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Marked, Sue Tingey

Marked, Sue Tingey

Marked: The Soulseer Chronicles Book 1 by [Tingey, Sue]

Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy, Romance

This novel turned out to be far from what I’d expected. I really enjoyed the beginning of this but….it changed dramatically and once the Underlands were brought in I really wasn’t enjoying it.

Parts were interesting, the court intrigue but with all the different daemon descriptions, the twee names of two of her guards, the jealousy between Jamie and Jinx, and then the drakon, who can change size as needed it all began to feel like a YA novel to me, with some pretty urghh torture scenes that seemed to be added for keeping in in the adult genre…

I felt there was a lot going on but not much actually happening, that kind of odd thing when none of the events actually have any real conclusion, where threats are everywhere but none happen, where everyone is urging Lucky to be quiet, go unseen and of course New Girl knows best and does the opposite, but despite the dire predictions its rare anything much results.

The emphasis on sex and her virginity, her shock at the daemon guards of her friend Kayla actually undressing at night, her shock at the inference Kayla is sleeping with her main guard, her constant speculation of the attractiveness or not of the daemons, all began to  feel to me too much like later Laurell Hamilton Anita Blake reads 😦

Lucky becomes very judgmental and Kayla a totally different person to the one we knew, and TBH I’m unsure I like either of them or this world enough to continue.
Sometimes first books try too hard, and a series settles down into a winner for me, but I think this one isn’t going to do that.

Stars: Two, just not a series for me I think

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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Archangel’s Heart, Book 9, Nalini Singh

Archangel’s Heart, Book 9,  Nalini Singh

Archangel's Heart: Book 9 (The Guild Hunter Series) by [Singh, Nalini]

Genre:  Sci-fi and fantasy.

Well, I’ve loved this series since I read the first one aggees ago 😉 and reread some of my favourite ones from it.
Its a series that’s changed hugely since then though, evolved much the same as Raphael has! I think its one that though each book is more or less complete, you need to start at the beginning, because there are so many characters, its such a complex world that jumping in cold with have you lost.

So, I knew who everyone was and yet I still had to keep thinking back to how exactly they all fit together. There are so many characters invovled now that a list of who is who and how they connect would be useful!!
This book is more a part of the overall story arc than an individual romance, as some of them are.

The archangels have been called together to discuss Lijuan and her territory. Who can call the group together though? I mean, they’re very much autonomous beings, but we learn of a new group, a  kind of overall order put together aeons ago for just such a purpose, as well as finding their own paths to Luminescence, a kind of personal goal of perfection – kind of like our mystics and religious wise men. ( Why are they always male though – the Luminata seem to be too – I can’t remember any females there).
They don’t call archangels to account per se, but  see when they need to meet to discuss something important. At the moment they’re dealing with the Cascade and all the side effects of that, the fact there are eleven archangels, unheard of before as there are only ten territories, each are jealously guarded, and of course there’s Lijuan who’s been acting more and more deranged, causing such major issues for angels, vampires and mortals alike with her insistence that she’s a Goddess, and therefore above everyone and everything.
Seems simple doesn’t it – she’s not around, meet to decide if she’s dead or asleep, and what’s going to happen with her territory. At the moment its bringing bloodshed to the borders that needs to be stopped, as without a ruler in effect some of the vampires are going on mass killing sprees.

Only archangels and their seconds, plus consorts are invited – and the archangels have to go, to not appear is to forfeit their territory. Its a real royal summons…
Michaela is her poisonous best, though maybe that description should be for Neha, she’s a real nasty, still holding Raphael guilty for killing her daughter, though it had to be done.
I loved seeing more of Aodhan, but missed Ilium, (sparkle and bluebell!!) love the friendship and banter between those two.
Raphael is at his commanding majestic best, with Elena keeping him a bit on the humane side. Archangels do tend to dismiss mortals, even the ones we think are more compassionate and some of the discussions here about the local village show that really well.
I did miss seeing the Guild personnel, and the vampires, especially Dmitri and Venom.

