Tuesday, August 29, 2017
The Order of the Sanguines Book 1
I wanted to like this book so much! It sounded like such interesting fun from the blurb and I enjoyed the James Rollins book I read earlier this year, so I was looking forward to another action-filled thriller with some cool religiously supernatural overtones. Vampire priests! Woot!
That's not what I got.
First off, the female lead, the heroine, Erin... well, she spent half her time hiding behind the big, strong, blond, soldier protector guy who could make her warm with just a faint touch in the midst of all the danger of the damned world. Every time something remotely dangerous approached, there was the big dumb hero thrusting her behind him.
Speaking of big dumb hero, his name was Jordan, which is fine. Jordan is a unisex name. The only problem with this is that Jordan is a name I have used in my own writing for years as a woman's name. So that bugged me from beginning to end. *LOL* Most people probably won't have this problem though.
Overall, this book had a really sexist vibe to it. Not only was Jordan 'protecting' Erin every chance he got and not only were the both of them getting turned on by the slightest of things in the midst of great danger or focus, the whole plot of the book hinged on sex it seemed. Now I know that vampires are supposed to be sexy and all, but neither author is very good at writing sexy to prove it for one thing - and for another it all read like the downfall of all the good and holy came at the hands of the woman and her seduction of the defenseless priest.
I also felt that some of the ideas were really good and could have been expounded upon more but the authors maybe didn't have the facility to go deeper? I dunno... I felt they missed the mark on a lot of the historical stuff. And there was A LOT of historical stuff in this book - maybe too much. Masada, Christ's Life, Saint Peter, Hitler, Rasputin, the siege of St. Petersburg, medieval Hungary.... just so so so much and alot of it just glossed over.
But of course we have the improbable love story of Erin and Jordan - oh, did I mention that I think the story takes place over 2 days - 3 max? Yeah, well, the number of times that we were treated to adolescent reactions from both of these characters was really over the top.
I could go on because so much of this book left me unsatisfied. And in the end... well... we don't really get much closure at all. Oh... Erin and Jordan like each other. *RME* I don't know that I'll pick up the second book in this series. Maybe, but I doubt it. I think I'll probably stick to Rollins' Sigma Force novels instead for ridiculous, crazy action thrillers.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Wayfarers Book 1
Let me be clear from the get-go. I think many readers would rate this book with at least 4 stars, even 5, but quite honestly, I'm not the ideal reader for this book, so MY rating is a little lower. I just don't want people to miss a fun, well-written, diversely cast, thoughtful, filled with love book.
My problem with the book is that the plot was little more than a wisp of smoke in an evening breeze. I need a plot, really I do. And this world/universe was built in a way that a whole BUNCH of plots could have been explored. But the author didn't go there with her diverse merry band of 'tunnellers', wormhole builders if you will. Instead she went for exploring the characters and their backgrounds and how this biggest job of their lives manages to affect them all in a very profound way.
We get most of the story through the eyes of Rosemary, the young human who comes aboard as the ship's clerk, trying to escape her past and in reality, learn who she is and who she wants to be moving forward. It's really a New Adult coming of age story, I guess. Again, not my cup of tea, but I liked it in spite of that.
Here's a fan drawing of the crew I found that I thought was pretty good. It's a crew that often reminded me of the crew of Firefly. There are unlikable members and members that you just want to hug to bits.They all gel as a team though, especially after their big job journey. Again, the story is way more about the characters than that big job thing. :)
So, if you're looking for some sci-fi fun, heavy on the characterisation, light on plot, but a fun read and one that will warm the proverbial cockles of your heart, this is your book. :) It'll make you feel good!
And I'll probably be picking up the next one in the series at some point.
And I'll probably be picking up the next one in the series at some point.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Hellsinger Series - Book 1
I can always count on Rhys to give me a good read and this time was no different. This is one of her earlier books and it shows some in the writing. To me it's fascinating to watch an author's progress at improving their craft, but I have to admit that I'm thrilled that Rhys has gotten over the need to use epithets in her writing. If I had read the words "the blond" one more time, I think I might have screamed! *LOL* We know... we KNOW that Travis has blond hair, for heaven's sake! And you know, most readers are smart enough to discern the differences between the two 'he's' in the story. So, being as that's a pet peeve of mine, it did kind of impede me enjoyment of the story.
For my money, I could have done with sexytimes scenes being of shorter length (I mean.. almost 2 chapters long at one point? And long chapters?) and a bit more meat to the paranormal aspects of the story. I found that I wanted to know more about the personalities and characters of Travis and Wolf other than that they set each other on fire. :)
It's an interesting world that Rhys has set up and I'm looking forward to reading more about it in the second book which I also have in the TBR. I hope we get to learn more about Wolf's family and childhood and then more about Tristan's childhood as well. Oh! And I really like the new covers on these books. Far better than the generic men people that tend to populate a lot of the m/m book covers.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Bookburners - Season 1
This is a serial book - that is, 16 episodes strung together like a season of TV shows, each episode written by one of the 4 authors. One of the reasons I picked it up was because I had read one of Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence novels and enjoyed it.
Anyway, it appears that I'm not really a huge fan of the serial experience. It's not my preferred style of book. I just find it tends to go on for too long, maybe. Or maybe it's the pacing that I'm not fond of. I'm not bright enough to figure out the reasons. *LOL*
But also, I'm not a fan of urban horror fantasy. I mean, I like the premise. I like the characters for the most part but it's the horror part that's not my favourite. I'll read them and if the the characters are captivating and the plot intriguing, I can usually deal with the actual horror parts - like the intense descriptions of monsters and dungeons and lairs and the like.
So, after that caveat, Bookburners was a good read for the most part. The 4 different author styles weren't jarring, as a matter of fact they were all rather similar and I'm not familiar enough with them to know if it was worked towards in this project or just something that they all have in common. The main character, Sal, I couldn't quite enjoy until about 2/3rds of the way through the book. I just didn't like her very much. I was fascinated by the other members of her team though.
Will I read the next seasons of Bookburners? Maybe. If they come up on sale at some point. I enjoyed this one enough to be curious about where they go next with the story.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
Green Men Book 1
This book hits so many of my sweet spots. KJ Charles - one of my favourite authors, the time period of the early 1920's, the setting of England and all its history, legends and folklore, magic tied to the land - practically perfect!
I love how KJ writes. There's one scene, about 1/3 of the way through the book, where it gets really spooky and otherworldly and it was so amazing - it was in the humid mid-eighties temperture-wise and I swear, I was shivering as I read it!
The two main characters of Saul and Randolph are lovely. Okay, so Randolph can be a bit of a trial at times, but I love his British upper-class snark and his crankiness and being difficult just endears him to me because he really does have a mushy centre when he allows it to be seen. And Saul, the everyman who has seen such horrors and been through such an awful time through no real fault of his own, the fact that he's still a functioning human being is amazing, and when he finds something to grab on to (Randolph) well, he is so stalwart and brave and human. I loved him.
This is the first book of a trilogy and as KJ likes to do with her trilogies, there is an over-arcing plot for all three books, the beginning of which we read about here. And old evil, the historical figure of Geoffrey de Mandeville (Man-Devil, see?), the aftermath of the War Beneath (what we didn't see in WW1) versus the group of Green Men (there are women too) who are there to protect England - that's the big picture against which the love story of Saul and Randolph plays out. For my taste, there was a really good balance between the love story and sexytimes and the paranormal mystical stuff.
So yes, Spectred Isle is one of the best books I've read this year, proving once again, that KJ Charles never lets me down.
Oh, and I have to say a word about the cover of the book, created by Lexiconic Design. IT'S GORGEOUS!