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review 2017-11-23 19:22
Some great ideas that stumble in execution
Halayda (Star-Fae Trilogy, #1) - Sarah Delena White

Disclaimer: I'm reviewing an uncorrected proof via NetGalley, so it's possible the final draft changed some of the issues. Also, I made it about 10% before throwing in the towel.

Basically, something's gone wrong with the worldbuilding on this one. It kind of seemed like a second in series or spin-off series, where lots of people and places are being referenced as if to remind you of who/what/why? But I checked Goodreads, and this is a debut book, so I think the author was trying to do too much worldbuilding and it came at the cost of story and characters.

 

OTOH, maybe the problem was with where the story started. I think the author could have backed up a few scenes and let us get to know the characters and their stakes before diving into chaos and it would have given her space to spin out the worldbuilding in a more natural manner. Instead, there's just a string of extended info-dumps with a lot of running around in between and . . . I wanted to care, I really did.

 

I liked the striking cover design. I liked that there was obviously a big, fully-realized world with rules and tensely-navigated interactions between fae and humans and magic/alchemy-users, and . . . I mean, there's royalty, there's orphans with powers a la X-Men, there's lady alchemists and shady politics and freakin' faerie wings and that's all great, except in practice it just felt really dry. So, pass. Maybe a strong developmental editor could turn this around, but my tbr is too big to keep wading through all the words to find the story.

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review 2017-11-15 22:43
The Tower's Alchemist
The Tower's Alchemist (The Gray Tower Trilogy, #1) - Alesha Escobar

I received a free copy of this book from the Author Marketing Club in return

for an honest review

 

.

 

"British intelligence wants her spying skills. A vampiric warlock wants to steal her powers. The Master Wizards who trained her want her dead…"

 

The Tower's Alchemist, the first book of The Gray Tower Trilogy,  has an authentic WWII setting among spies and resistance fighters in Denmark, France, Spain and, of course, London.

 

The protagonist, Isabella (aka Emelie and Noelle) is an alchemist, one of the magicians working with the Allies against Hitler's Black Wolves (a kind of supernatural Gestapo). I identified with her immediately, from the very first paragraph, and stayed with her all the way through - no changes of viewpoint, thank heaven (or rather, thank Alesha Escobar). There is, however, an array of well-drawn characters surrounding her, many of whom elicit our sympathy - indeed, our love - as they struggle on against a seemingly invincible foe.

 

A great read if you are a WWII buff (I am), especially if you also suspect that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes in this world than 99.9% of us are ever aware of.

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review 2017-11-12 20:15
What a Scary Book About what could happen to the United States.
Fire War (Fire War Trilogy Book 1) - Michael T. Murray

I really had the creeps when reading the book and when could happen here in the United States, if we had a President like the one in this book. The only reason the book didn't get a 4 or 5 rating is because it took along time to get exciting. It's so scary because you know that something like this could really happen. People disappear in this book with just a snap of a finger and it's in the middle of the freaking night, I mean whole families. Some come back but not as how they left. I thought Jackson was really blinded by the President and he knew something was up but just kept ignoring the signs. Until something happens and he has no choice but taking off his blinders. I am starting to like his wife Courtney more, but I think my favorite character is there older daughter Maya. Very interesting girl but she needs to be a little more secretive. I really wonder what's going to happen to her, Jackson, and the rest of the family. I have the next two books but I am going to take breaks in between each one. The last book I am Involved in a book tour for which isn't due up until the 29 of this month, so I have still have sometime before then. Again so far a very scary book that could very well happen in our future.

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review 2017-11-12 16:38
"Dancing With Shadows", by Adrian Churchward
Dancing With Shadows (The Puppet Meisters Trilogy) - Adrian Churchward
Book #2, in The Puppet Meisters trilogy

“Dancing With Shadows” is the second book dealing with state abuse of power featuring Scott Mitchell, a human rights lawyer. This sequel to “Moscow Bound” is a gripping and exciting read from start to finish. This time we have Scott on suspicion of laundering $250 million for the Chechen mafia and we follow him through a sea of untrustworthy characters from London, to different Russian cities, to Budapest and Malta in a cat and mouse game while he tries to prove his innocence.

Scott is the lead in this story but many characters we came to know in the first book are re-introduced and play important roles: Ekaterina, Gravchenko and Pravda. Ms. Churchward doesn’t shy away from introducing multiple new characters also. The plot has multiple threads to follow that need our attention and can be overwhelming but the author set the stage expertly by including a group of well-developed players, beautiful surroundings and a touch of gastronomy delights. No doubt, this gripping tale filled with unexpected twists and turns is well worth reading. If you enjoy a thriller rifles with conspiracy and danger and have a soft spot for some Anglo-Russian shenanigans, give this one a try. 

My thanks to NetGalley and to Silverwood Books for the opportunity to read this book
 
 

 

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text 2017-11-12 04:26
Reading progress update: I've read 153 out of 340 pages.
Fire War (Fire War Trilogy Book 1) - Michael T. Murray

Wow I would hate to live in that future, it's crazy because you have to get permission for going to a different state. The book I am not sure if I like it or not, it's definitely different, and the pledge of allegiance is very strange. So far I am not sure if I like any of the characters at all. Jackson the main guy character is ok, but so far he isn't really blowing me away. And the President of the United States is really creepy and I bet he's tyrant ( sorry if it's spelled wrong) as well. And I am not sure how I feel about Jackson's wife Courtney, I am not really liking her so far, so hopefully that will change. 

I did feel bad for Jackson for something that he had to do, but he really had no choice in the matter.

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