Saturday, December 29, 2018
Detective Elouise Norton - Book 2
The first of my Christmas presents didn't let me down. I'm here to tell you that Elouise Norton, LAPD detective, is a breath of fresh air in police procedural/crime fiction.
Lou is smart, funny, sexy, intense as well as being a perfectly flawed individual. Yes, sometimes her personal experiences and biases colour how she views a case and how she interacts with her co-workers, but she's so very real! She has none of those endearing quirky flaws that many crime fiction leads have either.
Lou's current case begins with a house fire and three dead bodies and of course, there's far more than meets the eye. As Lou and her partner, Colin, pursue the case, she also has to deal with her once-estranged but now back home husband, Greg. And the remnants of the death by murder of her older sister years before (we saw the solving of that case play out in the previous book).
The twisty trail of the case kept me hooked through the book and while I had suspicions that changed as I went along, the culmination of everything was still pretty much of a surprise. Not so surprising was the plot of Lou's marriage trials and tribulations, however there were a few bits that I wasn't expecting. I do hope that in the next book we see more of Lou's friends, Lena and Sayeeta. They're great characters and I love their interactions with Lou. Girl power! :)
I only have one complaint and I don't even know that it's valid, me being a white woman and all, but there MUST be some other way to describe POC skin than to liken it to some coffee or chocolate drink. (And in a book/series with a majority of POC characters, there is a lot of skin described!)
So my second foray into Lou Norton's world was a resounding success. I loved it and have added Book 3 to my wishlist.
Friday, December 28, 2018
Another story perfect for the holidays. The tale of Penny Havers was a fun read and altogether too short. And for once, an f/f romance that isn't filled with drama and angst over being lesbian!
Two thumbs up.
Monday, December 17, 2018
Claus - Book One
So this was a freebie that I grabbed because the blurb sounded intriguing. I don't normally enjoy YA focused books and tend to avoid them for the most part, but something about this blurb grabbed me.
Boy, was I ever pleasantly surprised!
It grabbed me from the get-go. A very interesting premise, a different - very different - take on the myths and legends of Saint Nick and Santa and his elves and the reindeer. The way the author weaves the stories we know into this new and different narrative was delightful! I have to admit that I think the story might owe bits to the Santa Clause series of movies as well as some of the old animated Christmas specials we watched as kids, including 'Santa Claus is Comin' to Town' from Rankin/Bass Productions. But it's all woven together with such fun and delight that you recognise the similarities and go, cool!
Don't get me wrong, there are some dark moments here, and some not very nice actions, and that's good, because I wasn't looking for saccharine sweet.
The only thing that really bothered me was near the end when the villain of the piece, Jack (it's always Jack, isn't it?) gets all 1970s pop culture icon crazy person. See, the story takes place in 1899 and while the elves can do alot of magical stuff, I don't think they managed time travel, so where that personality came from, I don't know. It just felt a bit out of place.
Anyway, I couldn't put it down and the fact that it had lots of short chapters only helped the 'just one more chapter' road I was on. :) Fun read! And fascinating take on some of our best-loved tales. I think I'm going to have to read the others in the series. :)
Friday, December 14, 2018
I would call this a longish short story. It was also a little frantic and frenetic, I thought. Written in the first person, I honestly never got a feel for Pete, the main character. And consequently I never got a feel for his partner, Carver. Pete is a Treasury department agent and Carver is an artist.
There was a lot of banter between the two, but I wasn't overly fond of it. Some of it sounded a little mean-spirited and too snarky. And I wasn't sure exactly why Pete had fallen for Carver and vice versa, aside from the physical attraction - which was mightily indulged in throughout the story.
So I was disappointed, because I like Mary Calmes' work. And it illustrates why I tend to shy away from works of this length.
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Spindle Cove - Book 1.5
Another charming holiday read that was also a lot of fun. Set during the Napoleonic wars, the story takes place in the space of one evening into the next dawn and is a delightful romantic and sexy tale.
Novella in length, you don't get much time to get to know the characters and grow to like them, but the author does a lovely job of bringing them to life. I liked the both of them and honestly, wished we could follow them after the end of the tale.
You don't need to know anything about the Spindle Cove series really, to enjoy this, so if you're in the mood for some festive sexy times, love and smidge of danger, head towards this one.
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Blackshear Family - Book 0.5
The first of my Christmas reads and it was charming. I found myself smiling much of the way through the story, even when I wanted to pinch the hero, the so very bound-by-duty Andrew Blackshear, who is the eldest of the family and so very, very, very proper. *LOL*
Our heroine, Lucy Sharp was born to get under Andrew's skin and drive him to total distraction. And that's exactly what she does with her impulsive and adventurous ways. Propriety? Not something she adheres to for the most part. Brought up by an unconventional widower after the way-too-early death of her mother.
It was cute, it was heart-warming, it was filled with love and surprises. I'm not fond of the cover (it's just too modern-looking for me), but the novella is a very pleasing read for the holiday season. Check it out!
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache - Book Fourteen
My birthday present to me. It's so very rare for me to pay $15 for an ebook, but this is one of my very favourite of favourite authors and it was my birthday the week it came out, so... I gave myself a gift!
It was like coming home.
I came to a realisation about myself and the Gamache books when I was about halfway through this one. They are perfect for people watchers. Perfect for people who love to watch TV shows like Survivor and Big Brother because they want to see how the people will react and what they will become in different situations. There is a lot of people watching in these books, and speculating and looking for the 'why' of things. I love it!
All of our friends are back in Three Pines, but this time the focus is more on the Sureté side of the family than the civilians. There are parallel storylines here - the case of the will, the murder of one of the heirs in said will, and the fallout from the previous book with the drugs Armand was forced to let slip through his hands in order to catch the bigger fish.
I wish I was better at writing these things so that I could explain why they're so good, but suffice it to say that Armand Gamache, is a wonderfully flawed hero and the family that he makes around him is also filled with real people who are alternately flawed and heroic in their times.
I don't know that I'm completely thrilled with the way this book ended. Oh, don't get me wrong, the ending was perfect and filled with surprises and sadness and feel good moments, but I'm going to be really annoyed if Jean-Guy's fate is permanent! (Although the whole theme of the student taking the place of the mentor by his actions was pretty cool.)
So, I am thinking positively that there are more Gamache tales to come and that we will be returning to Three Pines in the future. :)
London Celebrities - Book Three
Another fun romance from Lucy Parker that's filled with great dialogue and banter. Lucy has become one of my favourite romance authors with her London Celebrities series. I love the settings of the theatre world in London as well as the actors, directors, and performers who populate her world.
This time around the setting vehicle is a show that is very Cirque de Soleil-esque and our main characters are the circus artist, Trix, who is suddenly thrust into a starring role in the show and Leo, the uber-talented make-up artist. We know Trix from the previous book, as she is that book's heroine's best friend.
