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review 2018-08-02 18:25
Review: To Kill a Kingdom
To Kill a Kingdom - Alexandra Christo

I  received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I honestly don't quite know what to make of this book. Initially I was absolutely blown away with it, I have a weakness for mermaid themed stories and anti-heroines. Don't recall seeing the two combined before.  Even better when it twigged this was dark Little Mermaid retelling. 

 

I loved Lira right from the start - not a mermaid, but a siren. Deadly, fascinating and a total unapologetic bad ass. What's not to love? Known as The Prince's Bane Lira uses her siren gifts to lure unsuspecting Princes on ships to their death - where she rips out and collects their hearts. Her mother is the ruthless and unforgiving Sea Queen. The Sea Queen is a cold nightmare and nothing Lira ever does is good enough, no matter what.

 

Though despite her front of emotionless bad-assery, Lira has one weakness. Her beloved cousin Kahlia. Which comes in to play several times early on in the novel in Lira's battles with her awful mother. All Lira strives for is to be good enough to be named her mother's Heir. So far...not happening. Despite all the drama and attitude, there's an impression given that there's a lot more to Lira under the surface. 

 

On the other hand, we have Elian, a Prince who has no interest in being a prince, he's an infamous siren hunter/pirate who would rather sail round the oceans with his crew ridding his world of the siren threat. After his first encounter with Lira, something of a disaster for both...it's completely obvious where the romance is going. Problem for me was on reflection, I really just don't like Elian at all. I found him flat and annoying. One thing I really liked was Elian's crew, tie deep camaraderie and friendship, their banter and absolute loyalty.  

 

Elian learns of a mysterious crystal that will give him the power to rid the sea of the Sea Queen, there's a prophecy/curse to defeat. Problem is - the crystal is damn near impossible to find. Lira finds her path crossing with Elian, and when she finds out about the crystal, she wants it for her own purposes. They rub each other the wrong way - they are antagonistic as hell and bitching at each other for the first moment they meet. Lira is not happy finding herself with legs surrounded by humans. Who are naturally very suspicious of her - she has retained a few of her Siren talents - and uses them to her own advantage. 

 

It's still obvious where the romance is going, but its so so slow while Elian and Lira figure each other out. Their characters both develop as the plot does, the search for the crystal and the means to find it. There's deals to be made with dangerous kingdoms, several unseemly and villainous characters come in with a role to play. There's twists and turns.

 

The world building is fascinating and very well written. The problem I found was after half way through I was getting more and more bored and it was taking longer and longer to get around to finishing it. 

 

I'm not sure what to make of the end either. It concludes pretty well, though before then it got a bit messy in my opinion. I liked it, and would definitely read something by this author again, but I'm not as blown away by this book as I initially thought I was.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Hot Key Books for approving my request to view the title. 

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review 2018-07-26 21:28
4.7 Out Of 5 "Pirates vs Sirens" STARS
Daughter of the Siren Queen - Tricia Levenseller

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~BOOK BLURB~

Daughter of the Siren Queen

Tricia Levenseller

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The capable, confident, and occasionally ruthless heroine of Daughter of the Pirate King is back in this action-packed sequel that promises rousing high seas adventures and the perfect dash of magic.

 

Alosa's mission is finally complete. Not only has she recovered all three pieces of the map to a legendary hidden treasure, but the pirates who originally took her captive are now prisoners on her ship. Still unfairly attractive and unexpectedly loyal, first mate Riden is a constant distraction, but now he's under her orders. And she takes great comfort in knowing that the villainous Vordan will soon be facing her father's justice.

When Vordan exposes a secret her father has kept for years, Alosa and her crew find themselves in a deadly race with the feared Pirate King. Despite the danger, Alosa knows they will recover the treasure first . . . after all, she is the daughter of the Siren Queen.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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What an awesome ending to this duology.  I love these characters Alosa is a fiery girl pirate, whose not afraid to do what needs to be done.  I love how she interacts with her crew. Rilen is freaking adorable…love him.  I also loved the sweet, but not sickly sweet, romance between these two.  If I have any complaints about this second book at all, it's Alosa's indecisiveness or waffling regarding her feelings for Rilen.   How could anyone doubt his loyalty?

