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review 2017-06-25 03:48
CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS BY: MARTINA MCATEE
Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things - Martina McAtee

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best friends

 

 

This book was AMAZING! I rarely give a first book in a series 5 stars, but if I could give this book a million stars I would!

 

 

all the stars

 

 

The world building was TOP NOTCH. I kept telling my friend this was Ilona Andrews level world building. For those that don't know, that is like the be all end all of world building, in my book at least. It was so vast I kept thinking I could stay in this world forever. I can see where there would be no shortage of stories to be told in this world that McAtee has created. There was a supernatural POWERHOUSE in this book, with plenty of beings that are familiar, shifters, witches, demons, necromancers etc. and some new and fascinating beings I haven't read about before! I enjoyed the fact that Ember was new to this supernatural world too so you got to learn everything about this new mesmerizing place and all its colorful inhabitants side by side with her.

 

 

 

The characters were so diverse and plentiful. There were a lot of people in this story, and there wasn't one that didn't have me completely engrossed in their life. I could not get enough of them! We get a few different POVs in this story, and they are perfectly executed. I am so particular about multiple POVs. If they aren't clearly recognized each time, rather by each voice being distinguishable and unique enough to stand on their own obviously, or by marking it at the chapter changes, I tend to be disappointed. I had no problem with that here. I was honestly kind of blown away how seamlessly the shift was made each time, and even more impressively, how loveable each person was! I was always happy to spend time seeing things through any of their eyes and that is no easy task!

 

 

I love YOU!

 

 

It also needs to be said that this cover is stunning as well! I really can't even do this book enough justice with a review. I loved everything about it, plain and simple. And if any of this sounds even remotely like something you may enjoy, pick this book up because I have a feeling you are going to fall in love with it too.

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review 2016-04-10 09:00
A Long, Cold Winter
A Long, Cold Winter - Lindsay Smith,Max Gladstone

[I received a copy of this novel through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

Not exactly a novel, as it's the first episode of a serials, containing chapters 1 to 3. Which makes it a bit frustrating, as in, obviously, at some point one wants to know how it goes next. Fortunately, a lot of episodes are already out at serialbox.com

It introduces the major, or at least some of the major players (there may always be new ones in later chapters, after all) of a Cold War fought behind the Iron Curtain, but also behind other front lines, ones that not necessarily follow the former... Which makes, and is hopefully going to make, interesting conundrums as far as the characters are concerned: two people may be on the USSR side as far as their mundane lives go, but one is fighting for the Ice while the other is fighting for the Fire when it comes to magic. This cannot go well, can it?

On the side of Ice, and incidentally of the KGB, Tanya and Nadia are seeking a Prague student whose affinity for magic makes her a target for the Fire. Meanwhile, Gabe, a CIA agent, is trying to do his job while struggling with a little magical problem of his own, that may or may not demand he joins Ice in the end (it'd be that or dying, I suppose). The Fire players are honing their weapons, and independent players are also introduced—not everyone wants to join one side, but can they really remain independent, or will they be terminated at some point?

This first installment was sometimes a bit rough on the edges (some parts veered on mixing points of view—though the Kindle formatting didn't help in that regard, and it was a bit less problematic in the PDF I got). However, as far as introducing characters and setting, this was definitely intriguing, and I'm of a mind to get all the episodes once they're out. Hopefully in a couple of weeks?

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review 2016-02-11 18:57
Havelock (full novel)
Havelock - Jane D. Everly

[I received a copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.]

I started reading this novel as a serial last year, and now that the full novel is available, well, here's the full review.

The style is a little surprising, in that it mixes parts from Eliana's point of view (1st person, present tense), and parts seen through other characters (3rd person, past tense). I'm not sure what the intent was—more and more novels do that, so I'm actually never really sure—but it didn't bother me the way it did in other stories. It lent a certain immediacy to Eliana's scenes, and since they were of the action-packed kind, it fitted. I liked her humorous way of describing situations, too (that scene with the psychatrist? Totally something *I* would have one of my RPG characters do), and how she played her assets while totally embracing who she was. With an agenda of her own, she nevertheless lends her skills to MI6 in a loyal way.

There's a lot of mystery surrounding the characters in the beginning. Nothing's revealed about Eliana, but she clearly demonstrates resourcefulness and abilities to fight and get out of dire straits. More is to be learnt later, cast in the shadow of her origins, and if you read between the lines, those origins are easy to translate into another name, another myth.

Other characters are also close to tropes clearly reminiscent of typical spy narratives, yet a lot of things here work in a reversed way. The dashing spy/action type is a woman. The big boss is also a woman (and got there through years of service in which she played an active role, even getting severaly wounded, not because she was a paper-pusher). The potential mark-to-be-seduced is a guy. The villain is... villainish, yet his ruthlessness and his plan make him enjoyable. We have plants, betrayals, red tape bearing down on the good guys, and if you like spy novels, this book provides a lot of nods to the genre, while playing the tropes close to our 21st century world and problematics (terrorism rather than cold war, etc.).

The story's plot looked promising, and overall it remained enjoyable. The chase goes on for quite a few chapters, with some action scenes described in an enjoyable way. The villain and his sidekick are one step ahead, while the "heroes" are also skilled enough to try and keep up no matter what.

I was a bit less satisfied with the latest chapters, mostly because some events fseemed to unfold a bit too fast: I wouldn't have minded a few more scenes, a few more occasions to see our heroes in action. I rooted for the “good guys”, I wanted to see them win, but I also felt like the mastermind's plan would have deserved more attention—that Eliana would have met a couple more reversals, sort of, as the enemy had a definitely strong scheme, and I didn't want to see them beaten too quickly either. Still, I enjoyed the story as a whole, so it's a 3.5 to 4 stars for me.

Conclusion: A bit stereotypical, but of the kind that was fairly entertaining.

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review 2016-01-14 18:46
Disruption
Disruption - Steven Whibley

2.5 stars. It was highly implausible and a bit silly, and Matt definitely should have died at least a few times because of all that was going on around him—he survived and "thrived" more out of sheer luck and coincidences than anything else. Still, it was a fun read.

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review 2015-09-26 19:33
Havelock: Two
Havelock: Two - Jane D. Everly

[I received a copy from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.]

Second instalment in the "Havelock" series. I had read the first episode a few months ago, and I must say I pretty much enjoyed this one as well.

A lot of things from my first review keep standing true here. The shift from 1st to 3rd person is still puzzling, but doesn't bother me much. Eliana is still a fun character to read about (that scene with the psychatrist? Totally something *I* would have one of my RPG characters do). The chase goes on, with some action scenes described in an enjoyable way. The villain and his sidekick are one step ahead, while the "heroes" are also skilled enough to try and keep up no matter what.

I'm waiting for more background and fleshing out of Blackwell, and some revelations about Eliana's past (there's a hint about her father, I may or may not be right, but it'd be funny if I were). Hopefully in the next parts of this serial!

3.5 to 4 stars.

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