Trix and Leo felt to me a bit edgier than previous couples in the series, their dialogue more sharp and defensive much of the time. But it worked because Trix has a past relationship that has left her unsure of herself and very defensive in her dealings with other people. And trusting other people. Been there and done that, so I recognised it right off and felt it was well done. This, of course, made this book a little less light-hearted than the two previous.
The romance worked for me as well - important in a romance novel, yes? *LOL* But it worked and I enjoyed going along for the trip. :) *two thumbs up*
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Half Moon Bay - Book Two
Rhys never lets me down. Whether it's some adventurous urban fantasy, rockstar dramas or, like this one, a romantic mystery I always enjoy my Rhys reads. :)
Book two in the Half Moon Bay series focuses on the twin brother of one of the MCs of the first book. In the first book he was not the most sympathetic of characters, but as we delve into his life in this book, we come to understand his whys and wherefores.
While the main characters of West and Angel might be somewhat typical, the rich full-of-himself guy and the hard-working, blue-collar, doing-his-best guy, Rhys infuses them with quirks and humanity and courage and flaws and makes them come alive on the page.
Yeah, there's a mystery involved, but it really takes a somewhat backseat to the relationship between West and Angel. A relationship I became invested in and with characters I came to care for very much. Main and secondary! (I really want to know more about West's friend/bodyguard.)
So another great read from a fave author.
Monday, November 26, 2018
Glass and Steele - Book One
Upon starting this book I was worried that it was going to fall into DNF land or at least 2 Star Land at the very least, but you know what? It surprised me!
Yes, it has problems. The heroine is sometimes a little slow on the uptake, as my mom used to say and things would have gone much smoother had she and the hero, or even she and some of the other characters, actually talked about things. But you know... I couldn't put it down even with all that!
I wish there was a bit more explanation of the magic that is hinted about through most of the book. And I wish we had some resolution of the hero, Matt's, problem.
I loved the cast of secondary characters - they are very found family and that, admittedly, is one of my most favourite things.
I honestly shouldn't have enjoyed this book but I did! I'm ready to read more.
The Discreet Retrieval Agency - Book One
This was a fun cozy mystery read. Set in the Jazz Age, the age of Prohibition, the age of silent films, when the movie industry was beginning and mostly in New York, it's rightly described as a fun-filled romp. There's a taste of madcap about it too.
I really enjoyed the characters: our heroine, the society widow Lola, her Swedish cook Berta, the mysterious Ralph and of course the dog whose name escapes me now because I waited too long to write this. *LOL* Most of the dialogue was fun banter, especially between Lola and Berta. The mystery was okay and kept me engaged.
My one problem was the constant harping on Lola's weight. It got old, really quick. I loved that she was not the slender, boyish framed woman of that age, but dear God, the jokes got old and somewhat distasteful and there were far too many. They took away from my enjoyment of the book.
Will I continue on with the series? Probably. Overall, I liked it. And it's one of my favourite eras. :)
Sunday, November 11, 2018
I made it almost halfway before throwing in the towel.
There is nothing happening in the first part of this book. Nothing interesting at least - it's just a bunch of daily vignettes of what are actually very interesting characters when they're not being mired in unnecessary narrative over and over and over again.
This man obviously does not like to show. He's a teller. A big boring teller. Treatises on finance and the 'stock market' in 2140, essays on real estate values after the flood, nonsense after nonsense.
I was very disappointed, but when I realised that I'd been working on this book for almost 2 weeks and wasn't enjoying much of it at all, well... it was time to give up. I'd have liked to know more about the story of the girl with the airship who was flying polar bears from up north to Antarctica to preserve them. Sadly, I've not the patience to wade through the rest of the stuff.
Saturday, October 27, 2018
The Kingston Cycle - Book One
I'm going to be frank. A big reason I bought this book is because the online advertisements for it that featured the cover were so darned clever! If you haven't seen them, the two figures reflected from the bicycle wheels actually walked! I tried to find a link, but was unsuccessful. Anyway, that's one of the reasons. Other reasons include recs by authors I like and an intriguing book blurb.
So, as Deborah Ross stated in her review on Goodreads, "The setting, very much like England in the throes of national PTSD following the First World War, a magic-yielding aristocracy, a conflicted hero and so forth, are familiar enough to be recognisable, yet integrated into a freshly imagine world." I think that explains it perfectly. 😊
Just about everything works. There were a few places that I thought could use a bit more editing to make things a bit clearer, and maybe a tweak or two for the pacing, but they're mostly quibbles. The character of Miles is terrific and sympathetic and you can' help but like him. The secondary players - it's written in the 1st person POV so everyone else is a secondary for me - are interesting and possess more than one dimension. The mysteries of the plot are intriguing and kept me guessing in many cases, and when they didn't, when I guessed what was happening, I kind of felt that maybe I was supposed to.
My one caveat is the whole romance angle. The book is marketed as a fantasy romance, but it seems to me to be more a fantasy novel, set in an AU of WWI England with an important romantic subplot. The romance is really far from the main element of this story. So much so that the light-heartedness that permeated the last pages seemed almost out of place for the rest of the novel. So beware, if you're looking for a romance-heavy story, I don't think this is it.
That being said, I cannot WAIT for the next book to come out. It's coming out in February of 2020 according to both Kobo and Amazon. On Goodreads, the author has responded to the question by saying summer of 2019. God only knows. And not only that, the images for Book Two have as its title Greystar while the text shows it as Stormsong. Again, your guess is a good as mine. All I know is that I will be there to read it. :)
Thursday, October 25, 2018
The Clocktaur War - Book 1
This was a good, fun, intriguing read, despite how long it took me to finish it. I was suffering from a bad cold and could not concentrate for long periods of time.
That being said, I totally enjoyed the 3 main characters and their 'misfittedness'. There is a lot of snark back and forth which made me chuckle. And while one of the main characters is indeed a paladin, he's not insufferably upright. Well, not really. Just enough to make it fun.
The one glaring downfall to this book - for me - is that it ends rather abruptly. Not exactly a cliffhanger, but honestly?... not many questions have been answered. The book felt more like Part One of a two or three part novel. Even in the author's notes, reference was made to the fact that it was originally 130K + in draft form so it was split into two. Honestly? I'd have preferred the whole thing. So I docked a half a point for that, because things like that matter to me and my reading enjoyment.
Anyway, it's a fun, sometimes dark, swords and sorcery adventure with great dialogue and memorable characters and I WILL be picking up the second book. :)
Sunday, October 7, 2018
Novels of Astreiant #5
I love this series and I love the two main characters, Philip Eslingen and Nico Rathe. I love that in this book they're getting a little more settled into their relationship. And they've not forgotten Sunflower, the dog! I love that Nico is a born pointsman (policeman), smart, logical, observant and so upright sometimes that it hurts! And I love that Philip, one of the leaders of the new City Guard (a type of militia unit), is more of a running on instinct fellow, more liable to jump to the right conclusions and just sly enough to get by. And I love that the author doesn't forget to remind us of his soldiering/cavalry roots.
