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review 2018-01-17 03:21
Holding Grudges
Antigoddess - Kendare Blake
 

I read this back in September and I'm just now able to write a review. I really dug this book, well at least until the abrupt ending. If you're a fan of Greek Mythology, I'd consider it a must read. Blake does something very interesting with Greek myths and legends. It has some elements of reincarnation, which is normally a turnoff for me, but it was fairly well accomplished in the book. Well, one aspect was disturbing, the character had to die violently to recall who they were in their previous life.

Largely, this was a really exciting read. I haven't been reading much young adult lately because I'm not interested in high school life anymore. The good thing about this book is, these characters are technically teens, but most of the main characters are reincarnated personages from the Greek myths, so they act a lot more mature and have interests and concerns far beyond typical high school drama.

There are some unanswered questions, which I think is a standard tactic of a writer who's putting together a series. I just wish it wasn't so overused. Frankly, I get tired of the whole, "Keep Reading" tactic.

Another issue was Blake sort of picks and chooses which gods/goddesses she'll feature and to what degree. It's up to her as the author, but that was a bit of a letdown how she represented some of them. The curses or fates of some of the gods/goddesses were maliciously creative, and I won't even go into them, because that's part of the fun. I felt that overall the characterization is very strong for the main leads, not as much for the secondary and villainous characters. I especially liked the way that Blake humanized the ancient god/goddess figures and endowed the human (sort of) reincarnated characters with such depth.

Hera is always portrayed as a mega-bitch in just about everything. I've never been into Hera, but in a way it seems kind of sad that her reputation is so low. I would want to feel sorry for her, honestly, seeing as how she's the wife that's been cheated on by her lothario husband for many millennia. But she's always scheming and making peoples' lives miserable. In this she gets an update as a fashion forward Queen B who would fit right in with the One Percenters.

Athena and Hermes have strong points of view as they travel looking for the reincarnation of the person who could be the key to stopping the god or goddess behind the curse that is slowly killing them. They encounter high school student Cassandra, who is the key to their plan, and whose life and family is about to be in terrible danger, because Hera is headed her way.

This book has fantastic action and arresting imagery. The opening scene is the hook that grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I knew I wanted to finish this book just with the beginning. I just wish the ending wasn't so abrupt. I can't tell you how much of a buzzkill that is when you are reading a great book and then it sort of fizzles out. Maybe fizzle isn't the right word. This book goes from atomic explosion to the sizzle when you throw water on a campfire. I was confused at how fast things resolved. Having said that, I was hoping my library would have book two.

Yeah, so I'm giving it four stars because it really is a very good book. I wasn't happy with the ending, so that's why I took off a star. Despite that, I was really excited about this book and I could hardly put it down. This is one I think would make a great movie. Maybe someday soon.

I wanted to like "Anna Dressed in Blood" a lot more than I did. It was good, but it felt too derivative of popular horror movies for my tastes. I think that based on this novel, Blake has grown as an author, and I'm really excited to see where she goes from here.

 
 
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review 2018-01-17 02:03
Under a Blood-Red Moon (Duncan Andrews Thrillers #5) by Stephen Osborne
Under a Blood-red Moon (Duncan Andrews Thrillers Book 5) - Stephen P. Osborne

One of the best series I've ever read. 
By the looks of it, there is going to be a #6 and a good chance for a #7 =)

Best part, don't worry about gaps in between the books if you can't read them straight up. This one is so easy to remember. There is only a handful of characters and a simple universe where anything goes. If you manage to remember a (dead) Witch Council, 2.5 MCs (cause very prominent zombie dog for a pet) and 4 secondary characters, you are golden! Oh.... and Donald Drumpf Trump. He is a part of this book, and you just cannot forget THAT character, no matter how much you try.


yeah, now you know why I tagged this book "horror" and "humor" at the same time

5 stars.

