tearing through the paper.


I also loved the banter between Dex and his team mate Ash. So funny.

Ash rushed forward, and Dex aimed his rifle.
“I swear I will send your hairy ass back to Narnia if you don’t back the fuck up,” Dex warned him, releasing the safety on his rifle.


Oh god, he was about to get a hard-on at work, and the bastard (Sloane) that was the cause of it was loving every moment of it.
Think unsexy thoughts. Think unsexy thoughts.
Ash’s growl echoed through the showers. “What are you two gay boys doing in there?”
Aaand done.

I loved the writing style of this author. This was my first book of hers, but I’m already set on reading the second book in this series.
She created an interesting world and I hope she writes more about the development of the Therians in the future instalments.
The way she developed the team dynamics and their banter was beautiful and just perfect.
I also liked that in this world the main problem was the hate of some humans against the Therians and not skin colour or a different sexuality.
It was also refreshing to read a shifter novel without them acting like sex starved idiots in a frenzy.

But there were also some parts I didn’t like that much.
The mystery came a bit short for my liking and felt rushed in the end because the development of Dex’s and Sloane’s relationship took a huge part of the book. It also was kind of obvious after a certain point. This could have been done better.
I also thought that Dex at the beginning was vastly different from the Dex who started at THIRDS. He went from depressed and frustrated to an always funny and happy dork in no time. However I like the Dex at THIRDS better.

I would recommend this book and I’m going to continue the series not just because of the cliffhanger , but also because I want to know how the relationship between Dex and Sloane continues. I also want to know more about the rest of the team.
 
 

 

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review 2015-09-27 18:04
Ashes of Honor ( October Daye #6)
Ashes of Honor - Seanan McGuire

2nd Read: 22/09/15

Still a winner!

 

Original Review:
First Read: April 25 th (2012)

 

Can I get a MEOW in Tybalt's honor? :D

WOW, WHAT A STORY!!

Okay, I have to admit that THIS series, is at the moment my favourite urban fantasy series ( in case the fangirling wasn't obvious enough..)
What's there not to like?
We have great characters, great stories, a BEAUTIFUL romance. YES, FINALLY!!!
 I think that everyone that has been following this series, knows what I'm talking about! They're so...perfect for one another. I just feel like drawing tiny hearts all around them!
 Their dialogues: I have to say that I loved each and every single one of them.

In the other reviews that I've written of the previous books of this series, I've mentioned that every single one of them has a different voice. A very unique voice.
The same can be said of this one: This can be considered as the one that changes all...a new road has presented itself on Toby's path. Will she follow it? Or are the memories of a not so distant past too painful, for her to take this chance...

 Although Toby begins the book with a more depressive humour due to the events that happened in the last book, one cannot help noticing how distant this one's "mood" is of the first book, that had a very dark setting.

Don't get me wrong, if this was a fairy tale, it would still be a dark one.

But the characters have definitely grown, and one cannot help feeling the strong bonds that have developed amongst this group of friends and mainly the bonds that have developed between our two main characters. Two very stubborn, blind, leading characters....

So if you like great stories, with amazing characters, I would suggest you'd give this series a try.
I'm so glad I did! :)

The only negative point? Is having to wait a year until the next book in the series.....
A YEAR. -_-

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