Lumina though turns out not to be the peaceful place they all imagine, and the events aren’t as simple as they thought. It actually gave me nightmares after reading one night, not that its a horror kind of read, and no worse in the violence than any other in the series. It was the creepiness of the Luminata that did it for me….It’s a place full of hidden secrets masquerading as something else. Question is are they important secrets, what are they, why and how did they happen, and how does all that fit with the purpose of the place?

Still, I don’t regret reading it, despite the bad dreams!!
Its a fantastic read as always, bringing in all the archangels, a new group in the Luminata, answering some long held questions, and revealing more about Elena’s background.
Its not my favourite of the series, those tend to be the more romance centred ones, and the ones centred around Raphael’s territory, but as part of the overall story its moved things on a great deal.

It’s one of the few longer series that’s got so much going on each book still feels fresh and exciting. I couldn’t get in to the Psy novels, read the first ages ago, but wish I could as that series has got so many now and I love ones like these.
Maybe its time for a reread, sometimes I find that on second reading and with the passage of time I’m in a better frame to enjoy stories that didn’t grab me first time round.
Of course there’s the usual issue of time and cash 😉 to contend with too.

Stars: Five, one to keep, to savour rereading – preferably after reading the first book.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Anthology, 21Shades of Night

 

click image for amazon link

Anthologies are a great way to try out new-to-you authors, and come at a bargain price. Looking down the list of books included here I can see three I’ve already read and enjoyed, Close Liaisons, Anna Zaire; Night Hawk, J E Taylor and Rook, J C Andrijeski. Both Night Hawk and Rook were ARCs received via Netgalley and Close Liaisons one I got when it was free a few years back. I’d forgotten about the Night Hawk series, and seeing the next is on KU I’ve downloaded it though will have to skim NH first as its so long since I read it. Rook – well the Allie’s War series is one of my all time favourites and I’m desperately anticipating the final book later this year… You can find a list f the individual books if you click the image and look inside.
I’ve added my reviews for Night Hawk and Rook below, I didn’t ( I think ) leave a review for Close Liaisons but remember it’s a book I really enjoyed and bought follow up novels.

Rook. Allie’s War, Book One. JC Andrijeski
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.
Edit: Since beginning this series it’s become one of my favourites and I’ve recently just finished rereading it. From this first review I understand the world and the characters so much better now, so rather than redo my review I’ve amended it and added new comments.
I love fantasy/paranormal romance, and the premise of this book intrigued me. I’d read the sample and wanted to know more. I’ve mixed feelings though, I loved the sample but that’s the simplest part of the story, its get more and more complex and involved, with panic stricken journeys in this world and a parallel one, with people being more than they are, and sometimes more than one person…. When I could keep up with the story I really enjoyed it, but found I was skipping much of the book, as frankly I just didn’t understand what it was about, and many of the scenes seemed to be long and drawn out. I suspect that’s because JC is setting a complex novel in a world very different to what we are used to, and that’s a lot to ask of any first book in a series. I suspect, as I’ve found before, that further on in the series I’ll understand far more about the sections and story lines I’ve skipped. Edit: I was right, after reading further books and the novellas I’ve been gripped by this series, and watching desperately for the next one out. Its great value too as even the novellas are longer than many so called full length reads, and the main books are all very long. great for quick readers such as myself. Its not necessary to read the novellas to enjoy the series, but each focus mainly on one character or event/timeline so they do help understand the main books and characters. I’ve really enjoyed them.
I enjoyed the people and the settings, its complex but yet once I could grasp the structure it makes sense, more or less.. I liked Allie, felt for her, she seems to have had a somewhat troubled childhood, and just when she thinks life is settling, along comes the delicious Revik. Oh I really felt for both of them over the misunderstandings about what was said and implicated, where Allie didn’t know the consequences of her actions, and he was trying to spare her in the best way he could.
I’m still somewhat confused over others in the novel, apart from her friend and brother, as I’m unsure of who was on what side, and sometimes forgot who someone was and how they fitted in. There’s a lot of accidental and deliberate confusion, intentional double dealing, governments and organisations putting a different spin on past and present events. Like I said – its complicated…and to be honest juts a bit too complicated for me. I’m mulling over reading more – I love the idea that Allie and Revik can work things out and be together, and the storyline is exciting and unusual, its just that I’m really not sure that I want to spend time on the next books in case I don’t enjoy them – like I said, I think I will, and maybe they settle down into less complex works now the world setting is done, but I just don’t know, hence my mixed feelings. Edit: Well, I did take the plunge and have now read everything so far, and in fact reread all novels more than one while waiting for the next books! It gets easier to work out what who and what’s going on once the novels progress and the novellas really help with this. Going back to this book after getting to book eight I found it so much clearer and really enjoyed it – its now a five star read for me. The storyline is complex but gripping, and it feels like it could be a real possibility. The Revik/Allie romance is incredibly strong though has some heart aching moments. They are both very strong willed characters and that makes for some steam and friction.  Revik – wow that man gets more and more delicious….
Stars: Three and a half, touching on a four. I think if I go on to read more and once I’ve got the world setting and people fixed better in my mind I could probably come back and re rate this at a five. Its that good, well written, unusual, its just that at present I’m a bit lost. Edit: And as I said, having re read its a solid five star plus read now.
ARC supplied by Netgalley.