The mystery this time around focusses on the water. The weather, the river, the tunnels beneath the city. Philip is quite unlucky with water, his stars being very bad for it. There are abductions, murders, thugs and bribery. There are river monsters and a river spirit who is absolutely evil. And there are some pointespeople at the Point of Sighs office that we start to get to know, mostly don't trust at the beginning but then see Rathe be Rathe and grudgingly they begin to be won over.
One thing that bugged me however, and I don't remember it being the case in previous books. The society of Nico and Philip's world is matriarchal. No problem, I'm good with that. But in many instances, the narrative would read something like... oh... he was looking for a place where a woman might hide - it was every woman for herself - which is all well and good, but when the story is being told from a man's POV, it's kind of jarring for me. Because I find myself wondering if why they're looking for a woman, if they're ONLY looking for a woman, did I miss why it's a woman. It felt almost obnoxious to my reading ear, but maybe that's because I'm 61 years old with 55 years of reading under my belt and habits are hard to break.
But I loved this visit to Astreiant and I truly hope there are more, 'cause I'll be there to buy them!
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Gideon Crew - Book One
When I finish a book that totally blows me away, I have to either change genres completely or go to reread a very old fave. This time, I chose to change genres and try a new - to me - series. And it did the trick!
This was an enjoyable read. Sort of like the Ilona Andrews book, it felt like some good junk food to my reading brain. The story clipped along at a decent pace - the chapters weren't very long which helps a lot, keeps things from dragging. The plot was intricate enough to keep me interested yet not so complicated that I was stopping to try and figure out things.
The main character, Gideon Crew, is an interesting fellow. Clever and smart, he reads people really well. He has a great sense of humour. And he has a sense of purpose and is just dark and cynical enough to appeal to me. I liked following along with him on his 'mission'.
There is a small cast of supporting characters that have the potential to increase their interestingness over the coming books. Apparently one of the guys comes one of the writing duo's other series, but I'm not ready to go hunt that down yet. :)
So, I've found another series to follow when I need some tasty junk-food reading and that's a good thing!
Sunday, September 16, 2018
The Farian War - Book One
I am in book hangover. :) That's not a bad thing - means I ADORED this book! In the interests of full discolsure, I won the ARC of the book via a contest on K.B.'s patreon, but that in no way changes how I feel about it.
This is one of those times where I wish I was a good review writer. Sadly I am not.
When I was 3 chapters in, I already felt like I had met up with a gang of friends I had not seen in a long while and whom I had missed terribly.
Now, there is not be quite as much harum-scarum action as there was in the first trilogy of Hail Bristol's tale, the last five chapters notwithstanding. This book gives us more of a sharing of Hail herself, who she was, who she wishes to be, and who she really is. We also learn more of certain important characters, through Hail's eyes of course, and maybe grow to love them as she does. Well, I did. :) I think it's a more personal feeling book, if that makes any sense.
I need more Dailun and Hail in my life too!
There's something going on and despite many hints and answers and discoveries in this book, I still don't know what's going on. *LOL* But that's okay. It's a trilogy and I know I'll get answers before the end, I just have to be patient. And thanks to the way that K.B. Wagers weaves the story, it's never dissatisfying.
If I have complaints, they're... negligible in the whole scheme of things. One is that every damned character winks. Some more often than others, but there are far too many winks going on. It's K.B.'s tic I think. I'm sure I've mentioned it before. The other is the THRICE DAMNED CLIFFHANGER!!! Thank GOD the format I read - the ARC of the trade paperback - had an excerpt of the next book because I was starting to hyperventilate! And I must add, the excerpt was FASCINATING!
I cannot believe how long I have to wait for the next book! I love these books and I love Hail Bristol and her crew of found family, so I will wait. And try to be patient. It's not something I'm very good at.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Kate Daniels - Book One
When I was only a few chapters in I felt that the author (or authors because I understand it's a husband and wife team) was trying to be almost paranormal noir? Is that even a thing?
Anyway, upon finishing, I still had that feeling and that was okay, Didn't mind it at all. I liken this book to a bowl of chips with some dip. Really good snack food. Nothing overly deep but a lot of fun.
I'm not a paranormal fan usually, but with this first installment of Kate Daniels' adventures I found myself quite enjoying the characters. That's a biggie for me. That's 3/4s of the author's battle right there. Kate is a bad-ass. You are never left in doubt of that. I found it very entertaining and not annoying at all. It can be, but not in this case, or not yet. And we don't really know alot about Kate even by the end of this first book. I feel like I've just scratched the surface and it's a very um... misleading surface.
One problem I had with the book is that there are no other female characters of import. A couple of bad guy girlfriends, a couple of receptionist types, one pack leader but I don't even thing she has a line of dialogue. I hope there are more in the books to come because if not, I'm going to end up losing interest. The world created can be populated with important women just as it is with important men.
Speaking of the men. We meet Curran, the Beast Leader, shapechanger extraordinaire and all things sexy. So alpha that he's the alpha of alphas. You know he's destined for Kate. And that's okay, that's how the trope rolls. Now for a while, I thought we were being set up for another romance angle with a human doctor - made me think of the Stephanie Plum books and I was worried. But nope, appears not, so I let out a sigh of relief. I also don't think Kate is going to go the way of Anita Blake, which is a blessing.
All in all, I think my fave characters were actually Mahon - the Executioner of The Pack and Eddie, young wolf shifter. I hope we're going to see more of the latter, that's not a given as I read things. He could fade into the background, but Mahon will be around for a while unless he gets killed off in a coming book which is highly possible.
Anyway, I did enjoy my read and will continue the adventure with Kate and the guys. I'm told by a few people that the series only gets better as it goes along.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
I felt the need to dive back into an old faithful this week, and Mary Stewart was the choice and The Gabriel Hounds the book.
I still love the Mary Stewart mysteries. Yes, they're somewhat dated, but I'm transported back to the girl in her early teens who gobbled them up like potato chips.
The heroine of this tale, is Christy Mansell and she's really not the nicest of people. *LOL* She's 22 years old and oh so world-weary. She's very typically upperclass British just this side of snobby - oh hell, she's actually a moneyed snob, okay? But she owns it, saving her from being detestable.
The hero is her cousin Charles Mansell - they are the children of identical twin brothers, you see. He's a few years older and knows just about everything there is to know. Again, he's that long, lanky, languid British young man that was so popular in the late 60s.
I particularly loved this book because it took place in Lebanon with saluki dogs, ancient palaces, marketplaces and small Arabic villages with small Arabic children. It was in my Violet Winspear days too, when I first read it, so that primed the pump so to speak.
Anyway, it was a pleasure to dive back into a much-loved book by a much-loved author. (And I must mention my love for the new ebook covers. They're scrumptious!)
Saturday, September 1, 2018
Chronicles of the One - Book 1
I absolutely loved it! I'd been dying to read it and was thrilled when it finally went on sale last week - for a day. I cannot justify $15.99 for a book. Not really. So I waited.
