Archive | March 5, 2015

Dark Debt, A Chicagoland Vampires Novel, Chloe Neill

 

Dark Debt, A Chicagoland Vampires Novel, Chloe Neill
Genre:  Fantasy/Paranormal romance,
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I first started reading this series before I had a kindle – so that’s a few years back! though I loved those earlier reads I lost the magic of it when Ethan died, though thankfully was resurrected. Somehow though it never quite picked up for me, doesn’t have that “must read” factor of the early books. Maybe its the books, maybe its just that my taste has changed over the years. Its still a great read, just not a five star one for me.
I actually didn’t get round to buying the last book, and wasn’t going to continue til I saw this for review and got into it again. I’m glad I did as it’s got some of the early magic for me, and I think that’s because we’re back to Vampire focus, to the Houses being the main theme. I love the sorcerers and shifters, especially Jeff and the River Nymphs – they were terrific, but want them as secondary plots and not the main focus.
Once again everything hits with a bang and there’s danger from not just one area but two – Morgan, head of Navarre is in trouble, the previous Head, Celina, got the house embroiled into serious debt with some very bad money lenders. He’s struggling too as there is still a large contingent of Celina devotees who aren’t happy with him as Master. As if that’s not enough there’s a return of someone from Ethan’s past whose making a move to take over everything Ethan holds dear. Of course there’s the new AAM finding its feet too…..
Its a puzzle to work out, involving the Vampires, the CPD, the Ombudsman dept. and the dangers stack up all round. Its a long string of disasters and action, and Merit seems to be in the thick of most of it. For me this has much of the feel of those early books, and the only things stopping it being 5 star from me is – once again its Merit to the rescue, and I get tired of it always being her that is the heroine – she’s only been a vampire for such a short time, not just in Vampire terms but human too – a few years maybe? It seems somehow wrong to me that with vampires hundreds of years old, it’s always Merit that finds the answers. The other problem I had was the solution to Navarre’s problems – after that long and dangerous build-up, once it got sorted it felt very simplistic and anti climatic to me.
Overall though its an excellent read, and one that’s brought me back into the series and enjoying the subtlety of some of the dialogue, the snark between Merit and Ethan ( and Mallory), and of course Mallory and Catcher. Those four to me are the core of the series, and need to play a solid role in all books. Darth Sullivan – oh what a great reveal, and Ethan’s reaction! Loved it… He’s come along way from the guy we first met, who had little sense of humour and needed modernising – Merit and her  independence have done him a lot of good, he needed someone to argue with him, to tell him when they thought he was wrong.
I really enjoy the way the plots emerge slowly, building our knowledge little by little, and gradually we begin to join the dots and work out who might be behind things – and why, and of course the way each book is connected, how what happened in earlier novels plays a part in what’s going on now.
Stars: Four and a half, I hovered over four or four and a half, but the two things that bothered me weren’t really worth dropping a whole star.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

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Vision In Silver, A Novel of the Others, Anne Bishop