PS I just want to mention: this series is urban fantasy at it's finest truest purest self. A major city, Indianapolis, to be precise, is housing all kind of magical creatures that human population is not aware of. A human detective along with his friends - a few humans with and without psy abilities and paranormal/magical creatures - battle the dark forces. It's not simply taking action in a city, it sticks to the tradition. An extra star just for that. And that makes it SIX 

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review 2018-01-16 15:14
World Building a Bit of a Mess and Characters Needed Developed More
Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic) - Melissa F. Olson

This was a straight 3 star book. Nothing really grabbed me, but it wasn't written poorly. I just thought way too much was going on for this first book and have just a general state of confusion occurring while I was reading this. I kept checking to make sure this was the first book in the series, and it is. I was told after the fact that I should have read something called the Scarlett Bernard series first before reading this and my reply was "Seriously? I don't have time to read three other books before I read a series starring this same person? Also why was there even a spin-off? This makes no sense!" So yeah, that turned into a 30 minute conversation I will never get back. 

 

Olson sets up a world in which there is something called the Old World that deals with supernatural creatures (witches, vampires, werewolves).

 

One of our main characters is Scarlett Bernard who is a "null" someone with the ability to null the magical effects around witches, vampires, vampires. For example, if Scarlett is around a vampire, the vampire becomes human. I have no idea why the person wouldn't just turn into dust if they are a 1,000 years old, but I learned to stop asking questions like that while reading.

 

The other main character is a former friend/partner whatever of Scarlett's, former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz. Jesse is bitter over a divorce and feeling like he got played by the Old World people (I barely manage to figure out what happened based on all the hints floating around).

 

When a former vampire friend of Scarlett (goes by the name of Molly) asks for her help, Scarlett goes up against the Old World to prove she was set up. She enlists the aid of Jesse who agrees to saddle up to work alongside Scarlett again. 

 

There was no there, there for me while reading. Scarlett got really annoying. I have no idea what her issues were, but she apparently has a long term boyfriend that she treated like an annoyance, a supernatural dog (that I never want to hear about again) whose every mood and tick she can pick up on. Jesse got a bit self righteous for me. Molly's character made no sense to me after what we see of her. I am speaking of the ending and the terribleness that is found out about why exactly Molly was targeted. 

 

There are additional characters in this, but none that really stuck with me while reading. 

 

The writing was okay. The book just got a bit awkward when it went from Scarlett to Jesse's POV. It didn't work that well. 

 

Look, I am always looking for an urban fantasy to sink my teeth into. This one just didn't move me either way. I may read the second book or I may not. I just hope that the author manages to fix the world building and develops the character. I get this was the first book in a series. But there was way too much information being thrown at me that didn't work seamlessly into this story. For example, we just got told that Jesse used to have feelings for Scarlett and they haven't seen each other in three years. There could have been some dialogue about that between the two of them. The only thing that I did like was Scarlett being happy she could just be friends with Jesse without any romance going on. I am sure that gets thrown out later, but I swear I loathe love triangles. If any of the future books seem to be heading in that direction just let me know. 

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text 2018-01-16 11:00
Teaser Tuesday: The Chosen
Black Magic (Women Writers of Urban Fantasy #1) - S.J. Davis,Rue Volley,Faith Marlow,Lily Luchesi,Sarah Hall,Nicole Thorn,Laurencia Hoffman,Elizabeth A. Lance,Elaine White

 

The Chosen

smarturl.it/BlackMagicWWS

Charity Anthology for Meals on Wheels

#MM #PNR #BlackMagic #lgbtq #indieauthor #supernatural

 

 

~

 

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review 2018-01-15 17:30
Audio Review: Hexed by Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James, Jeanne C. Stein
Hexed - Ilona Andrews,Allyson James,Yasmine Galenorn,Jeanne C. Stein
Hexed

Kate Daniels #4.5, Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon #9.5 , Stormwalker #2.5, Anna Strong Chronicles #6.5
Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James, Jeanne C. Stein, ( Narrator: Renée Raudman), ( Narrator: Cassandra Campbell)
Paranormal Romance - Urban Fantasy - Anthologies
Tantor Audio
May 10th 2014
Audiobook
12 hours and 25 minutes
Library

 

From best-selling authors Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James, and Jeanne C. Stein comes an anthology of four all-new novellas featuring powerful women who know how to handle a hex or two.