This book had everything I love about post-apocalyptic type stories. It had characters that make you want to root for them because while they're good, they're also flawed in some way. There's magical stuff - fairies and elves and magiks returning to this world. The main characters are of assorted ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, (Nora still needs to work on her sexualities though). There's evil that really gives you a chill. There are friendships, there is some romance, but this is a book about The Doom and what immediately follows. How life goes on even in the harshest and scariest of times. And there are dogs. Damn, I love Nora's dogs. :)
It was a quick read for me. I kept picking it up whenever I had a few spare minutes, anxious to see what was going on with my peeps. And it would make a terrific TV series, I think. A cross between Colony and The Walking Dead and Into the Badlands.
So, while there is a satisfying ending to this book, it's not the end of the story by a long shot and you expect that. This is a series of I don't know how many books - Nora's usual trilogy? I don't know. I just know I'm anxious to read the next one and if we don't revisit some of what have become my favourite characters, I'm gonna be pissed! *LOL*
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Asiana - Book 1
To be honest, the first thing that drew me in about this book was the cover. It's gorgeous! And then the blurb sounded good and different from what I've spent most of my fantasy reading career reading. The past couple of years have see a rise in the diversity of my fantasy reading. Lots of Asian stuff is on my radar now.
Anyway... good read. More New Adult than I would normally like. I think I would have liked more time spent on the actualities of this very post apocalyptic world instead of the angsting of the main character, but... it's New Adult. I've seen it referenced as a romance as well, but quite honestly, the romance is mostly in the second half and as far as I can see isn't created from much. It's as if the author has said there's a romance so there is. I would have liked to see that more developed too.
I liked the characters, was intrigued by the world but I wanted more. And since I know there's another book coming, I was very annoyed by the cliffhanger ending. Had this been a standalone, I'd have cheered it. (Hint - I thought The Sopranos ending was genius.)
So, yes, I will add the sequel to my list, but I won't be rushing out to buy it as soon as it's published. )
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
This book held a lot of promise. Sounded like a fun read with a really interesting twist of a premise. Sadly, it wasn't that.
I could only make it 40% in before giving up. The thing is SO overwritten. I mentioned on Twitter that I don't think the author, James Bennett, ever met an adjective that he didn't like. And use! Dear GOD, the man needs an editor with a store of red pencils.
Reading became like wading through mud. Thick, sticky mud.
It became really unpleasant and that's when I decided to set it aside. Too bad.
But on the upside, that's a series I don't need to add to the "get it" list. :)
I could only make it 40% in before giving up. The thing is SO overwritten. I mentioned on Twitter that I don't think the author, James Bennett, ever met an adjective that he didn't like. And use! Dear GOD, the man needs an editor with a store of red pencils.
Reading became like wading through mud. Thick, sticky mud.
It became really unpleasant and that's when I decided to set it aside. Too bad.
But on the upside, that's a series I don't need to add to the "get it" list. :)
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Royal Roses Book 1
I don't remember who recommended this book to me a couple of months ago, but am I ever glad they did. It was delightful!
Set in an alternate universe... well, here's a blurb - In a United Kingdom where tensions between the houses of Lancaster and York did not end with the War of the Roses, Lady Amelia Kirkham, grad school reject and youngest daughter of a Northern earl agrees to enter into a marriage of convenience with Arthur, Prince of Wales, a 39-year-old widower with an ailing father. Together, they will either unite England’s North and South for the first time in centuries… or cause the kingdom’s fall.
So, in many ways, it felt like a positive rework of the Charles and Diana courtship (I have issues with the whole Chuck and Di thing.) and that might have bugged me more had I not fallen for the Prince of Wales myself within the first three chapters. *LOL* And in Amelia I actually found a young woman protagonist that I didn't want to throttle. And I liked the way their love story played out. I especially enjoyed the part about Canada, although it seemed to me that making Toronto appear the capital of my country was a bit much.
What intrigued me the most, I must admit, is the alternate history of the story as well as the faint bits of magical mythology that surround the tale. I went hunting around and found out that the writing duo has begun work on the second book of the series and it seems like the myth and magic might take on a more prominent role. YAY!
So yes, I really enjoyed my read and am eagerly looking forward to the next book.
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Agents Irish and Whiskey - Book 1
This book hit the spot. You know, that spot you have when you can't decide for your life which book you want to read next, even what genre you want to read in! Why I chose this book, I don't know, but it was the right move. I really liked it!
I'm a sucker for these buddy/lovers/partners books. Ty and Zane (Abigail Roux) are my total OTP couple and Prophet and Tommy (S. E. Jakes) are right close behind. And now Irish and Whiskey or Aidan and Jamie if you prefer, can be added to that list.
Filled with action and puzzles as well as some intense interaction between the two main characters, Single Malt was a quick read for me. A page-turner if you will. The chemistry is undeniable between the two and I really enjoyed how their banter could go from playful and teasing to intense and sexy and then right into kick-ass get-'er-doneness. I liked both of them.
I also liked the cast of secondary characters. Especially Aidan's younger brother, Danny. He has a book later in the series, I believe.
I'm intrigued by the mystery which I assume will arc over multiple books.
So, yes, I will be picking up the next book in the series very soon!
Sunday, August 12, 2018
I have no idea what I just read but it was fascinating. Advertised as a psychological thriller, it is that, but it's something else as well. A character study? A study on revenge? A study on sociopaths? What I can say is that the heroine of this story, Jane, left me feeling much the same as I felt about the heroine of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Lisbeth Salander. I pulled for her, rooted for her, had her back, but MAN, she scared the shit out of me. She's a self-diagnosed sociopath but I'm kinda with the character, Luke, who sees something else in her. Or maybe that's me looking for a reason to justify my rooting for her?
Well written in the present tense with a 1st person POV, I know some people will sneer, but it works really well for this story.
It's an unsettling read, but I understand why all the excitement on Twitter this past week about it. I'm glad I took a chance and read it.
Friday, August 10, 2018
Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy #1
What a fun read! Lots of buzz about the movie and then the book went on sale, so how could I resist, even though it's not my usual fare.
I will admit that I spent a lot of my reading time with a recurring thought of "Really? Is this for real?" going on in my mind because the book seemed to me that it might be reinforcing stereotypes of Asians. But I haven't seen any kind of kickback about it or the movie online and with some of the people I follow, believe me, there'd have been outcry.
Also, it was funny, but some of the scenes and characterisations harkened back to James Clavell's Noble House (which I also thoroughly enjoyed when I read it years and years ago.), mostly those having to do with family heirarchy, the clubs and businesses etc... It was really weird because Clavell is one of the last authors you'd think of when reading a rom-com, right?
Anyway, the characters were fun and seemed very real, despite the over the top setting. I especially loved Astrid, the hero's cousin. She was deliciously over the top yet very vulnerable when you got beneath the surface. I also liked Rachel, the heroine's, friend Piek Lin a whole lot too. Indeed her whole family!