 

It feels like the author really loves the Pirates of the Caribbean and this story was born from that love.  I recommend it for your pirate fix, as long as your not looking for the bodice-ripping pirates, because this keeps it pretty PG…maybe, slightly PG-13.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.7STARS - GRADE=A

๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏๏

 

 

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 4.5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope. I believe this is a duology.

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Book Cover~ Love it…reminds me of my fav scene in Finding Nemo…"I wanna touch the butt…"

Narration~5 for Marisa Calin, she was quite amazing, actually.  Perfect for this series.

Series~ Daughter of the Pirate King #2

Setting~ The Ocean

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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review 2018-04-28 14:30
Book Review of Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies Book 1) by Dianna Hardy
Blood Shadow: an Eye of the Storm Companion Novel (Blood Never Lies) - Dianna Hardy

Blood Shadow is a companion novel to the Eye of the Storm series and also acts as a PREQUEL to a brand new series to come. You don't have to read Eye of the Storm to enjoy this novel (some background is given). However, we always recommend you do in order to gain full understanding of how the characters have arrived at this point.

 

Five years after her life changed forever, Jennifer Warren has put her past firmly behind her - at least, she's tried. A few sweaty nightmares here and there are a small price to pay for the freedom she won. No longer a werewolf, but human, she works as an office manager for a health and beauty spa in York, and keeps herself to herself. It's barely enough to pay the bills, but it's quiet and safe, and the clique of the staff means she's left well enough alone - no one asks her questions; no one wants to get to know her better.

 

David, her tender, kind boyfriend of two years is all she needs ... and she doesn't really need him, which suits her just fine. Never mind the occasional guilt that she doesn't really love him; he'd never hurt her in a million years - that's worth its weight in gold.

 

But Jennifer's just received another note - one of those that her mysterious, anonymous 'friend' likes to leave her every now and then; warnings of things to come, people not to trust... Her elusive friend has saved her more than once the past five years.

 

Only this note has left her breathless; her chest tight. A Supermoon is coming - the first in thirty years - and with it, a total lunar eclipse.

 

Jennifer's disowned her past, but it hasn't disowned her. As the earth shadows the full moon, her own shadows threaten to turn on her.

 

Can you ever escape what you truly are?

 

Blood never lies.

 

This is a dark urban fantasy novel of approx. 70,000 words containing scenes of a sexual nature and some violence, which may disturb some readers.

 

Review 5*

 

This is the first book in a new companion novel to the Eye of the Storm series. I loved it! You don't have to read the Eye of the Storm series to read this book, but I recommend that you do, so you have a good grasp of where Selena has been and where Jennifer is heading.

 

Jennifer Warren (aka Selena Smith) is an extremely complex character. I felt for her as she hasn't had an easy life. This is a woman I loved to hate in the Eye of the Storm series, as she was a real *i*ch. Five years after being given a new name and a new life from her ordeal at the hands of the Tridents, she is trying to put her life back together as best she can. However, there's a bad moon rising (okay, it's a super blood moon, but you get the idea) and her saviour sends her an ominous warning. As the life she's tried to build slowly unravels, will she find her inner strength once more, or will the changes coming break her?

 

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book. Told through the eyes of several of the characters, we get to see their thoughts and feelings. Selena has had a really raw deal being a female wolf in a male dominated world; she has had to fight for what she wanted. Now as Jennifer, I found her to be slightly more tempered and, even though scarred mentally if not physically anymore, she has more vulnerability than Selena ever showed. This could be because being human, Jennifer cannot draw on her wolf's strength. However, her experiences have left her damaged emotionally and she struggles every day with nightmares. I do wish she had spoken to someone about her ordeal, but can understand her reluctance, as they would probably have committed her into an asylum when she told them she was a wolf.

 

Besides Jennifer, we are also introduced to several characters, such as David - Jennifer's boyfriend, Roman Dalton - Jennifer's saviour who has secrets of his own, Hai - Roman's surrogate father and mentor, and Prisha Patel - David's best friend and work colleague. I have mixed reactions to the various characters. I like David and think he's a wonderful man; Roman is still a bit of an enigma but I like him too. He's also not had an easy life growing up. There's a definite chemistry between him and Jennifer that fairly radiates off the page, so am interested to see where they, or the author, takes us as the series progresses. Hai is a character I love. He is full of Chinese proverbs and wise sayings that annoy Roman and confuse Jennifer, but I found him to be a loving man who took a scared boy under his wing and gave him much needed love and attention. Then there is Prisha. I found her to be similar in her attitude and characteristics as Selena. She may be another character that I may love to hate as the series progresses. Watch this space!