Night Hawk. J.E. Taylor
ARC supplied by Netgalley

Well, its straight in with the action for this book, with us meeting Naomi as she’s at the mercy of a demon, on the roof of an eighty storey tower block. She’s been sold out by her loser boyfriend to Lucifer, and one of his demons is about to take her. She falls and….is rescued by Damien, a vampire. Out of the frying pan into the fire but as Damien takes her blood she fights back and ingests some of his blood in the action turning her into a vampire. Damien has by then realised there’s something special about Naomi, that she’s a child of Light, a certain coveted bloodline. Damien had attacked her as he’s been out for revenge against Lucifer and anything Lucifer wanted, such as Naomi, he was determined to prevent. However now he knows her bloodline he has another reason to protect her. He’s been fighting for 2.000 years and until he met Naomi he hadn’t realised how lonely he was. They’re both very sexually attracted to each other and there are some pretty spicy sex scenes.

Its a great love story wrapped up in a riveting adventure when they try to hold out against Lucifer who is keen for Naomi’s blood and long been trying to kill Damien. Together though they are a formidable force, with Damien being able to become a giant Hawk, and Naomi also having gifts above the norm for a vampire.

I really enjoyed this story except for one thing. Something I mentioned in another recent review where the female lead had similar extraordinary talents on changing from human to supernatural. Damien is over 2,000 years old, been fighting demons and Lucifer all that time ad yet…along comes new vamp Naomi, only two days old and she’s saving his life. Not once but twice and she’s telling him what to do and how they’ll do it. I know J E Taylor gave her superpowers, I love a strong female lead, not a whining, weak, squealing one (can’t stand those!) but this was a step too far for me. Fantasy requires us to suspend belief and have an open mind but it was too much for me to believe that she could be stringer physically and mentally than Damien – who has been fighting these demons for 2,000 years without dying – the within two days she saves his life twice? It would have been more credible for me if Damien had been the lifesaver and organiser, not Naomi.

There’s a couple of appearances by archangel Michael and I did love Naomi’s sark, puncturing his pomposity 🙂 There were some great, quick fire humorous dialogue threaded among the action and drama, and in all it made for a great mix. Its left open ended, but tied up for this adventure and not left as my pet hate Cliffhanger ending! I assume its going to be a series, hope so anyway as they make a great team despite my grumblings about her being stronger than Damien.

Its well written and edited, all endings either wrapped up or leading the way into future novels and Its one for my keeper files. Priced at £2.75 for 317 pages in kindle and I’m giving it a star rating of 4.5 – would have been 5 if not for that irritation about her being “super-vamp” and stronger than Damien.

The Curse of Tenth Grave, Darynda Jones

The Curse of Tenth Grave,  Darynda Jones

click image for amazon link

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers, Fantasy, romance

Well, when I look back to book one what a long, long way Charley has come. I still love her kookie ways, love her big, big heart and then of course her irreverence, her snark, those endless one liners that have me sniggering. What a difference to how she was though, how she’s grown to accept her role as Grim Reaper and a God without losing the essential “Charley”. She’s still busy naming everything – I love that Reyes’ shower is called George. I’ve always named cars, but furniture? Never occurred to me.