Vision In Silver, A Novel of the Others, Anne Bishop
Genre:  Sci-fi and fantasy
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Well this is the third in the series and I’d not read the first two so I read the amazon samples and got some idea of the world created. Its an incredibly complex world, with multi tiers of people/creatures, and very different from the usual paranormal reads. I love it – its refreshing to have such a different take on types.
The Others here are  Wolf, Bear etc first who can hold human shape. All the animals and bird types are like this, and when in human shape they still think as wolf, bear, bird etc. rather than the reverse so often seen, where werewolves are human first and when wolf still think as human. The way they think and act leads to some fun at times with for instance, one of the wolves muttering that if the whingy human child (pup!) was a wolf they’d just nip her but they aren’t allowed to…I really enjoyed working out the complexities of the different groups from the original natives who inhabit the wild inner lands but seem to own almost everywhere, the animal/birds Gard ones, who can take human shape and act as a kind of liaison between humans and the natives, all the while watching for anything that may endanger them, and of course the humans – with all the mix of good and bad. There are also wolves, bears etc. who are just that and don’t shape shift. There is an explanation of the different groups at the beginning of the book, along with some useful maps.
In this book there’s a new political group evolving called Humans First and Last, who see everyone other than humans as a threat, and feel that humans should be top of the chain. There’ naive though – the natives and the Gards allow them to live so long as they keep away and don’t cause trouble. When there was some recently the elementals that control fire, air, the sea etc and the Gards sunk ships, and made humans move off the land. The humans can buy property but never the land it sits on, and seem to forget that as they’ve been allowed to live this way for so long – and they forget that when leases are due, or if they breach conditions they can be evicted…or eaten!  To the Others humans are really just another meat, prey,  and its only through Simon being a progressive leader and Meg finding herself at the courtyard that things have really changed. Its timely too for humans as before when there were problems ultimately the Original inhabitants, those that still live in the wild centre, would just eradicate them all…this time they might stand a chance if enough of them can follow Simons lead and work with the Others instead of against them. The big question is though – can they? Do they want to or are they so arrogant as to think they don’t need to? Currently the HFL are causing much trouble with spinning stories to whip up humans against Others and committing attacks that result in deaths of Others. they are heading for a huge downfall of Simon and his people can’t get enough of them onside.
As always though the humans are out for trouble, have an inflated sense of superiority and lie through their teeth. Just like real life and politics isn’t it? The HFL group remind me so much of the UK National Front who don’t want any one they consider foreign to be in UK, and I’m sure other countries have similar groups. Although in this book its the humans that are foreign in truth, with the others being the original inhabitants they act as if the world belongs to them – think back to the UK and the days of The British Empire, the USA and the Native Indians/Americans, the Australians and the Aborigines and it all sounds far too familiar. Why do some humans have such a lust for power and land? In a way this book made me think a lot – I usually read a book straight through, but read this one in three sessions, and that allowed me to mull over the issues raised. So many of them mirror our society, and I could really imagine the problems being just like this if the world was as this book.
Its not all gloom though, there’s some humour, mainly through the Gards understanding – or not – of humans…when Simon prides himself on not having eaten someone obnoxious, when a young Wolf doesn’t understand why he can pee outside when wolf but not when in human shape, when the Vampires talk about how the cars of intruders may be found, but no bodies…the blood and the “special meat” will be used for those that want it….and how can we judge when those people were out to cause trouble deliberately, knowing it may be the death of some others, so arrogant in their belief of humans supposed superiority. They’re meat just as cows, sheep, pigs are to us.
Meg and the blood Prophets are a real example of some humans greed and inhumanity – they’ve been used for profit for so long, regardless of the harm to the girls, and there’s even more shocking revelations in this book. The humans are still trying to spin any news in the best light, blaming the natives and the Others etc for any problems. I can see they’ve a real shock to come if they don’t lose the sense of superiority and arrogance they’ve got. The trouble is as always the more moderate people, the ones who want to live and let live, be part of a society encompassing all groups will also die. I love the slowly growing relationship between Meg and Simon, its a very different sort of romance, and incredibly moving. It’s clear what Simon feels is beyond what he understands and I enjoy reading his thoughts and actions.  The whole story is so full of complex lesser plots that are tied in to the growing divide between humans and other groups. I can’t wait ( but have to!) to see where the story goes next.

Stars: Five, a great read, a solid and dense book that will definitely join my keepers file. .
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

 

Exclusively Logan’s, In Bed with the Enemy- book 3, Evie Knight

Exclusively Logan’s, In Bed with the Enemy- book 3, Evie Knight
Genre: Romance, Erotica.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I hadn’t read the first two in the series, but didn’t think that would matter as they seemed to be complete novels in themselves. After reading this one though I’m not so sure. We do get to meet the previous characters in this novel and that was fine, but reading the story I just felt like I was missing some essential information – I felt a bit confused over the whole rape/suicide issue and the Ponzi scheme, and even now I’ve finished I’m not entirely sure whether they were connected or not. Still, the main plot over Logan and Marissa wasn’t affected, only at the end where there was an overlap, but my confusion didn’t make any difference, that part showed me and them just what was important and what needed to be left aside.
Logan – I liked the man, but he was a bit of a steamroller at times. He’d been attracted to Marissa ever since she’d worked for him but held off, he has a hands off policy with staff. Then she hands in her notice as she’s the opportunity to return to Ballet – the career she loves and thought her accident had ruined. ( I’m not sure how realistic a return to principle dancer is for someone who’d been out of that world for such a long time through injury but…) Now he doesn’t have to hold back, and moves in for the kill. Boy has he got the moves – it’s not long before they’re involved in a hot and sensual relationship. They both have time consuming careers though, and things happen within them and with external influences that pull them apart unless they work really hard to make things happen.
As an erotic novel it was excellent, well written and seductive sex scenes but as a romance it didn’t really work so well for me. Maybe if I’d read the other books? I don’t know…but somehow I just didn’t feel that this could have been real, it felt very superficial to me and I need to feel There with the characters, getting happy and sad along with them.
Stars: Three and a half, a good read just for me not a great one.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

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