 

In "Double Hexed" from Allyson James, a novella of the Stormwalker series, Janet and her friends find themselves locked in her hotel, victims of a hex cast by a very powerful sorcerer. And, as they work to release the spell before the sorcerer kills them all, they realize that their worst enemies just might be themselves.

 

In "Blood Debt" from Jeanne C. Stein, bounty-hunter-turned-vampire Anna Strong is visited by three witches who ask her to right an old magical wrong. Anna will have to live up to her name to make it through alive.

 

In "Magic Dreams" from Ilona Andrews, old legends and frightening nightmares come to life. The shapeshifting Tigress Dali Harimau finds herself in deep water when she must challenge a dark being to a battle of wits, or risk losing the man she secretly longs for.

 

Finally, in Yasmine Galenorn's "Ice Shards," Iris Kuusi, a Finnish house sprite who lives with the D'Artigo sisters, must journey to the frozen Northlands to confront the crazed shadow of the former lover she's accused of murdering, so she can break the curse keeping her from marrying the man she loves. This is a must-listen collection for fans of the paranormal.

 

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

 

 

I picked up this Anthology to listen to the novella Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels #4.5) only. I LOVE the Kate Daniels series and have been listening to the books and loving them all over again. Instead of just listening to Magic Dreams I went ahead and listened to all four novellas; Magic Dreams, Ice Shards, Double Hexed, and Blood Debt. This Anthology was interesting and each novella was different and enjoyable to listen too.

 

Magic Dreams – 5 Stars

 

Here we get Jim & Dali, two shapeshiftes in the Cat Clan. If you are familiar with the Kate Daniels series then you have an idea of who these two are. Jim shows up in the first book and Dali shows up in the third book, but here we get to see more into them, their insecurities, and mating dance. Lots of fun to listen too and learn more about these two.

 

The Narrator: Renée Raudman did a superb job with the narration. The audiobook brings out the emotions, characters, mystery, and adventure.

 

Ice Shards – 4 Stars

 

Ice Shards takes place in the Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon #9.5 series. I haven’t tried this series yet, but do have book one on my TBR. This novella has made me want to bump up trying out Yasmine Galenorn. Iris has to face her past. I like how her past is weaved into the now. I found this novella interesting and entertaining.

 

The Narrator: Cassandra Campbell did a wonderful job. I really enjoyed the Irish accent given to Iris and all the other different voices for the other characters.

 

Double Hexed – 3 Stars

 

Double Hexed is part of the Stormwalker #2.5 series. This one I felt lost and like I was missing something. The familiar connections between the characters just wasn’t their for me. All the people introduced are friends, acquaintances, or a lover. This novella focused on Janet the main character in the Stormwalker series. We also get Coyote the God, Mike a dragon, Cassandra a witch, Ansel a Nightwalker, and a few others. Theirs a cute/hex on the inn that Janet runs. Their more dark primal instances are coming out. This novella wan’t working so well for me. It didn’t make me want to go out and pick up the Stormwalkerseries.

 

The Narrator: She did a good job. The voices where unique and you could distinguish between the different characters.

 

Blood Debt – 4 Stars

 

Blood Debt is Anna Strong Chronicles #6.5 series. We meet Anna a bounty hunter/vampire. Something in her past is coming back to bit her in the butt. We learn about her, her past, and how she was turned. She’s got to defend her actions in an otherworld court. Not just her life, but another’s is on the line. It’s interesting. Anna is determined to protect those who can’t defend themselves. I’m curious to try the Anna Strong Chronicles series. It sounds like it has adventure, mystery, and fun characters.

 

The Narrator: She did a wonderful job. All the voices where alive and unique. The story came alive.

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

 

Challenge(s) (2017): Pick Your Genre (PNR/UF) | Backlist Reader | Library Love

 

 

 

 

I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2018/01/audio-review-hexed-by-ilona-andrews-yasmine-galenorn-allyson-james-jeanne-c-stein
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