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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-06-20 21:40
Book Review - Witchbane by Morgan Brice
WitchbaneWitchbane by Morgan Brice
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Supernatural mystery and murder meet M/M romance!

This was an exciting read from start to finish. The premise of this book could be ripped from the script pages of a long standing TV show about the Supernatural.

This book starts on All Hallows Eve (aka Halloween) with brothers Seth and Jesse about to embark on a bros camping trip to debunk a local 'hellgate' legend that they grew up listening too. Younger brother Jesse is a partial believer while older brother Seth, an ex-military man looking for a little stress relief and to reconnect with his younger brother after his return to civilian life. But sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real and the legend of the local hellgate takes a supernaturally fueled murderous twist that leaves younger brother Jesse dead, his body mutilated, and Seth scarred and changed for life. He has become a believer.

Fast forward two years later and Seth has become a hunter of those things that go bump in the night, has developed a network of teachers, researchers and other hunters doing the same sort of thing, and has pieced together the real reason why his brother was killed. It had been a mistake, he should have been the one dead as the first born male of his family. And there was a pattern to these grisly supernatural murders that affected not just his family but eleven others, now it was just a few days to Halloween and another first born son is about to die. Problem is, he's gone to ground and if Seth can't find him he won't be able to protect him and stop the supernatural cycle of murders, getting justice for his brother at last.

Sonny is a bartender at a popular local Richmond Virginia bar called Tredegar's, or Treddy's as it was known. He's a bit of a loner, a bit of a geek and he's got a past he's on the run from. A stalker ex-boyfriend, a religious family who was anti-gay to the point where they were going to send him to conversion therapy when he ran far and fast, changing names and identities until he landed in Richmond. Was finally safe, or so he thought. And then Seth walks into his bar. Hot, nice, and just his type. Sonny finds himself doing what he _never_ does, taking Seth home the night after meeting him. Their connection was immediate, the sex was smoking hot, and taking Seth home actually saved his life. Because Sonny - Evan - was one of the first born sons and the next victim of the occultists.

Trouble is Evan doesn't believe in all that mumbo jumbo, even when he's shown real magic, comes face to face with ghosts and grims. His past plays into the hands of those hunting him and Seth is made out to be another crazy stalker like the last boyfriend. So Evan bolts right into the hands of those who Seth has been trying to keep him safe from.

Will Seth save him in time?

Read the book and find out!

View all my reviews

 

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review 2018-06-18 16:13
"On The Prowl" by Patricia Briggs, Ellen Wilks, Karen Chance, Sunny
On the Prowl - Patricia Briggs,Eileen Wilks,Karen Chance,Sunny

"On The Prowl" is an urban fantasy short story collection in which each of the four authors has a story.

 

I bought it (despite the tacky cover art that makes me glad I'm reading the ebook version) because Debbie's Spurts told me that I should read the Patrica Briggs' prequel to her Alpha and Omega series before starting the series.

 

The stories by the other three authors were by way of a bonus as they are all new to me.

 

Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs

 

On her website, Patricia Briggs describes the Alpha and Omega series as:

Patricia Briggs"...set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson Series, but on a slightly earlier time line. It begins with a novella titled Alpha and Omega published in the On the Prowl anthology. The decision to continue the story was made after the anthology had already been published, which has caused some confusion, since "book 1" is a actually a continuation of the short story."

She characterises the series as placing:

"... more emphasis on the romantic attraction between the hero and heroine. On a romance-readers scale, this series is sweet rather than steamy."

While it was interesting to see more of the world the Mercy Thompson novels are set in, I was a little disappointed in this novella. The story works as a standalone. The action is well-done. I just found myself thinking: "Patricia Briggs can do much better than this."

 

My main problem was the lack of emotional depth. It seemed to me that the "focus on romantic attraction" translated into making other emotions take a backseat.

 

The main female character, Anne has been attacked, forcibly turned into a werewolf and passed around the Pack by her Alpha as a rape-toy so often that she's attempted suicide.

 

The main male character is a laconic, emotionally withdrawn enforcer whose job is to kill those who break his father's rules.

 

Perhaps I'm not widely enough read on the topic but none of this sounds romantic to me.

 

The idea that these two would be able to set aside trauma and learned low self-esteem on Anne's side and a long lifetime of keeping emotionally distant in order to be able to kill on command on Charles' part and find a mating bond instantly was hard to take.