There’s still that awful but necessary separation from Beep though, Charley knows it has to be done to keep her safe, but what heartbreak for her and Reyes.
Reyes *drool along with countless readers* he’s amazing, adores Charley, will do anything to keep her and Beep safe. His is an incredible story too, and again looking back to those early books, what changes this series has been through and yet it keeps the essential spark of fun, great characters and genuine plots which drew me in to the start.

We didn’t see so much of Strawberry Shortcake, Rocket, Osh and Angel this time. That boy makes me laugh, thirteen going on thirty, all his flirting with Charley. Osh – well, when he was introduced several books back I wasn’t sure about him, didn’t know if we could trust him – he’s a Daeva after all. He too has joined Beep’s Army though, and there’s a hint towards the end here of just how strong its become.

So as usual Charley’s running round like a headless chicken, but collecting needy people ( a 12 year old girl this time), and sorting everyone’s problems despite being under pressure from so many sources. She’s a huge worry here though, Reyes hasn’t touched her, seems to be avoiding anything sexual except a few heated kisses. Usually he can’t keep his hands off her *and don’t we just love that??* and they’re making love at every opportunity ( and making ones where there aren’t any!!) Is he tired of her she thinks, fed up of her and the issues that go with her, irritated at always having to gett her out of trouble, resentful because she forgot him when she lost her memory, found someone else maybe?
Poor Charley, she just doesn’t think she deserves him, doesn’t think she’s good enough – and the weird thing? Well, Reyes feels the same…You want to lock them both in a room to sort things out don’t you? Yep, well Cookie has the answer 😉

I really don’t know how Darynda comes up with all this – its something that amazes me about authors, how they pull stories out of nothing, create people and situations that feel so real. When Charley’s dad died in the last book I cried, finally she realised just how much he loved her despite his actions at times.
Once more this book too had me laughing and crying, its so emotive sometimes, so deep and then open the next chapter and there’s a heading that makes me smile and lightens things. I love those headings, look forward to each new chapter.
There’s secrets and revelations here, the future of the world, the dangers to Beep, whether Reyes really is one of the baddies now Charley knows his true origins, that he’s a God too….it just makes me wonder what else is going to come out.
I love what’s possibly lined up for Osh, want Beep home, but before that can happen there’s the Big Battle – Charley will do anything for her family, and we know Reyes will, severing spines seems to be his favourite hobby sometimes!

It could so easily descent into triteness with Charley’s practicality and need to work her day to day jobs, or maybe go the other way and turn all Sci-fi, Star Trek, interplanetary plots etc. but Darynda straddles the lines beautifully to bring out another fascinating read, one packed full of fun and humour, dangers and drama, and once more ties everything in this book neatly together,  but with yet more revelations and hints of what’s to come.
I don’t know how many more books are planned, I’ll be sad to leave Charley, Reyes and the gang, but the final war, the big battle seems to be on the way, the lines have been drawn and action is starting.

Darynda, you’re an amazing author, given us a fabulous story with characters that have stayed true to the ones we knew when the series began. So often in long running series the characters become ones we don’t recognise as time passes, and the main plots veer away into strange areas, just for the sake of stringing out the drama, turning out another book, but the plots and characters here feel as fresh and true as they did with that very first book. ( Anita Blake? A series I loved at first but abandoned about book 14 when she became someone I didn’t recognise, didn’t like)

I love this series, love the characters – even the bad ones 😉 they’re needed. I really want to know how its all going to go down, who will pull through and what the future looks like, but can’t imagine how on earth – or any other dimension! – its going to work out. Glad I’m a reader not a writer, I can just enjoy it, not worry about writing it!
Please Darynda – don’t kill off Reyes, we love him, love his panther like graceful way of moving,he doesn’t ever walk, nothing so mundane,simply glides through everywhere, sexuality just oozing from him, every female – and a few males – drooling at him, and yet he’s got eyes only for Charley. Give them a happy ending, and let us please have lots of Reyes before we get it 😉
Its a series that’s definitely on my re reader list for when all the books are out. I’ll have a week of so if indulging in nothing but Reyes and Charley, a real Grave-fest marathon.

