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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-01-20 22:01
Blood Moon by Graeme Reynolds
High Moor 3: Blood Moon - Graeme Reynolds

Blood Moon by Graeme Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Top Read 2017 * * * * *

Atrocities committed in the name of war. In this incredibly brutal finale, the world attempts to deal with the fact that werewolves are real, and oh-so-dangerous. Security measures are taken and, on both sides, death is dealt to those undeserving. As the body count increases exponentially, difficult decisions have to be made, and extreme action has to be taken.

(WARNING: This review contains spoilers.)

It's no secret that I absolutely adore this bloodstained trilogy with all my heart - each instalment elicited an abundance of excitement, thrilling me with every character and their often perilous ventures. Blood Moon proved to be one hell of an epic conclusion, even if it left me saddened because I just didn't want it to end. It's extremely rare that I consistently rate so high - usually I find highs as well as lows, my overall enjoyment changing, sometimes drastically, throughout a series, but with Graeme's wolf-tastic world, each addition kept me entranced. Not only did it maintain its strong quality of descriptive writing, it continued to surprise, delight and disturb me. There's actually something I feel I need to state, because it's been in my mind and, for me, it holds a lot of significance:

An author doesn't need to be a best-seller, or have a great deal of recognition to be a great writer. I believe it's our job, as readers, to discover the hidden gems out there, to bring acknowledgement to the stories that bring us joy.

It pains me to think of deserving authors going unnoticed, and not even given a chance by the wider community, but I digress. Let's get back to the review, shall we?

There's a lot of characters to keep track of and, I admit, returning after a year since reading Moonstruck was confusing at first. I found myself trying to remember who was who, but it swiftly returned to me the further I went. I daresay these novels are meant to be read in order; context plays a big part in understanding how the war came to be, not to mention the journey each character had to traverse to reach that point. Marie and John were undoubtedly my favourites, as despite being apart for most of the book, they had time to shine in their own individual ways. Marie had to step-up, become what she never thought she'd become, and John had to endure and overcome a great deal.

Of course, amongst the large cast, others stood out as well - Phil and his desperation to return to his beloved wife, and Daniel, who just wanted the best for the pack. Every single one had their own unique personality, and their own agenda that added a considerable amount of substance.

To tell you the truth, it was at times hard to root for either side. Both the human force and the werewolf pack did terrible, terrible things. Just who was the lesser evil? Well, I'm not sure, both were neck-deep in murky waters - the pack just wanted to survive, but in retaliation of their species being killed and imprisoned, they set upon a whole town of human civilians, either savagely butchering them, or turning them into moonstruck. This included children, so I can't quite say the pack was at all innocent in the situation. I felt a whole lot of dread right before that High Moor slaughter; I knew it was coming and the anticipation nearly killed me.

The ending I considered to be bittersweet. I understood why it needed to be so, but I still felt rather bad about it. It was, after all, a last resort, and I couldn't stop thinking about what all those people would lose. I almost had tears it my eyes, and that's another oddity, as most of the time nothing I read renders me so emotional, and if it does, that in itself makes it special.

One more thing, before this review comes to an end. A paragraph in chapter eighteen piqued my interest, specifically, this one:

On occasion, the she-wolf picked up the scent of fresh death in the air, and when the two of them happened across an old stone mausoleum, the air crackled with an atmosphere of malevolence that raised both wolves' hackles and forced them to back track to find another path around the place.

Is it possible that was a hint of another monster? Perhaps it was just me, but I got a vampiric vibe that I just couldn't shake! It's a little - a mere hint - but it certainly stuck out. Since it was confirmed that other creatures did exist, I kept it in mind to pay extra attention for any teasers, and I believe I may have found one.

In conclusion - I was lucky to discover this trilogy, and honoured to read it. Werewolf horror at its finest, and I hope Reynolds one day returns to this world. I'm sure it has much more to offer.

Notable Scene:

Where Amy's pretty face had been, there was only a bloodstained skull. The bone had deep gouges carved into it and Amy's beautiful blue eyes stared out of the gore at nothing. Her friend's body stood on its own for a second, then fell to the floor in a crumpled heap. Anna couldn't help herself. She turned to Matty and was met by a visage from the depths of hell. The boy's eyes were flat, reflective disks in the flicking candlelight. His face is distorted - the bone stretched into a snout filled with row upon row of razor sharp fangs. A mass of bloody flesh and muscle dangled from between those terrible jaws. They crunched once, then swallowed. Matty brought up a clawed hand and wiped his mouth. "Aye, she wasnae wrong. She did have a tasty face."

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/01/20/blood-moon-by-graeme-reynolds
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review 2018-01-19 01:26
Pib's Dragon (Twisted Fairy Tales) by Beany Sparks
Pib's Dragon (Twisted Fairy Tales) - Beany Sparks

The first half was OK, I was thinking 3-3.5 stars, but second part was full of info dumps and unnecessary details.
Uber convenient magical abilities and handy magical artifacts popping up at the times of need don't add stars either.

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review 2018-01-18 03:52
Royal Blood by Tiamat
Royal Blood - Tiamat

The rating will most likely depend on whether you read this story as a stand alone or withing the series. As a part of the series, it might easily fetch 5 stars.

The book starts in a humorous fairy tale fashion, pulling you right in: the characters are somewhat familiar, the setting is typical, the story is easy to follow. You know this set-up, you move along, quite sure of yourself and the boys in the tale.

However, just as you begin to think "oh, I know where it's going!", the unusual (especially where the puzzled Prince is concerned) turn of events shifts the story line and you find yourself as puzzled as the Prince himself. Series of hot, steamy and very passionate almost - but not quite! - dub-con scenes follow, with still enough plot and humor to go around.

In the end, all parties get what they deserve and want. 

No kittens, tigers or babies were actually hurt (much) during the production of this book :D

Recommended :)

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review 2018-01-18 03:36
My Fair Captain (Sci-Regency #1) by J.L. Langley
My Fair Captain (Sci-Regency #1) - J.L. Langley

Not as good as the first time around, maybe 3.5 stars.

Insane amount of characters with nick-names, titles and birth-names drove me almost to the mad house this time. How did I keep up in the first place, I have no idea - this is clearly some kind of name porn read. Chadwick, Coldwell, Cony, Jeremy, Jensen, Benson, Braxton.... what the hell happened to all the other letter in the alphabet? Why so many of them have to start with the same letter? 

In contrast, Nate calling Aiden "boy" in the second part drove me crazy, too. It's your spouse, you moron! And a prince! Show some respect! :/ Arghhh!

 

On sci-fi side... why not install GPS on your lift/car or a tracker app on your tablet?

There are inconsistencies and holes in the story, but - whatevers, it was still a fun read :)


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review 2018-01-18 03:30
The Dream of a Thousand Nights by Shira Anthony
The Dream of a Thousand Nights - Shira Anthony

This book is about a bunch of overgrown teenagers with raging hormones, irrational, stubborn and angry. There is no reason to their actions, no logic in their thoughts. The writing itself is on immature side. Disappointed. The rating is for the 40% I've suffered through.

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