 

I don't want to give any spoilers and this book is so hard to describe without giving huge ones. Therefore, I will try to keep this as short as possible by saying: READ THIS BOOK! Blood Shadow is not always an easy read, especially if you or someone you know has gone through an abusive relationship, as the main character has gone through hell and it may cause a triggering event. Having said that, there is one scene between Jennifer and Roman that is serious but light at the same time. It's incredibly hard to blame Roman for something he did accidentally when he was trying to save her life and he's horrified about it, but it's still a violation of sorts. I'll leave it to you to decide for yourself if you'd be amused or horrified by his actions. There are also some rather touching scenes, so you may need a tissue or two.

At the end of the story, we get to meet a new character who will be one of the main characters in the next book in the companion series, Aftershock. Her name is Jasmine. However, if you've read Reign of the Wolf, the sixth book in the Eye of the Storm series, you would have been briefly introduced to her as a baby. I can't wait to get my hands on this book, but I'm dreading it too. This is because I know it'll be an emotional roller coaster ride and I'll end up feeling like I've been put through the wringer, just like this one - a book hangover in the making!

 

Dianna Hardy is one of my favourite romance authors (she writes both paranormal/urban fantasy and contemporary romance). She has a way of expressing so much emotion through her written words; ripping your heart out with them, but also filling you up with them too. I love her writing style, which is fast paced and exciting. The flow is fantastic too. Reading her books are a joy, and I will continue to read them for as long as she keeps writing them.

 

Unlike other books by this author, this book doesn't have any romantic scenes of explicit content. However, there are flashbacks from Jennifer/Selena's past that are explicit, as well as scenes containing some bad language and violence that may offend some readers, so I do not recommend this book for younger readers or those of a nervous disposition, or those who may have a triggered event by reading this book. Having said that, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love contemporary or paranormal romances, dark fantasy and/or urban fantasy genres. - Lynn Worton

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text 2018-04-11 02:19
Anyone watched SIREN?

 

Mermaids and Sirens seem to be one of the new latest book and TV trends. I had never read any books about mermaids/sirens until I read the Daughter of the Pirate King series and I loved that series and found the sirens and Siren Queen enchanting! I hardly ever watch TV because I'm too busy reading but I wouldn't mind watching this show if it's any good.

 

Has anyone tuned in to this yet or do you know of any other really good books, movies or TV shows featuring mermaids/sirens? 

 

Picture is also linked to FREEFORM

  

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review 2018-03-26 22:53
Sirens
Sirens: A Novel (An Aidan Waits Thriller) - Joseph Knox

This debut novel by Joseph Knox had the potential to be a gritty and gripping crime thriller complete with an anti-hero and criminal underground, which is what drew me to in the beginning. The story is dark and full of police corruption, drugs, and danger. All of this combined should have made for a hard to put down tale that kept the pages turning. Sadly, that was not the case for this reader. The story does have a noir feel and there are numerous colorful characters introduced, which could have garnered interest if not for the drawn out pacing. The chapters are very short – as in one or two pages each – and many of them end quite abruptly, which felt more distracting than anything else. Some chapters were devoted solely to setting a scene with the next chapter getting on with whatever was happening in the story. While these short chapters do give the impression of making progress, there are over one hundred of them, and for me, the end of a chapter was just one more excuse to set this one aside for later. The author does have talent for setting a scene, so much so that Aiden Waits could very well work wonderfully on film, but the book just didn’t work for me. I prefer my thrillers to have that edge of your seat, what’s gonna happen next element and that was missing here. So, try as I might, I was never able to become engaged with any of the characters or the story as a whole. Technically, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the writing, the words are all there, but for whatever reason, those words didn’t make me feel. Whatever that something is that makes a reader care about the characters and their lives is missing here and without that, it’s just a whole lot of words on paper.

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