Stars: Five, another riveting novel, another page turner full of action, humour, sensuality ( Reyes!!) that kept me glued to my kindle.

ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher

Shadow Wings, (Skeleton Key), J.C. Andrijeski

Shadow Wings, (Skeleton Key), J.C. Andrijeski

Shadow WIngs (Skeleton Key) by [Andrijeski, JC, Key, Skeleton]

Genre:  Romance, Sci-fi and fantasy
Skeleton Key Book Series
One Skeleton Key. Endless Adventures.
https://skeletonkeybookseries.com

One magical key.
The turn of a lock.
An adventure of a lifetime.

The Skeleton Key finds those who are brave enough. Curious enough. Crazy enough. It only needs an unsuspecting hand and inconspicuous door. Magic uncoils and where the door leads, no one knows. The one way to discover the truth is to step through into a world of the exotic and untold.

If you dare to dream the impossible…
Prepare yourself.
Unlock the Skeleton Key adventures
An intriguing concept, 28 different authors writing a story based around the same subject, the Skeleton Key. I love JCA’s writing style so was keen to read this one.

I enjoyed the story, a lot, but it wasn’t anywhere near the pleasure I have from reading Allie’s War, the Morph books  or the fabulous Black series. Raguel is just not Revik!! or Black…. Those books have a much deeper feel, more intese and solid reading. Everything  in this is good and easy to read but its kind of JCA Lite to me compared to the others.
Its a fun story, scary in parts thinking how easily the Russia described could be – in fact probably is – very much like the Russia in this book.
I liked the characters, the very moral Ilana, one of those people who do things because they believe in the rightness of them, not just because its a job, a paycheque. She believes in what she’s doing, genuinely feels as if she wants to make her Russia a better place, but she’s not blind to the corruption and the craze for power that some people fall prey to.
Then she meets Raguel, and she’s puzzled. He seems like a straight forward mental patient, but then he knows things about her he shouldn’t and how does he? She’s puzzled, doesn’t feel he’s the fruit loop others seem to be convinced of, and when he indicates he can help her with her quest to find the murderer she talks to him. What he tells her though though is something she finds impossible to believe..until she sees the key and its reaction to Raguel…

A  fun read, and one I enjoyed and would like to read some of the other stories when there’s time…its always way though, isn’t it – so many books so little time.

Stars: Four, an enjoyable read and it will be interesting to see what approach other authors take.

ARC supplied by author

What have I been reading recently?

What have I been reading recently?
Well, I read review books but also buy ones that appeal too, and after joining amazon Kindle Unlimited (KU) I’ve had quite a few via there. Its great for readers like me who devour books. So this is a quick recap of what I’ve read over the past couple of months in addition to review books.
I finally finished Pippa Dacosta’s Veil series – that’s been excellent, though as always she didn’t get the guy I was rooting for – why is it I seem drawn to the guys that don’t get the girl? Still, this series is more than romance, its one where the heroine goes through so much, with demons out for blood, humans working to create super-soldiers etc and the romance angle is just a minor thread – that’s how I like my paranormal reads.
Shelby Rebecca’s Phoenix Rising duo The Stage and The Tour was a fun read, not a five star but a good rock band read that I enjoyed. .
Lisa Swallow: Falling Sky and Summer Sky. another rock band romance, though the band angle is minor
L.H.Cosway: Hearts of Fire – I love her books, the way she melds the romance into an amazing story full of surprises and mysteries. This is now on KU too. 
Elizabeth Hunter’s The Scarlet Deep – spin off from the Elemental Mysteries – they are a great read and book one is free.
Carrie Elks wonderful Coming Down ( Love in London) Carrie is another author who’s books I usually love. another on KU
Lexi Ryan’s Lost in Me, ( Here and Now series ) another favourite author. Currently free 
I’ve been re reading D.B. Reynolds Vampires in America series – one of my favourite paranormal reads. Real vampires, arrogant, blood drinking and powerful
Karina Halle The Offer – she writes great contemporary novels and paranormals.

