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review 2020-07-30 19:46
A tiny bit better than the previous book but I will not continue the series
Strategic Vulnerability - Mandy M. Roth

 

"I'm... fine.
"You don't sound fine.
Because my d!ck is hard enough to hammer nails. All I want to do is sink to the floor and bury myself deep in you."

 

 

And that is pretty much what you get with the fourth book in the series. Lots of restraining himself from the male lead and lots of not running away but actually goading him from the female lead.

 

The main couple consists of:

 

Wilson, the resident joker of the I-Ops and a wererat. He is the reason I am giving this book half a star more than the third book. Wilson is much more fleshed out as a character and I felt extremely bad for him in the previous books because honestly no one deserves constant bashing like he got. He got captured and was imprisoned in some facility where he is being tortured and experimented on. The I-Ops practically gave up on him (I bet they wouldn't have given up that quickly if any of the other guys went missing but okay, whatever) and if not for the three hormonal ladies that insisted on still searching they might not have found him in the end, which might also have been for the best when I think about it because they were much safer before they were discovered (but I do not wish to get into spoilers, just saying poor Kim).

 

One more thing that really annoyed me was what has been done with Wilson's character or rather hasn't been done is the shifting itself. All other male leads have shifted or partially shifted in front of their mates. For heaven's sake, even Lance who had minimal time in the first book shifted while banging Melanie. But Wilson doesn't shift in this book, nope, because Wilson is a rat so it might not be a pleasant thought for the readers or something. I, on the other hand, think that is discriminatory and wish it would have been done. Wilson is just as much of a shifter and a good guy as the rest but the author keeps putting him down. It is really aggravating.

 

And Kimberly or Kim, some sort of Fae. She is a grad student apparently researching some indigenous plants in the rainforest and gets captured by her professor and gets locked up in the same facility as Wilson. She is as well being experimented on and ends up in Wilson's cell. He protects her, she protects him and that's how the story plays out. Her character isn't really that fleshed out as Wilson's but it also isn't all that confusing like Melinda's from the previous book. I do have a thing I am not fully clear on and that is her powers. Kim is at least part Fae and she knows she has strong powers but in several instances she is afraid of using them not to hurt Wilson which didn't sit well with me. It wasn't really explained on why that would happen and if she ever had any previous bad experiences. It was just a plot device to keep them imprisoned for a longer period of time.

 

Wilson and Kim as a couple work better than I would have thought. Kim actually questions this instant love mate thing and wonders how can she marry someone she only knows for a number of days. Which is definitely a valid point with all of them. They have a good enough chemistry and I wasn't as annoyed this book around because Wilson was the main character.

 

The problems I have with this book and consequently with the entire series is just the basic premise it seems. In the first and second book it was okay because it was when I encountered it first so it didn't bother me but now it is starting to get on my nerves.

 

 

Formula goes:

 

Female in trouble, male come rescue this woman that we pretend is strong but is nothing without your sexy abs and now we are immediately married because mate means it is fated and you cannot choose whom you love and yeah, bam, instant pregnancy as well.

 

 

All heroines are now pregnant, they have all moved in with their well, husbands as it stands, despite knowing them for a couple of days before doing the rest. Like I said, it was fine in book 1 and book 2 but the exact same thing has been repeated now in 4 books in a row without any deviation and I feel like I have read one book four times over.

 

I will not continue with this series because it seems it has no variety to offer. Female in danger, male saves, insta love, boom baby here, move on to the next couple. Do all female leads have to immediately get pregnant? If the sperm is that potent from all the shifters, how many kids will they have until they die of exhaustion of having too many kids? It's just... a bit too much for my taste.

 

If you like reading the exact same thing over and over knowing exactly what will happen next, be my guest, there are plenty left but I know when to start something different.

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review 2015-10-27 00:00
"A Lisbeth Salander novel" - as if! And "continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series"? My ass.
The Girl in the Spider's Web - David Lagercrantz

I'm sorry, but this went on my "hell no!" shelf faster than you could say 'Mike'. Because honestly? It doesn't even matter to me of it is a good thriller per se, or not.

This book is everything Stieg Larsson's life partner has been fighting against ever since he left this world way before his time. Stieg Larsson was a brilliant writer and was, as far as I'm concerned, one of the most authentic and GOOD men this world and profession has seen in a long time.

What made his works so terrific was his extraordinary eye for detail, his talent to draw you in with even the most mundane descriptions of people's actions or thoughts. And he kept you absolutely hooked with his carefully drawn, wonderfully complex and unconventional (anti-)heroes.

