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review 2020-07-21 21:14
The good kind of a shifter paranormal romance
Immortal Ops - Mandy M. Roth

When someone says shifter paranormal romance you get a pretty good idea of what you are going to get and that is what you get here, you get it in a good kind of a way. All of the elements of a paranormal romance are present, along with some cliches, but you get a story that is capably written, a story with well rounded characters you care about and a story that makes you keep on reading until you're done...


... and then you immediately hop on Amazon and purchase the rest of the series.


Yes, I am serious, I was that engrossed in this book and mind you I have been reading this genre for some two decades now so I have been through all of the ups and downs and still found so many positive things about this book. So let's start.



The story


The summary is already provided so I will just add onto that. Even though the story is about Lukian and Peren, it is actually far more than that. This story includes two of Peren's best friends that are major characters in their own right, and it involves Lukian's team, five other well developed individuals who I am sure will all get their own book and their own story. This is a good book for the worldbuilding and for introducing the readers into this shifter & the rest of the paranormal creatures universe that works logically and so far I can buy into it. I wasn't taken out of the world at any point, all of the paranormal stuff made sense in this universe and the characters reacted like they should according to their personalities, abilities and their position in this universe.
The story flows great, there is no point where the story is dragging, it all goes as it should to keep us fully invested. The dialogue is smart and funny and at times I see a lot of my own way of talking when it came to sarcastic remarks so that made me laugh extra hard.


The characters


The characters are well developed, well rounded and act based on reason and logic, just like proper characters should act. Every of the almost dozen characters (including the villains) got a good introduction and enough time to stand on their own and not just be 'the main character's best friend who exists solely for the main character'. They all had their own pasts, their own lives, their own experiences and their own aspirations and fears. They feel real and that is why we get so invested into their lives and into this story.


The main characters, Lukian and Peren are the main couple of the story and I like how strong they both are and how well they fit together. Lukian is a leader and a hardass and a tough leader but also realises the importance of his feelings and accepts them and acts upon them even though the circumstances are far from ideal. Peren has a very complicated story about how she was conceived and what happened to her other mother later on and what exactly she is that I believe we will read more about it in other stories because it just didn't fit in this story fully, which is understandable, these things take setup and time.


I loved the first best friend character who is Missy and I am looking forward to it reading about her in the second book. Her sarcasm is so similar to mine that I feel a kindred soul there.




There are only two things I consider as faults in this book.


The first one being the short amount of time it all happens in. Not just that the whole book takes place in a short amount of time but the fact that the two main characters go from never knowing each other to proposing in the span of two weeks. And yes, I understand that they marked each other and that are essentially already forever together but they could have at least taken time to get to know each other more and so their friends and family have time to get to know each other as well before they put a ring on it.


The other thing is Lance (if I am not remembering the name wrong), the Nordic God as he was called. I do not understand his character at all. It was hinted that he was a troubled soul. He slept with the third best friend and turned whilst doing it and then did not even try to talk to that woman about it. Then he was somehow foreseeing his death without any logic behind it and asked a friend to look after that woman he seemingly had no other interest in than a one night stand. I wish he was the one who was developed more so that his actions made sense and more of an impact to the story.




One of the better shifter paranormal romances I have read, especially in the last few years. It has great action, suspense, mystery, plotting, romance and sex. The story goes fast so you enjoy every single page, the characters are well developed and believable and I absolutely enjoyed every single moment and was left craving for more of this universe. Definitely recommended to all of the paranormal romance lovers.

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review 2020-06-02 13:57
The Immortal City
The Immortal City - Amy Kuivalainen

by Amy Kuivalainen


I got into this one a little slowly. It starts with a bizarre ritualistic murder, followed by an introduction to Penelope Byrne, archaeological researcher with an obsession with Atlantis.


The story quickly picks up and I got drawn in with interest. The story is part mystery, part fantasy magic. Some of the reveals feel a little clumsy and cliffhangers at the end of chapters were a little overdone, enough to feel contrived, but I liked the author's use of smell to create associations.


I'll admit what first got me interested in this story was that it was set in Venice, Italy. I've been there once for not long enough and was looking to capture the feel of the city. In that I wasn't entirely satisfied and felt a lot of things could have used more description, especially the reactions of the characters to events or things people said to them.


I felt the writing was around average. The story drew me in, but so many plot points felt under developed! The magic was also too Harry-Potter-fantasy to fit with an otherwise historical mystery feel. It was an original take on Atlantean mythology though and deserves points for that.


As it got close to the end, I couldn't help thinking it was getting set up for a 'next book'. I did like the ending, but the set up for the next book makes me feel the story is unfinished and that's a sore point with me in this age of series mentality. I prefer stand alone stories in general so that I get a complete story without having to buy more books!