My only problem with the book, really, was that it seemed to end so abruptly. I even checked to make sure I wasn't missing a chapter or an epilogue or something. It doesn't end badly at all, it just felt sudden and quick.
And the story's not done! (It IS a trilogy. *LOL*) So I'll be looking to pick up book 2 and looking forward to watching the movie whenever it hits Netflix or The Movie Network or whichever. (I don't do theatres anymore).
Sunday, August 5, 2018
Dance Off #2
This was pretty much a fun and sexy read that I enjoyed for the most part. I had a couple of issues, but I believe that they're on me for the most part.
Natasha is the Latina heroine, extraordinary dancer and choreographer who has a huge problem with confidence in her herself and her talents thanks to her upbringing by a shitty mom who never supported her in her dreams. I had a problem with this character in that I just wanted to sit her down so often and just TALK to her. She spent far too much time in her own head and actually needed a mom-type figure to shake some sense into her - I felt. And that was the problem. I had a rough time identifying with her, something that always makes a romance better for me. If only Natasha would TALK to someone. She never even talked frankly and honestly with her best friend (the heroine of Book 1). I guess I never was able to bond with her. And you know... it's kinda shallow of me, I think, but Natasha for a Puerto Rican girl? Especially when there are a bunch of other characters, including the hero's family that are Russian? Stupid, I know, but it twigged me every time.
The hero I could get a lot better handle on, probably because he's most likely based on my fave dancer from Dancing With The Stars. *LOL* I understood where his insecurities and stupidities were coming from and I spent a lot less time being exasperated with him than with Natasha. Although maybe that's from years of dealing with men who have a terrible time opening up about honest feelings and emotions on my part. There were times I wanted to throw things at him though. Very exasperating at times. *LOL*
The first half of the book is very, very sexy. Almost to the point where I was ready to believe that's all Natasha was there for - but it's a romance, so I knew better. The second half, where we start to learn more about both characters and they begin to open up - a bit - to each other was much more satisfying for me. I did like Natasha and Dimitri's dialogue - a lot. It was very natural, very earthy at times and very believable.
All in all, I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first one. I think if I'd felt more of a connection with Natasha I'd have been happier, but it was still satisfying for the romance reader part of my brain. :) Also, I think painting the show as a sort of villain so often might be a mistake.
Monday, July 30, 2018
Night's Masque #2
So the adventures continue for Mal, the swordsman/bodyguard/spy, and his valet Coby. This time they're joined by Ned and Gabriel from the now defunct theatre company of book one. Maybe it was that I read the first book back in February of 2015 and didn't remember as much as I should have, but I found this second volume of the series to be a bit disjointed and at times to be going around in circles, plot-wise.
I wanted to know more about the skraylings and felt rather short-changed in that respect. Then there was the whole thing with the spying that Mal was supposed to be doing for Walsingham that quickly became a more personal thing as he explored the part of him that holds part of the skrayling Erishen and his relationship with the Venetian guiser he hooks up with.
I'm not so invested in the 'love story' between Mal and Coby and the whole deal with her growing into her adult feminine self and losing much of her disguise as a boy. At least it was because she wanted to and not because Mal wanted her to.
I don't know... I liked my read but it left me feeling vaguely dissatisfied. It won't stop me from reading the next one though. This time, I'll try not to wait over 3 years to do it! *LOL*
Thursday, July 19, 2018
The Powder Mage Trilogy - Book Three
And so the saga of General Tamas et al draws to a close and our tale gets a highly satisfactory ending. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this trilogy and what was my introduction to what they call the Flintlock Fantasy sub-genre.
There were so many plotlines that had to come together and that we needed to get answers to, and I think that the author managed to do all of that successfully - at least to my satisfaction. :) Yeah, there were a few small questions that I would have preferred have better answers or maybe more involved answers, but they were few and far between.
I loved the characters and had so many favourites. But I think Taniel Two-Shot was my #1 favourite with Bo, his best friend, being a close second and I was quite happy with the way their stories panned out.
I'm not really a fan of short stories or even novellas, but I will say this - I will be looking up the many stories and novellas that the author has written about these characters. And I will be reading his newest trilogy, set in the same world.
Anyway, if you like Djano Wexler or Brian Stavely or even Bernard Cornwell's "Sharpe" books, you'll enjoy this author.
Oh... and the covers of all three books are TERRIFIC!
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Whispers - Book 1
This was a fun, action-packed, sexy, romantic, delightful read! Recommended on Twitter by Bree, one half of the Kit Rocha writing team, it seemed this was the book EVERYONE in Romancelandia was reading last week. :) I had a bit of a worry at the back of my mind that this could be another case of me hating a romance that everyone else was head over heals for (ie: The Bollywood Bride), but quite happily, I loved it!
So it's a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, hints of fantasy book, peopled with a truly diverse cast of characters. Two nations, very different in most ways, one a very technical, almost robotic type of nation and the other more future-medievalish. The heroine is a trained assassin from the former and MAN, is she one helluva badass! The hero is the brother to the leader of the latter, the general of her armies and he's pretty damned badass himself!
Not only is there all the action part of the story - plots, wars, fights, murders, espionage, escapes etc...; there is also the theme of consent and equality and possession and justice for everyone that runs through it. And you're not getting lectured, thank God, 'cause I'd have DNFed it right away had I felt I was being lectured, it's just the tale of these civilisations in the beginning of a period of upheaval being told.
It was a great story, peopled with endearing characters, a tale of love and soulmates (which I don't normally go for, yet, it worked for me here) as well as friendships and found families and I totally enjoyed it! Looking forward to the next book!
Friday, July 6, 2018
The Sixth World - Book 1
Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed this book. Way more than I expected to, if I'm honest. :) Why? Because I'm not such a huge fan of contemporary, urban-ish (I say ish because it doesn't really take place in an urban environment) fantasy. But this book kept popping up in some of the oddest places on my Twitter timeline and recommended by a few folks whose taste I trust and since the price was right (I did a price-matching thing on Kobo - it was $2+ cheaper at Amazon) I went ahead and picked it up.
So what we've got is a post-apocalyptic (after the Big Water) world where a reformed Navajo nation, Dinétah, is the setting for a Mad Max Fury Road - esque tale. The Diné mythology is thick and fascinating. And is a nice change from all the fairy and elf urban fantasy. I admit to only knowing wee bits and pieces of this mythology and I think some of I know is coloured by what I know about our Canadian First Nations, so I found myself doing a few google searches to clarify things for me. And that's good! I was learning stuff! Never too old for that.
The main character is a young woman, Maggie Hoskie, with a well-earned but not well-respected reputation as a Monsterslayer. Life's not been easy for her when we first meet her and it's about to get even tougher as she deals with monsters, gods, clan magics, secrets and betrayals. I liked her. And I liked the characters around her too.
I liked the pacing of book too. It read well, kept me turning pages (virtually, 'cause I was using my Kobo) and I did the just one more chapter thing more than once.