Now, under normal circumstances, it is almost impossible to reach the standards he set for his series and genre. And even though I was saddened beyond belief that the other 7 books of his Millenium Saga weren't finished before his untimely death, I also believe in the right of every author to decide what to publish or not. Fact of the matter is, Larsson didn't publish more books in the series because they weren't done. Because he didn't want to! And his partner is still fighting for his scripts and drafts to remain unpublished and not being used by somebody else.

So this book right here? Has NOTHING to do with Stieg Larsson. Absolutely nothing. I find it insulting and more than a little disrespectful to use his name for something that 1. is not even really inspired by his own vision for the series - because his scripts are still being guarded by his life partner and 2. is a result of somebody along the line thinking: "What the hell? So he's dead. Let's just do it ourselves, it can't be that hard." Because f* you very much. It is THAT hard. Least of all because it's not your freaking story to continue!

So I'm not going to touch this one. Like I said, maybe it's not even a bad book. But I absolutely don't care. Right here, the wishes and ideas of an author are hurt post mortem, with no regard to his personal ideals, visions or feelings while he was still alive.

IMHO, there are few ways to completely disrespect one of the most authentic and brilliant writers of our time and his legacy more than this thing does. It's shameful, wrong and I hate it. 

 

That's all. 

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review 2015-08-27 18:38
The Girl at Midnight
The Girl at Midnight - Melissa Grey

On its own, without considering anything else, I enjoyed the plot and the little bit of mythology within the world.  BUT, I just can’t overlook the lack of originality that was peppered throughout the whole thing.  It has been said in so many reviews already, but seriously, this is too similar to Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  And when this did verge away from DoSaB it touched on The Grisha series.  It seemed like the author just mushed those two series together and came up with The Girl at Midnight.  If I hadn’t read both of those series before this I probably would have been more into this book.  Unfortunately for Melissa Grey, I did read both of those series before this and they were superior to this effort.  

 

The MC, Echo, was a little snarky and sarcastic, which I love to read.  It keeps novels fun and adds an relatable element to the character for me.  

 

That said, she drove me nuts on a number of occasions.  

 

First - - and I cannot emphasize this enough - - she just FORGOT about Rowan.  You know Rowan...the boy she was swooning over in the first few chapters.  The boy she has known all her life...and been “in love” with for a while.  Rowan...her boyfriend!  As soon as Caius was introduced it was as if Rowan didn’t even exist.  Some people have said there was a love triangle in this book but I would disagree.  I love triangle would require the MC to actually think about both partners.  This is no love triangle, this is Echo abandoning Rowan and not looking back.

 

Second - - Echo switched her allegiance way too quickly.  She has been raised by the Avicen her entire life to believe that the Drakharin are vicious, demented creatures.  She has been raised to hate and fear them.  Yet, one look at Caius and she is willing to ally with him and Dorian - not just to escape - but to find the firebird as well.  She could have returned to the Avicen, she didn’t.  She could have continued her search without what should have been her mortal enemies, she didn’t.  No, she took them to an Avicen safehouse and starts making googly eyes at Caius.  I don’t care that this fit nicely with the plot line, it was too easy.  There was no real attempt to provide Echo with doubts or to have her reconcile what she has been taught to believe with the reality of what she is seeing.  

 

Third - and I may be a little picky here - after all her hemming and hawing Rowan she literally throws herself at Caius.  She had a traumatic event, which Grey attempted to explore, but ended up just using as a plot device to further the romance that she needed to build between Echo and Caius.  This was an opportunity for Grey to really build Echo, to give her some development and growth, to address a serious issue (PTSD).  This could have been a moment for Grey to really show us her writing chops.  Instead, she makes Echo weak and needy.  I was really disappointed with this turn of events.

 

The world-building by Grey was lacking as well to me.  She barely touched on the mythology of the world, and only did so to bring the Firebird into things.  I wanted to know about the Drakharin and Avicen, their societal structures, power structures, customs and traditions.  We get none of that, nope, we get a pathetic so-called-romance between Echo and Caius that took up far too much of this book.


There was a gigantic area where this book excelled - and that was Jasper and Dorian.  I loved the inclusion of LGBT characters and the fact that they were central to the plot, frequently seen and explored as characters.  They weren’t just thrown in there to appease a demographic and forgotten.  They mattered, in some small way, to the overall plot.  Their romance, to me, was sweeter and more believable than that between Echo and Caius.  Kudos to Ms. Grey for taking the time to write these characters well.  This is getting 2 stars - one for Jasper, one for Dorian.    