Her Experiment in Terror series is terrific . First was on my kindle for ages before I finally got to it, over a year or so, and then just devoured the rest of the series.
I’ve been through J.C. Andrijeski’s Allie’s War series again – the first one of that is free . If you like a solid and complex paranormal read, with some hot sex and books that are loooong this is perfect. even the “novellas” – books about individuals or situations are mostly longer than many so called full length reads!
I finally finished the last one in Kim Harrisons Hollows series – a fabulous read full of vampires, demons, witches and other Supernaturals. Rachel Morgan the heroine is a great lead. Amazing how much she grew and changed throughout the series. Trent too – I’d never havethought I’d end up loving him, or having a soft spot for Demon Al.
Genevieve Jack and the Knight Games reads – another great supernatural read where book one is free. The Ghost and the Graveyard: Knight Games, Book 1
I’m now on the last in the Kathleen Turner series – Tiffany Snow – its a very OTT read at times where it seems poor Kathleen goes from one life threatening drama to the next, often two in a day! But hey-its fiction, and all the dramas are connected so it doesn’t seem quite so unlikely that way. Its a fun, sexy read, lots of emotion, suspense and danger and one I’ve enjoyed. Another KU read 
I’ve started Colleen Vanderlinden’s Supernatural series, with Lost Girl being book one – again its a KU read.
Nalini Singh latest guild hunter novel Archangels Enigma, a cracking read. I love this series where there’s an overall solid story arc and each book usually focuses on one set of characters, or one part of the story, so we don’t get those awful, hateful cliff-hangers. This one features Naasir, a character I’ve long wanted to read more of – I’m hoping a future book features Venom, he’s another that I think has a fascinating backstory tucked away.
Then there’s the final read in Charlie Homberg’s Magician series – I’d had books one and two for review and book three was on KU so I read that. A great finish to the series. Its a YA read but one of those which will appeal to all ages.
I’ve read more, but flicking back through my recent history brought up these that I’ve enjoyed, some I’ve had for ages, some new but all destined to be added to my favourites file. Had a few fails too books I started and didn’t finish, or those where I did finish but was disappointed….it happens ;- ) Maybe I’ll write about those sometime!

Dangerous Reflections, A Historical Fantasy through Time, Karla Tipton


Dangerous Reflections, A Historical Fantasy through Time, Karla Tipton
Genre: fantasy/paranormal romance.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I enjoyed Karla’s last novel, which had the same time travel premise as this one. However I didn’t feel the historical part so well here, didn’t feel I was actually back in 1910.
Its a fun read, but there were too many odd things for me such as Rose. Both Alastor and Martie know she’s in real danger at one point, and yet she seems to get forgotten until she’s next useful for them…I didn’t feel that fit with the personalities of either. Likewise Martie’s reluctance to tell Alastor about her true reason for being there – at first it made sense but then once he knew more why withhold it? It fitted the story being discovered later, but I needed a reason why she didn’t tell earlier. There were too many disconnections of that sort for me to rate higher, and I needed more of the historical side, more reference to the time, to feel I was with her back in history as with the last book, but I didn’t, I just felt like a voyeur…
The magic too – it was fun reading about it, I do love stories that include magic, but there was a bit too much for me of Martie just knowing what to say, the correct incantations etc. and that’s always one of my pet peeves, when a MC gets some superpowers or skills just at the right time. I need them to be referenced earlier, to have been worked for not just an easy fix.
Its a fun read though, easy to follow and has an interesting plot that I needed to finish to see where the story went. I did feel Alastor was a little too ready to fall in love yet again – he seems to make a habit of it given the past ladies he’s loved, and not because he’s long lived either. Martie got quite caught up in the present ( 1910 past) of course, but she didn’t often give much thought to what was happening to her nan and dad who were so ill….and I couldn’t see her as the sort to just abandon them, so I expected her to worry more about them even though she suspected time stopped when she left them, so she would return at the same time – she guessed that but didn’t know for certain.
Stars: Three, its a fun read but I struggled with the uncharacteristic (IMO) behaviours and the new found talents at times.
ARC provided by Netgalley and publishers.