So all in all, this was, for me, a really fabulous read! I highly recommend it.
Friday, June 29, 2018
The Hollywood Series - Book 2
What a disappointment. This is an f/f romance novel. It is 350 pages long. I was 70% in before one of the main characters kissed the other main character.... on the cheek. *eyeroll* There's slow burn and there's almost stopped,
Y'know, the majority of the f/f romances I've read spend an awful lot of time with their characters indulging in the same internal monologues over and over and over again. Is this a feature of the f/f romance? If so.. me no likey. None of them seem truly happy at all.
Now, Jae can write, but if I'm honest, we don't need to have every movement of the characters detailed. Step by step construction of sandwiches for instance. There was just a lot of faffing about while one character discovers and finally admits that she's a lesbian and the other character discovers that maybe the job isn't everything. Sort of. There was no real plot to my mind. Just a series of incidents along the way to the couple getting together, coming out and maybe an HAE? I'm sure the author intended an HAE but I wasn't convinced.
I will say that the one sex scene was extremely well written, steamy and hot. It just seemed to take FOREVER for the couple to get to any place intimate! Even when they were supposed to be baring their inner thoughts and souls earlier in the book, it didn't feel that way.
And one of the weirdest things. One of the MCs, Lauren, the PR person, had this thing where she would cough a little when she was tired. I'm sure it was meant to be a cute little quirk, but all I could think of every time it was mentioned all I could think of was Love Story and kept expecting her to be diagnosed with cancer. It really was unsettling.
Anyway, despite seeming to have all kinds of tropes I like, this was a big disappointment for me. It felt more like Grace's sexual discovery and coming out story rather than Grace and Lauren's love story.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
The Red Trilogy - Book 3
I have no idea why I enjoyed this near-future military trilogy as much as I did, but there you go, I did.
The hero of the trilogy, James Shelley, has gone through hell... multiple times. He's been manipulated, pushed from pillar to post, lied to, betrayed... jeez... all kinds of horrible things. And I keep coming back for more. *LOL*
There's action galore in this third book. Some new team members to get to know. More mysteries about The Red. It's pretty much non-stop from the get go. Nagata writes so well that I can pretty much see the action happening in my mind's eye. Part of the might be the 1st person POV coupled with the present tense which works.
I was pretty much satisfied with the way the trilogy wrapped up, but I'd be lying if I said it was a perfect ending. I was left with a bit of a nebulous feeling of bad things still out there underneath the surface despite everything. And maybe that's a trope of this type of book. The main point is, that it didn't really detract from my overall pleasure with the trilogy.
I have another Nagata book in my Kobo and I'm looking forward to reading it.
Friday, June 8, 2018
I tried, folks, I really tried hard! I bought this book because everyone recommended it. All the book blogs, all the SFF authors and even some of the authors in other genres that I follow. I loved the idea of it. And then it got picked up for a movie treatment. It had to be good, right?
Well.. not for me.
I made it 1/3rd of the way through. Nothing happened. Nothing except a lot of clever writing that in it's overabundance drowned out any delight in the humour I could find. I'm not made for this type of writing, for this type of book. It's Douglas Adams-like for sure and certain and I assume that fans of his work - and they are legion - will enjoy this book immensely. I tried so hard to enjoy it, but I couldn't.
So, for me DNF, but that's my fault and not the book's. :)
Sunday, June 3, 2018
Sinners Series - Book 6
Rhys Ford's books never disappoint me. And this, the last of the Sinners series is no different.
Miki St John and Kane Morgan finally get their totally happy ending. Yeah, yeah, they got a happy ending in the first book of the series when they found each other and found their love, but there was so much of their story that still needed to be told. Especially in Miki's case!
So here we wrap it all up. We come full circle and everyone is there for the event. Miki's band members, Kane's siblings and parents and for me, having my favourite of all the Sinners characters, Quinn, play such an important, albeit small, part in the story was the best. And OMG, Brigid and Donal - they are the best parents ever!!
I have only one problem and that's why I didn't give the book another half star. Rhys is desperately fond of her characters sneering and smirking. I hate sneering and smirking heroic characters! It doesn't make them tough and edgy and cutely cynical. Sneering and smirking are for villains and icky people, not the ones I love, so... not 4.5 stars.
But other than that one small (in the whole scheme of things) thing, the book was terrific. The closing circle of the series was perfect. And Miki and Kane got their for real HEA. I'm a happy reader.
The Powder Mage Trilogy - Book 2
I'm late in writing up my thoughts again. Bad habit, that. I must get better. Especially when the read was as good as this one was.
I totally enjoyed my first foray into what they call Flintlock Fantasy with the first book in this trilogy, Promise of Blood, so finally, tired of waiting for this second book to go on sale, I actually paid full price for it. $12.99 for an e-book published 4 years ago. That is SO not me. But I needed to read it!
All my favourites were back - well, except the ones the author killed off in the first book! *LOL* Adamat, the police inspector; Tamas, the veteran field marshal; Taniel Two-shot, Tamas' son and powerful powder mage; Ka-poel, Vlora, Bor, Olem... and more.
I love the fullness of the characters, not a one is totally light or totally dark. They're nuanced and believable. The setting is richly drawn, the atmosphere alive and the world-building nothing short of remarkable, IMO. The plots are intricate, be they the big over-arching ones or the small, private ones.
Brian McClellan is a terrific story-teller and I love the world he's created and the people he's populated it with. The third novel of the trilogy is calling for me as are all the novellas and short stories.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
The Amberlough Dossier - Book One
The book I read was not the book I thought I was going to read. I'm not sure what I expected, but what I got ended up being interesting and thought-provoking, especially in this day and age.
Amberlough is a fictional province in a fictional country called Gedda. A double-agent sacrifices all his ideals in order to save his smuggler lover before a government coup takes over their decadent city in this glam spy thriller, or as I've also heard it called - a cabaret thriller. (Think 1930s Germany)
I had problems with what felt to me like slowness in the first 2/3rds of the book, if I'm being honest. It felt draggy and what's the point, even though the writing was quite good and I will admit, it built up the atmosphere quite well. It set up a lot of backstory and situational things about the governments and past spy doings that are needed to tell the tale. But I think I was just not in the right frame of mind to enjoy it. Because the writing is very special and engaging and perfect for the 'period' of the book.
I've seen the book spoken about in romance circles, but it's not really a romance. Yes, there is a romance at the heart of it, a love story for the ages type of thing, but it's not any kind of HEA that I know about.
The book ends on a cliffhanger and while that usually pisses me off, I was okay with it this time. It fit the book. And the book is clever, it's dark, it's scary (especially when held up against the current shit going on in the world), it's exciting. But there are moments of humour and moments of true sweetness and gentleness, but baby, they're few and far between. And maybe all the more precious for it.
Anyway, I'll be looking for the second book when it comes out. Wondering what's happened to the three main characters and if we'll be seeing any of them again. Two of them I think for sure we will, the third? I'm not certain at all.