 

The attraction was well described but it seemed to be at the price of downplaying the baggage the pair have.

 

I think one of the strengths of the Mercy Thompson series is that when a rape occurs there, it is not downplayed and its effects are felt for a number of books.

 

This story felt like "Mercy-Lite". Still, perhaps Patricia Briggs needs the novel format to do what she does. I'll read the rest of the story in the first Alpha and Omega novel and find out.

 

"Inhuman" by Eileen Wilks

 

eileen wilksThis was my first Eileen Wilks story so everything had the advantage of being new.  The world building was original and stimulating. There was a relatively complicated plot for a short story. It managed to surprise me more than once, making me revisit the meaning of the title repeatedly.

 

The romance part was a little plodding. The people felt half-formed and inappropriately inexperienced or inarticulate. On the cusp between cute and you've-got-to-be-kidding.

 

The heroine's name confused me at first as everyone I know called Kai is male. Here it's pronounced like Sigh, not Hay. It took me awhile to work out that this was Kay with innovative vowel usage. I was also unclear how I was supposed to know that Kia was Native American (other than who isn't in Urban Fantasy - being WASP is so uninteresting).

 

The ending was a good set up for an upcoming book but I felt it walked away from a lot of what the plot was set up to do. I'd been following a hunt for a killer and when the hunt was over the outcome left me wondering what all the look-how-awful-this-killer-is build-up was for.

 

Even so, I was impressed with the originality of the ideas and the pacing of the execution.

 

"Buying Trouble" by Karen Chance

 

Karen ChanceThis made me laugh and it took a turn that I really didn't see coming.

It's a fast, light read filled with fast, light violence and sex and sprinkled with slightly indignant humour.

 

The ending was a bit - whoops-running-out-of-space-let's-skip-to-an-epilogue for my tastes but the story was a smile and the world was original so it was worth the read.

 

 

 

"Mona Lisa Betwining" by Sunny

 

SunnyI'd wondered why there was no editorial credit for this collection. The inclusion of "Mona Lisa Betwining" suggests to me that the ommission was driven by sheer embarrassment.

 

It's a short story that I lacked the stamina to make it to the end of.

 

First, there was this set of sentences which read like a rough first-draft yet are offered as the finished product:

"He was handsome, strikingly so. Like a Greek god of old. And he was more than just a pretty face. He was my new master of arms."

A little later I dragged my mind through the following sentences and realised that this prose was too awful to live with.

 

"I moved toward the door but he did not step away, allow me to pass. I stopped a mere foot away and looked askance at him."

 

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review 2018-06-16 15:04
"Fire Touched - Mercy Thompson #9" by Patricia Briggs - a nice ensemble piece
Fire Touched (A Mercy Thompson Novel) - Patricia Briggs

Having been a little disappointed in the eighth book "Night Broken" I was pleased that "Fire Touched" was a return to form for the Mercy Thompson series.

 

There were lots of things to like about this book. Personally, I'll grin at any series where, at the end of a period of domestic discussion, the step-mother says to her step-daughter, as she and her husband rush from the house,"Gotta go, kid, there's a monster on the bridge."

 

It was large and hard-to-kill monster and the battle scene was only exceeded by the melodrama (which I thought was actually quite stylish) of the rallying call that Mercy gives, blood-spattered, walking stick/spear lit with pulsing red sigils raised above her head, her mate apparently unconscious at her feet. No wonder it made national television.

 

This story avoided being another Mercy-takes-on-the-big-bad-almost-alone-nearly-dies-but-is-saved-by-friends theme that was becoming repetitive (albeit well done each time). Instead, it was more of an ensemble piece with some strategic ideas about the relationship between the wolves and the fae that moved things in interesting directions.

 

The Pack now feels real, populated by people I know who are acting from motives that I understand. It helped that Adam finally stepped up and did the full-on Alpha thing.

 

Three new characters are introduced, none of whom are narcissistic psychopaths who could run for President. Old characters re-appear but doing new things and sometimes working to new agendas. The politics is has become more complex and less easy to second-guess. The depiction of Fairy Land is original and quite chilling.

 

There was also some clever but unobtrusive cross-over references with the Maroc and Charles that reminded me to make a start on the Alpha and Omega series.

 

While there is still a lot of action, much of it involving Mercy taking on things many times her size and the body-count is satisfyingly high, the action was there to illustrate the story, not drive it. We're back to a story driven by the characters and their situation. 