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review 2015-08-26 01:57
Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes (Falling Kingdoms #3)
Gathering Darkness - Morgan Rhodes,Michelle Rowen

I think I finally got what it is about this series: I enjoy the plot and world far more than the characters, but this series is really character-driven.

 

Anyway, story time! I read Falling Kingdoms about a year ago, and although I found a lot of problems within it, I couldn’t see what it was about this series that made me want to try the next book. Then, I read Rebel Spring, and that book made me very angry. But, for some reason, I’ve been hearing so many things about this series lately! So, one last time, I decided it was time to read Gathering Darkness with a new approach.

 

So, first off, I want to say thank you to The Primroses Were Over who suggested that I look at this series like a TV show! I think that once I got it in my head that, “Yeah, well, that’s drama. Yep, it’s drama! Oh, look, more drama,” it was much easier to get through this book and to overlook things that would’ve been difficult the first time.

 

Of course, some things still remain unchanged. I hate Lucia and Jonas with a passion. And it’s not even because they’re unlikeable characters in the story! It’s just that I find their character arcs to be so unrealistic and ridiculous. From book one, we’re constantly told that Jonas is a genius, yet I see nothing from it. And we’re also told that Lucia’s some special snowflake whereas she’s so dumb and immature and so so selfish. It makes me angry.

 

Let’s not forget the fact that these characters make me want to yank out my own hair and cry a river full of tears.

 

But, I think the second half of this book was its strongest! :D

 

This book takes a closer look at the Kindred and finding the crystals, and I feel like the first half of this series (books #1-3) was more of a buildup towards the next book because we know the characters and we finally see where the plot of this story overall is heading! So, great ending there, and I was really into the book by the time I reached the end! :D

 

The only problems I had were when Magnus cheated on Cleo, because I believe in commitment! At least have some shame or something! Also, the scene where we find out that Sabina, the mistress of King Gaius, was Magnus’s true mother and tried to seduce him. Like, umm, does incest feelings run in the family or something?!

(spoiler show)

 

Overall, Gathering Darkness is a good book in the series that had a really strong second half. I feel like this series is going to get more into the action now, and I enjoyed this one more! :D I think this has slightly pushed me more to read A Book of Spirits and Thieves which I believe is either a prequel or spin-off series to the Falling Kingdoms series.  

 

Thanks for reading my review everyone and hope you have a great day! :D

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review 2015-07-08 03:35
The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan (The Kane Chronicles #2)
The Throne of Fire - Rick Riordan

Ever since the gods of Ancient Egypt were unleashed in the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister Sadie have been in trouble. As descendants of the House of Life, the Kanes have some powers at their command, but the devious gods haven't given them much time to master their skills at Brooklyn House, which has become a training ground for young magicians.

 

And now their most threatening enemy yet - the chaos snake Apophis - is rising. If they don't prevent him from breaking free in a few days' time, the world will come to an end. In other words, it's a typical week for the Kane family.

 

To have any chance of battling the Forces of Chaos, the Kanes must revive the sun god Ra. But that would be a feat more powerful than any magician has ever accomplished.

First they have to search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spells. Oh, and did we mention that no one knows where Ra is exactly?

 

Hmm, I can guess that I am a huge minority! I never wanted to give The Throne of Fire a two and a half star rating . . . so I gave it three stars. But honestly . . . I just couldn’t love this book.

 

I listened to this book back and forth today between an audiobook and a reading my physical copy. I seriously just could not.

 

I like the writing, I like the characters, and the world-building is done pretty well. It’s just the actual plot of the story and the mythology it’s based on. I’m honestly just not interested in the plot of this story.

 

Everything just seemed predictable and convenient—it’s hard to explain how, exactly. I felt like two kids (either brother and sister, or some team) have to save the world. Then they go through a huge adventure and manage to do just that.

 

I’m really not into kid adventure stories anymore. If I was a middle-grader, I would’ve loved this! I feel bad for not enjoying this series, but on the bright side: I’m enjoying Percy Jackson much more! :D

 

Overall, The Throne of Fire had basically a regular children’s adventure plot. There’s the great writing and characters though! But, for a level of personal enjoyment, I didn’t really enjoy this as much. I feel really bad and unfortunately, I am not going to continue this series . . .

 

Thanks for reading my horrible review guys! I know this doesn’t have the same things as my other reviews, but I am extremely exhausted. I’m really sorry! Hope you have a great day and until the next one! :D

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