Anyway, Amberlough ended up being a different and intriguing read. Check it out.
Thursday, May 3, 2018
The Fifth Ward - Book 1
I read a blurb about this book where it said that it reminded the reader of an episode of the TV show Hill Street Blues. And I think I must agree.
The story is told through the eyes of Rem, a young man of noble blood new to the city of Yenara. He's left home - I believe he's a younger son - and I can't quite remember if we're ever told exactly why. We are told that his father was quite demanding and, to Rem, belittling towards him. Rem gets thrown into the city dungeons and then, stroke of luck, gets offered the chance to join the Watch Wardens. Which he takes, because lets face it, it's better than rotting in the dungeons, right?
Rem is teamed up with a cantankerous dwarf by the name of Torvil to begin with, Torvil's regular partner having not shown up for his shift. And the adventure begins.
There's no new ground broken with this book. It's an adventure, a buddy tale, about two mis-matched guys in the city police force who have a mystery to solve. A mystery that includes murder, theft, drugs, kidnappings and elves, orcs, dwarves, mages and humans all existing together in this melting pot of a city. It's a fun read and while maybe predictable in spots, the characters are definitely charming and the writing is quick-paced and the narrative flows quite well.
I liked it and I'll definitely be looking for the next book when it comes out this summer.
Saturday, April 28, 2018
Bride Quartet - Book 1
I almost forgot to write this up!
So, a Nora romance does what a Nora romance does for me. Makes me smile, makes me chuckle, makes me tear up and makes me sigh a little, a happy sigh, at the end. La Nora is a comfort read for me.
And Vision in White doesn't lack in that category.
It's not the best Nora I've read, nor is it the worst. 4 gals run a wedding business. One stop shopping for the big day. Now this is really all lost on me because I think the money spent on these spectacles would be far better spent on a vacation or a house or a car or... well, you get my drift.
Anyway, book one is about the photographer, Mackensie and Carter, the high school English teacher. I have to say, for the first few chapters I wondered if we were going to find out that Carter was on the spectrum, but no, he was just being an iffily written safe, stable and a little befuddled guy. I liked him a lot in the second half of the book.
Anyway, sweet romance, fun dialogue and far too much details about wedding planning. *LOL* I have the other three in the Kobo for the next time I need a comfort read.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Novels of the Tufa #2
I really enjoy Alex Bledsoe's voice. His writing is easy yet rich and full. Perfect for the subject matter of North America's fairy population. It's not an urban fantasy, it's more a contemporary, rural fantasy, I think. Set in the Appalachian mountains and peopled with a whole bunch of unique characters, it's the place where Rob Quillan, a musician haunted by tragedy, comes in search of a song to heal him.
Now there may be other books out there about the other-worldly creatures in this part of North America, but I can't really recall any. As it is Bledsoe walks the perfect line of keeping the story sounding ... um, not of the city .... yet not sounding like the Clampetts. His characters are characters, not caricatures and some you love, some you hate and some you just... know. It's a homey book, but with an edge. :)
And the fairy-folk themselves. They're not the grand lord and lady types, not the ethereal little nymphs, not the austere folk we see portrayed so often. They're good, they're bad, they're dark, they're light and they're not quite like anything I've read about before.
I think if you're a fan of Charles de Lint, you'll enjoy this series.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
London Celebrities - Book 2
I loved it. Pure and simple. I loved it like I loved the first book in the series. It's fun and it's sexy and it's honestly a joy to read, just in the way it's crafted.
Back when I was a tween, hell, I guess I'd have been about 10 or 11 (1966/1967 to put it in time frame), I started reading the Penny Parrish books by Janet Lambert. Sweet, teenage type romances that followed Army kid Penny through her teenage to her adult years. And Penny became a famous Broadway actress who ended up marrying her director and it was MARVELOUS! Then, a few years later, I read one of my first Harlequin Romances - Kay Thorpe's Curtain Call (1971) and absolutely loved it. So much that other than my Janet Dailey collection, it's the only Harlequin of hundreds that I've read that I have left on my bookshelves. Lucy Parker's books bring me back to that time and remind me of the dreams I had as a girl, to be a stage actress (didn't happen *LOL*, but I still love the dream). I feel the same way reading Lucy's books as I did back then and I like the feeling - it's a good one.
The characters are terrific and never perfect, even the secondary or thirderary. *LOL* I know, I made up that word, it should be tertiary, I think. Anyway, Lucy's characters, while they are bigger than life, which, of course, they are or who'd want to read about them, they are also relatable with flaws and not so nice traits at times. I especially liked the way Margo, the hero's ex, was portrayed. Her emotions and motivations when dealing with Lily and Luc are real and understandable. She's not a martyr, nor is she a bitch. I liked that!
Another important thing that I loved was that the author navigated the pitfalls of the power imbalance between the big director and the young actress very well. It never felt icky or anywhere near #metoo-ish. Luc was always respectful and mindful of the power imbalances as was Lily and they spoke about them. So, kudos to Lucy! That could have gone very wrong.
One thing that Lucy weaves throughout her stories is a sense of fun and witty humour. I love it! I've even laughed out loud while reading. Which brings me back to the girl I once was. Back in the day, my best friend, Cat, and I used to devour romances - Harlequins, Heyers, Silhouettes... we'd sit and read, different books, and read out delightful passages to each other and then... we'd trade books! Had we had Lucy Parker's books back in the day, there would be a ton of passages read out loud and then, I'm pretty sure we'd make sure we each had our own copies. :)
Oh, read these books! Sexy and fun and I just love them!
Sunday, April 8, 2018
The Arcadia Project - Book 1
I picked up this book after reading this review by KJ Charles (one of my fave authors). I don't read everything that KJ recs, because some of it isn't my cup of tea, but many of the books she recommends I eventually pick up and try out. I've not been disappointed yet!
So I found this book, the first in the The Arcadia Project series, fascinating for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the main character who narrates the story, Millie, is one of the most intriguing main characters I've read in a long while. I can't say it better than KJ does in her review (so if you didn't read it, go and click the link and READ IT!). What I can say, is that I grew to really LIKE her by the end of the book and can't wait to see what she gets up to in the next book.
Secondly, I liked the way the two worlds/realities were treated. Sure, we didn't see anything of the fairy realm itself, just some of the creatures and beings that inhabit it and cross over into our world. I have to hope that we see more of it and learn more of it in the next book.
So, even though I'm not a huge fan of urban fantasy/paranormal, I really did enjoy this one and will be adding the second novel to my list.
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
The ICE Sequence - Book 1
F. Paul Wilson is a favourite author of a bunch of my friends and one of them recommended Panacea to me, knowing I enjoy a good thriller. And I did enjoy this one. :)
It's a typical thriller in that there's a lot of action, a bunch of twisty turny investigations, bad guys with big guns and lots of power, good guys with a bit of mystery in their pasts, and a possible world-wide disaster to be avoided. There's also a cute kid and some ancient mythology.