 

I ended the book having enjoyed my visit with Mercy and looking forward to the next one.

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review 2018-06-13 20:35
Monday Mini – Brink of Dawn by Jeff Altabef & Erynn Altabef @jeffaltabef
Chosen: Brink of Dawn (Young Adult Fantasy Thriller) - Jeff Altabef,Erynn Altabef,Lane Diamond,Whitney Smyth

I picked up the first book, Wind Catcher on an Amazon free day, so I was very excited when I won a signed paperback of Brink of Dawn, Book II by Jeff & Erynn altabef.

Wind Catcher has won several awards and I am curious to see about this one.

 

There are two covers. Look below, after reading my review, and tell us which you like best.

 

Brink of Dawn (Chosen #2)

Amazon  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

I was excited to have won a paperback copy of Brink of Dawn by Jeff Altabef, after reading the first book in the Chosen series, Wind Catcher. The series is a fantastic teen and young adult fantasy and science fiction read. Brink of Dawn picks up where Wind Catcher left off, but it can stand alone.

 

Juliet Wildfire Stone lives up to her name. She has powers:  hears peoples thoughts and reads their emotions, possess animals, super strength and speed, telekinesis, heals instantly…a regular superhero. She has a destiny and knows there are others out there, like her. There is more than Earth at stake and I am so happy that she has her BFF Tony at her side.

 

This series turned out to be a surprise. It is more than what I was expecting. A group of youngsters out to save th world. Action, danger. They are the chosen and then there’s Troy.They will fight as a team and only death will stop them. The characters grow, develop, and become a family as they fight the good fight .

 

Surprise and thrills and all the young adult goodness makes this a series that kept me reading and entertained and I do want more…there is a Book III, Scorched Souls.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

 

GOODREADS BLURB

 

Follow-up to the multiple award-winning Wind Catcher

 

They walk among us as if they are gods.
Only the Chosen know what they are.
Only the Chosen know to fear them.
And only the Chosen can defeat them.

 

Evolved Publishing presents the second book in the multiple award-winning Chosen series of young adult mystery thrillers, which feature an American Indian fantasy and supernatural theme, from the same author who brought you the award-winning thriller Shatter Point, and his daughter.

 

Juliet Wildfire Stone and her best friend, Troy Buckhorn, barely escaped their sleepy Arizona town alive. Now they’re speeding to New York City to find the three other Chosen. The Chosen must band together to face an ancient foe that threatens all humanity.

 

Yet Juliet doesn’t know whom to trust, and strange things are happening in the City.

The Chosen will be tested, their resolve questioned, and their flaws exposed. Each must decide whether he or she will fulfill their destiny—or run. To defeat the enemy, they must stop battling among themselves and overcome their own struggles.

Only one can lead them. Will Juliet embrace her powers in time?

 

Brink of Dawn picks up where the multiple-award-winning first book in the Chosen series, Wind Catcher, left off, but it can also be read as a stand-alone novel. Continue the adventure! And be sure to watch for the third and final installment in this exciting series, Scorched Souls, to launch in late 2016.

 

Stalk Jeff:  Website

 

MY JEFF ALTABEF REVIEWS

 

Alternate Cover – Which do you like best?

 

Brink of Dawn (Chosen #2)

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/monday-mini-brink-of-dawn-by-jeff-altabef-erynn-altabef-jeffaltabef
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review 2018-06-13 02:01
What you gonna read?
Ghostbusters: Novel (Coronet Books) - Larry Milne

Recently I re-watched the 80's classic Ghostbusters and for the first time I wondered if there had ever been a novelization of the story. Spoiler alert: There is and it's pretty weird. Much like the Star Trek screen-to-book adaptations that I've read this was written directly after the film was released and includes additional scenes and background information not covered in the original film. For example, did you know that Winston's last name is Zeddemore? And if you had only read the book I doubt you'd find Dana very charming...in fact you might think she was abrasive. While it mostly stuck to the script's dialogue, the character descriptions fell short of the mark. (Egon is still the best though.) Bonus material like movie stills, cast and crew bios, and movie credits were tacked on making this feel less like a novelization and more like a marketing ploy. (If you haven't guessed yet I wasn't overly impressed with it.) What I like about both the book and movie are all of the obvious nods to New York like the Schwarzman branch downtown. It's such a cool way to feel connected to the story. XD I can't deny that it wasn't that great though so it's a 3/10 from me.

 

What's Up Next: The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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