Hellsbane Hereafter, (Hellsbane 3) , Paige Cuccaro

 

 
Hellsbane Hereafter (Entangled Select Otherworld)
Hellsbane Hereafter, (Hellsbane 3) , Paige Cuccaro
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Romance, Fantasy/Paranormal
The final book…and what a fun trilogy it’s been. Poor Emma Jane – it seems like she’s been used by both Heaven and Hell. Though she started off believing it was a simple good v evil battle, and knowing she was on the side of good, recent events have made her look differently at things. She’s lost so many friends to the battle and now she’s working for her father she’s made friends among his side too, and can’t bear losing any of them.
I’ve always found that the way the Nephilims were treated as strange – the Bible tells us they were evil, some were monsters etc and they all needed to be killed, and would go straight to the Abyss. Well, how that ties up with the God is Mercy and Suffer Little Children to come unto Me etc I’ve never understood. Children can’t help who their parents are, and it seems wrong that if the angels who fathered them simply gave up them and their mothers and repented they could return to Heaven, while they who’d done nothing except be born were punished and their mothers, who did nothing but fall in love – or were raped – were left literally holding the baby….Double standards and certainly not Merciful.
Archangel Michael here epitomises how I feel about these stories. so much for being Angelic, he and his brothers are judgemental, will torture and are horrifically cruel to get what they want, twist the truth to suit their needs, and want Emma Jane ( and others like her) to do their dirty work as they can’t possibly soil their own hands, and yet they call her and the others “it” and an abomination….Now she’s unable to return to human, as her father isn’t an ordinary angel, and has seen the supposed “good” side arrange some awful things she’s doubting herself. Her love for Eli though is true, and she’s feels so sad about his Falling, she knows he misses his brothers and they will have no contact with him. That’s what I mean about judgemental, he’s worked for them and for Heaven for centuries, and yet fall in love and all is over, he’s doomed, shunned by all his former angelic friends, except those that have also Fallen. Why did God make them capable of loving humans if he won’t allow it to continue? Jakar, her father wants her working for him, and Michael wants her spying on Jakar. Both sides make her promises, and all she really wants is for Eli to be able to return to the Grace she thinks he wants, to be able to be back with his lifelong friends. That’s true love when you’ll give up someone to ensure their ultimate happiness, and it was heart-breaking seeing her try to arrange it, knowing all the while Michael would find some way to weasel out – he and the others of the Seven really were two faced. They infuriated me in earlier books and this one they really are shown in their true colours..She’s keeping a lot of secrets and struggling, trying to work out what’s best to do, and then finds out that humans are being used in the latest theatrics from both sides. who can she believe? What can she do? Its clear do nothing isn’t an option and yet whichever way she turns people are going to get hurt.
I so feel for her, she’s been ( in my eyes) betrayed by her father, and by Heaven and the angels. All she’s ever done is try to do right, to help people, and yet its as if the two sides are just playing and care nothing about people dying, whether supernatural or human. Its a real struggle and I was as puzzled as Emma Jane much of the time. I kept thinking “what would I do” when she’s faced with some awful choices, has to decide who she can trust and how far, and what she can do to save people. When the final battle comes – that was so sad….I felt really tearful and gutted. That just couldn’t have happened could it? but yes it did…I was heartbroken along with her. Paige manages to pull off one final event though, and just when I was thinking how on earth could it end, as I couldn’t see how either group could win, without destroying humanity somehow she pulls off the perfect finale.
Stars: Five, loved it, was swept along with the story and characters and it’s a perfect ending.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

Through the Veil, Christi Snow, Generation 18, The Spook Squad 2, Keri Arthur

 

 

 

 

 