The book reads lickety split, thanks to some great pacing by the author and chapters that don't run into the 30+ page realm. I'm a firm believe that short chapters help give a book an aspect of "can't put it down" or "just one more chapter before I sleep" type of thing. The characters aren't really complex, but they are believable in a thriller sort of way. And they're likable - well the good guys anyway - and that, for me, is important. I especially liked Rick Hayden and his sense of humour. I also liked him together with Laura Fanning. There's going to be some romance, somewhere along the line, but there's little of it here, just the pair getting to know each other and starting to trust each other as they search.
I like the idea of ancient history and ancient mysteries being explored and the whole secret societies thing. I find it all quite fascinating.
Wilson, I think, is more known for his horror books - Repairman Jack and the like - but there's not much horror in this book. One scene though.... near the end... well, I guess it was more gross than horror, but EWWWWW! *LOL*
I think if you enjoy books like the Sigma Force books by James Rollins, you'll enjoy this. I know I'll be looking to add Book 2 to my library. :)
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Seducing the Sedgwicks - Book 1
This first of a projected series was recommended all over my Twitter feed as being a fun, sexy read. And the recs weren't wrong. :)
The two main characters were a little different from the norm. A ship's captain and a vicar. I liked their characters. Phillip, the widowed naval captain with the three unruly children is a grumpy, clueless, stern and standoffish fellow who we soon learn actually does have a heart under that disciplined exterior.
Benedict, or Ben, the vicar, is a sweetheart. Takes care of everyone. Good humoured and understanding and endowed with a huge heart, he's the perfect foil for Phillip.
I honestly can't say that any new ground in historical, gay romances was broken here, but it's certainly a fun and entertaining read. The love story is sweet and believable, the sexytimes are hot, and the children aren't little paragons of cleverness or virtue or old beyond their years.
I enjoyed it quite a bit! And I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
The Green Bone Saga - Book 1
I really have to start putting my thoughts down when I finish my books, not three days later!
I really enjoyed this book, more than I thought I would, if I'm honest. It's The Godfather meets Ninjas and Yakuza clans in a 1950's-ish time and on the Island of Kekon where jade is magical, giving enhanced abilities to some who are known as the Green Bone Warriors.
I found the first maybe third of the book a little slow, as things got set up and we meet the main players, the Kaul family, as well as the a slew of secondary characters. It's a typical clan type family, I guess, with the 'retired' grandfather who is having difficulty letting go of his power. His three grandchildren, Lan, Hilo, Shae and the adopted Anden. Lan, the eldest, is the new Pillar or head of the No Peak clan, Hilo is the Horn, the second-in-command. Their sister, Shae, has been away from the island and the clan for a while and has been living without her jade. Anden, the youngest, about to leave his teen years behind is a senior at the Academy, just about ready to graduate and take his jade as well as his position within the family.
Once we begin to know all the characters and get somewhat of a handle on them, the story really kicks in. We're talking murders, assassinations, stolen jade, government scandals, love affairs, clans heading to war and maybe even the total collapse of their island and way of life.
The world-building is intricate and terrific and the characters, main, secondary and even the walk-ons are deftly drawn. Once we get into things, the plot moves along quite nicely with twists and turns and surprises along the way. Some good and some bad. Some I saw coming, some I did not.
So, yes, this is one of those books where I wish I could write a decent review because I feel like I'm not doing it justice. It's a terrific book and I can't wait for the second book to come out.
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
The Greatcoats - Book 4
I finished this a few days ago and promptly got sidetracked and forgot to write up my thoughts! And it's not because it wasn't good, because it was GREAT!
In this, the fourth book of the Greatcoats quartet, the tale of Falcio, Kest, Brasti et al comes to its finale and my goodness it's not what you'd expect. :) And just when you thought you knew everything about the land of Tristia it turns out that you knew next to nothing! *LOL* I felt like Jon Snow there for a bit. :) But what we discover... mama mia, it opens the door to all kinds of musings and ponderings!
I found this book a little more serious, a little deeper than the previous three and I wonder if that's down to us being inside Falcio's head as everything gets turned upside down and sideways. Probably. But despite that, there was still the humour, still the swashbuckling, still the larger than life characters that I've grown to love over the past books.
So I loved the way that Sebastien wrapped things up. The adventure, the politics, the ethical conundrums, the brotherhood, it was all there. And the ending was perfect even if just a wee bit open-ended. THAT made me happy, the hope of seeing our faves again.
I still love Brasti beyond all belief, I really think he's my favourite character. Brasti, Monster and the latest addition, Chalmers - my God, I fell in love with Chalmers!
Anyway, incoherent as this is, I loved this book, I loved this whole quartet of books and I thank Sebastien de Castell for writing them!
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
The Indranan War - Book 3
I actually finished this book 2 days ago, but I've been unable to even think about putting my thoughts down until now. And even now, I know I'm not going to do it justice.
I loved the book and the loved the series! I just clicked with the characters. Or they clicked with me... whatever. *LOL* I'm pretty sure there might be people out there who think Hail, the gunrunner empress, is too perfect, but you know what? She's like my superhero. Yes, she's one of the best gunrunners in the galaxy and you don't get to be that without being pretty damned good at all facets leading, fighting, learning, listening, plotting... well, you get my drift. So Hail Bristol is basically my Batman. :) And you know what else? She's not an uberly-gifted teenager, she's almost 40 years old. Life has battered her around some. Her knowledge and abilities, while some of it is ingrained, a lot of it has also been learned and tried in a cauldron of fire. Anyway... yes, she is my hero.
The action in this last book of the trilogy is pretty much nonstop and the surprises keep on coming as Hail, Emmory, Zin and the gang fight to regain the Indranan throne. People die. And sometimes they die in a most awful manner, but such is the way of war. Even as I was cursing the author, weeping, I knew it was something that had to happen.
There are some quite times thought. Scenes where Hail tries to come to terms with the loyalties and expectations of her people, of her found family and even of herself. Scenes also, where she shares intimate moments with those closest to her, and we get to see the affection and love between them. It's like... so... I've been watching the Olympic figure skating like a good Canadian, and cheering on Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir as they won their gold medal, all the while listening to all the speculation about their relationship and are they a couple or not. So... I watch Tess and Scott and I see Hail and her Ekam, her head bodyguard, Emmory. It's a deep connection, it's love, it's true kindred spiritness. They're not a couple - that's Emmory and Zin, thank you very much (and how I wish we could have some stories about their adventures as Trackers.) - but they are very much together, if that makes any kind of sense.
Okay, so, yes, I loved this trilogy so so much. It was so much fun, so much action, so much of all kinds of things I love in my books. There's another trilogy coming in the fall and I'm really looking forward to more adventures with Hail, Em, Zin and the gang. But don't let that deter you, this trilogy can stand alone, honest. :)
Oh, I loved it. So much that I went and joined the KB's Patreon.
(And thank you again, Renzii!)