This one could have had me for the next story if it had given me that feeling of being in Venice. The characters showed distinctive personalities and apart from a little too convenient magic, it was mostly believable on a fantasy level.

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review 2020-05-25 18:20
Shadows Strike
Shadows Strike (Immortal Guardians) - Dianne Duvall

This is Ethan and Heather's story. Heather is a telepath and has been able to turn that into a career- as a FACS specialist (reading facial expressions and body language to determine if someone is lying. The other couples from previous books all make appearances. The underlying storyline with Gershon trying to start WW 3 is continued. New allies appear.

Jared (an other) and General Lane) Aidan (an older immortal- he can bear some sunlight) is the one who transformed Heather, so she is stronger than Ethan.

(spoiler show)

I read this for Romance-opoly Fang Alley moon track

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review 2020-05-01 16:47
Strong Book Still Disappoints
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot

Title: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Author: Rebecca Skloot

Publish Date: February 2, 2010

Publisher: Broadway Books

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 382 pages

Source: Library

Date Read: March 15-19, 2020



The medical and scientific parts of this book was fascinating and informative. The debates surrounding medical ethics were timely, from Lacks' time to today. What failed for me was the endless fucked-upness that constituted the Lacks family, both before and after Henrietta. This family's story is just as damn disgusting and ridiculous as the family in Westover's Educated, except they are black and live in Virginia. Reading this book soon after finishing the other book made both less in my eyes. I have no sympathy for either fucked up family, but I do have sympathy for Henrietta Lacks - she was done dirty by certain doctors at John Hopkins and the medical establishment at the time. 


That being said, I think this is an important story for medical and public health students to learn from.

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review 2020-04-04 17:55
Just who is the Vampire Rick, Anyway?
The Immortal Conquistador - Carrie Vaughn

I've been trying to get this out for over a week now (it was published last week), but I couldn't seem to be able to—I'm a little surprised I've had the energy to post anything since I started telecommuting (odd that not going anywhere tires me out more than going to work does). Finally, with apologies to the publisher for getting this post up late.

I've been a fan of the Kitty Norville series since the debut in 2005, and one of the supporting characters that fans seem most enamored of—and are given the least information about—is Kitty's vampire ally, Rick (the Master of Denver).


For those (like me) who need a little brushing up on some of what went on toward the end of the series, Rick leaves Denver for a while in order to explore a different way to take on Dux Bellorum (the series' Big Bad).


This book gives the reader some insight into what Rick was up to during this time. The book stitches together four short stories about Rick's origin (some previously published, some not) while Rick introduces himself to the Order of Saint Lazarus.


I'd already read the first story, "Conquistador de la Noche," in the collection <b>Kitty's Greatest Hits</b>—but it worked really well in this setting, too—this sets the stage for the rest of Rick's history and tells about him becoming a vampire. The next two stories show what happens when he first encounters the Vampire sub-culture and is first exposed to the rules (most) Vampires live by and how Rick skirts the edges of those rules and starts to make both a name for himself and build his different kind of power base.


The fourth story is my favorite detailing what happens when Rick meets a legendary Old West character. It was just a great story with an element of fun. It's also something the reader is told that Rick's never told anyone about before. It's precisely the kind of thing that Kitty would kill to hear, she's constantly asking vampires and other supernatural types for stories like this. That Rick would go out of his way to deprive her of this story (but we get to read it) was a little extra dash of fun.


I don't know that this gave me a much better picture of Rick—the novels had pretty much done that. We know his character, we may not understand his past and what he was—but we know who he <i>is</i>. But this book rounds out our understanding of the man and gives the reader a little hope for his future.


Once I cottoned on to what Vaughn was doing—stitching together short stories—I was a little skeptical of the format. But I came around pretty quickly and decided it worked really well. It's better than a simple short story collection, essentially giving us a bonus story. The stories (including the framing device) feel different from the Kitty series, but not so much that it doesn't feel like the same world.


A cool bonus of this—you can read it totally independent of the Kitty Norville series. It's not dependent <i>at all</i> on the events or people of the series (there are references to certain antagonists, but not in any way that makes familiarity with the series necessary for understanding).


I do have to wonder about the timing of this—the series ended almost five years ago, so I'm not sure I get why we're getting this material in this format now. But that's just me being curious, not complaining. Did I (or the series) need <b>The Immortal Conquistador</b>? No. But I'm very glad I got it.


<i><b>Disclaimer:</b> I received this eARC from Tachyon Publications via NetGalley in exchange for this post —thanks to both for the opportunity.</i>

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2020/04/03/the-immortal-conquistador-by-carrie-vaughn-just-who-is-the-vampire-rick-anyway
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