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review 2019-11-11 14:32
Nightshades - Melissa F. Olson

This was a nice new start of an urban fantasy series. And yes, it did involve vampires, or shades as they are called, and of course, we have seen more than a fair share of them already in recent years, but still... It didn't bother me too much.

There was a lot ongoing in this book and a lot of characters that were being introduced and then, a huge cliffhanger...

Still planning to read the next one, though.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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review 2019-04-16 22:33
Great Story and Characters
Blood Gamble (Disrupted Magic) - Melissa F. Olson

If there is one city that Scarlett Bernard hates, it’s Las Vegas. But when the cardinal vampire of Los Angeles convinces her to go investigate a new vampire-themed stage show, Scarlett quickly finds herself shoulder-deep in sequins, slot machines, and Old World intrigue.

This was another great story by an author that I am really enjoyed. I actually somehow read book 3 in this series before this one, but it didn’t deter my enjoyment. I really like Scarlett and can’t wait to read more of her adventures.

**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book

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review 2019-03-27 18:43
"Boundary Broken - Boundary Magic #4" by Melissa F Olson
Boundary Broken (Boundary Magic #4) - Melissa F. Olson

I had a lot of fun with this book, mainly because I like Lex and the way Kate Rudd's narration brings her to life. She's brave and loyal. She knows that she's good at tactics but not a strategy. She doesn't see herself as heroic, just as someone doing what needs to be done to protect her niece and support her friends.


This episode of the Boundary Magic series has Lex at the centre all the way through. She doesn't always know what's going on and she loses as many rounds as she wins. What makes the book work is that I cared what happened to her more than I cared about the deviousness of the plot.


The plot has a few good surprises in it to keep me interested but wasn't particularly complex. In terms of story arc development, this felt like a transitional episode, setting up some new possibilities and making changes to the available characters and their relationships. On the basis, it promises well for the future.



I enjoyed the way in which Lex's knowledge and use of her power develops in this book. Her boundary magic has gone from vague to something with a solid internal logic.


This was very much a woman-centric story. There are male players in it, but mostly they are there either to get rescued, get threatened or killed or to strut around being muscular, menacing and dumb. The story is moved forward by women who are strong, bright, sometimes ruthless but very much in charge of what is happening to them. This isn't done in an in your face - look how strong my women are - way. It's subtle enough simply to be the natural outcome of the situation and the players. Still, I can't think of another series that has done this to this extent and made it work so well. I'm taking that as a good sign for the future as well.


As always, the pace is brisk, the stakes are high and the action is vivid. The end slowed down a little, partly to accommodate some of those new possiblities, but it didn't drag.


I still prefer this series to its sister/crossover series with Scarlett Bernard in LA. It feels more grounded to me. I've always preferred Colorado to California, so maybe it's just my prejudice but I find myself more engaged with Lex than with Scarlett.


Click on the Soundcloud link below to hear an excerpt narrated by Kate Rudd.

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review 2019-01-14 23:23
"Outbreak - Nightshades #3" by Melissa F
Outbreak - Melissa F. Olson

"Outbreak" is the final novella of a three novella set about a special FBI unit hunting vampires, I've already reviewed"Nightshades"and "Switchback"


Like them, "Outbreak" was a light,fast - this-would-make-great-TV type of read. It's original, fast-paced and has some great action scenes.


I found the final resolution a little low key but there was enough good stuff along the way to make up for that.


Although we get some good vampire-backstory stuff that fits well with the motivations that drive the plot, the characterisation is very thin and nobody develops much. By comparison to Melissa F Olson's other books, this feels more like an outline than a novel.


The only thing I didn't like was the way these novellas were released. It seems to be a thing with publishers at the moment to split a novel into three or four pieces and then drip-feed them to readers. I guess it's a way of keeping the authors' name in front of people and it probably makes more revenue overall. What pushed this to beyond being an irritating marketing tactic was how long the drip feeding took. There was a two-year gap between the first and third novella. It was hard to sustain any sense of momentum. I'd rather have bought all three novellas as a novel.

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review 2018-05-07 01:15
Shadow Hunt (Disrupted Magic #3) by Melissa F. Olson
Shadow Hunt - Melissa F. Olson

Nulls are infertile. Everyone knows this. Scarlett certainly knows this So being pregnant was… unexpected to say the least and raised all kinds of implications which she has to learn about quickly But the luparii witches have arrived - they want their Barghest back (Scarlett’s cute pet abomination) and more - they plan something big - possibly apocalyptic and Scarlett is the key to stopping it and likely much much more. I think this book represents a rather excellently timed shift. After two books that have established Scarlett’s life, her relationships (fraught and in flux as they are), her friends, her purpose in the city and how she relates to the city’s leadership, this book turns more outwards and even a little grander. While, at the same time, not necessarily pulling the focus from Scarlett or her more regional concerns The arrival of the Luparii brings not only a sinister threat to the city to be hunted down before they bring carnage. They also represent the greater supernatural community, the wider supernatural politics The examination of null physiology, null breeding and how this relates to the witches also adds a much larger scale to the whole world, the nature of magic and the nature of the supernatural. It expands the world from a relatively narrow circle around Scarlett and puts and entirely new spin on it looking at her world and especially her place and importance within it. Again, it doesn’t shift the focus but it does expand it far more with consequently raised stakes I also think it brings some really fascinating stakes to Scarlett herself. She’s always been a good character - capable and strong without being wonder woman, confident without being too reckless (as far as urban fantasy protagonists go - let’s face it this is a genre where everyone has major overdoses of recklessness) and she’s caring without setting herself up as a martyr. She has friends but a lot of them she doesn’t entirely trust especially within the supernatural community, while she also has some excellent, powerful friendships with people like Molly who are clearly in a very different mental category for her than her political allies. But now her very very personal decisions have such a broader context including for the future of all magical races and at a time where global supernatural politics just became very very confused and very subject to change. It is both very personal to her while also having vast implications which promises a whole lot of exciting storylines in the future. I think this works well with the renewed focus on both Scarlett dealing with her pregnancy and her reconnecting with her brother and considering the deep implications of him being involved in her life. While we’re widening the lens we do have this excellent call back to Scarlett;s personal life so the focus of the story doesn’t change entirely. The direct plot itself is a search and destroy - not so much a mystery as a hunt with a hidden enemy with considerable power. There’s not a lot of questions as to motives or who is behind this but a lot of action and hunting and running. There is an unfortunate habit of the hunted protagonist deciding she really needs to wander around alone going on. But generally it’s an exciting well paced plot full of sinister enemies and desperate good guys with a few fascinating twists which is always good



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Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2018/04/shadow-hunt-disrupted-magic-3-by.html
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