Through the Veil, Christi Snow
review from jeannie zelos book reviews

I latched onto this one quickly, a paranormal romance with a series of eight books planned…oh that sounds great! I really enjoy books in a series usually, they allow the reader to get really involved and for plots to get quite complex, and the length allows for so much scope in the writing.
So, what did I think about book one? well, that cover…I hardly ever look at covers but this one caught my eye, and for all the wrong reasons. Those wings just look Wrong, disproportionate, they could never hold a man up ( I know it’s not possible but it has to look as though it is!!) and in my imagination they are nothing like that..but the story? Oh yes, that’s fun. Set in a world where dramatic changes have happened, dividing the US into WS and ES with a thick, impenetrable veil of mist between them. Neither side knows anything about the other until Lori escapes from the ES and manages to use her powers to get through. No one knows why the change happened or if it could happen again.
The world Lori knows is one of bigotry, where anyone who has special abilities gained after the big change is known as Other, and taken into custody, ostensibly for protection of the rest of the population, but in reality for some inhuman and horrific experimentation. They’re not treated as people but as experiments, and after six years of being caged, cruelly tested and experimented on, Lori has finally managed to escape. She can’t believe what she finds on the other side, its a place where everyone has wings, and some have other talents too. They work together to build a place that’s safe for everyone. There are no children here either, same as in the ES, where none have been born since the change. It’s a much younger society than the ES, everyone here over 18 died in the change, and as in the ES the bodies simply disappeared.
Lori is happy she’s found sanctuary and a romance with Marcus, but of course she wants to rescue those she was in captivity with – there were four others in with her, and she can’t bear to think of them still suffering. The Warriors though worry at first about their own safety when Lori appears. That’s natural, they don’t know if she’s some disguised threat,  but she’s soon accepted and they agree to help her with a recue attempt.
I enjoyed the world setting, its got great potential and I’m sure we’ve more to learn about it and creatures in it such as the Predators. Since Lori passed through the veil things have begun to change too, with the weather being far colder than usual and Predators changing from nocturnal to coming out during the day. The people of the WS are learning too about how to use their talents, and wondering what’s coming next.
What I found a bit difficult to accept was the powers and the growth of them, it seemed too easy an answer for problems that crop up to have someone able to use some new power to overcome it. That’s a pet peeve of mine though in fantasy books, it often crops up and I guess I just like my characters to have to struggle a bit, to use their brains more rather than new superpowers…Still, its a great first book, and with lost of potential, though its a year to wait til book two out –
Stars: Four, a great start.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher.

Generation 18 (Spook Squad Series #2)

Generation 18, The Spook Squad 2, Keri Arthur
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews

I love Keri’s writing style, the worlds and characters she creates. For me to enjoy a book I need to like the main characters – or if they are the Bad Guys – to dislike them. No wishy washy types, no on the fence, no just OK people for me. I need them strong in personality. Keri delivers that.
So this is an older series being revamped. I don’t know how different it is from the originals as it’s the first time I’ve read this series – it may not be any different, just re released…I’ve jumped into book two not having read book one, which meant I needed to pick up the storyline as I read. That worked fine though of course I’d have got more had I read book one, understood for example – what the friction was between Gabriel and Sam, and what happened to them last book, and just what’s behind the current enquiries into murders, Sam, and the Gov/military depts.

As usual its straight in with the action, lots of dangers and new supernatural creatures – those Kites sound scary! What I enjoy about Keri’s writing is that it’s very tightly constructed, incidents mentioned in passing become major lines later, but we’re sort of familiar with the concept through the earlier mentions, people who need to be connected for the story to work are brought together within pausible storylines, not just thrown into a scene cold. Then there’s my favourite thing to hate in fantasy – when characters are in danger and Wham – some new superpower appears. I Hate that.. Sam is developing lots of new elements, but the history of her past allows for that, and there are clever and suble nuances suggested prior to the new power that allow for slow growth, and for it not to be a total suprise. So many books never do that, and it turns what could be a good storyline into something shallow and over all too soon. I like books such as Keri’s that have depth, that have lots of different angles, from the romance to the dangers the characters face.

This is quite a short read at around 240 pages, and I’d have loved it to be longer – the story and world makes that feasible but…I’m a reader not a writer 😉 I think though that more explanations of who and why some characters were important could have done with more expansion. I did have to keep backtracking over certain people, to recall how they fit into the story, not because I’d missed book one but simply because there were so many characters and storylines all at once.
So, overall a cracking read, fast paced, full of action and most important – plausible. even fantasy needs to be “real” in the sense that if the circumstances were as written the incidents could occur. The only disappointemnt I have is that it seems these books were originally written several years ago and four of them planned, but book four was never written and Keri has no plans to return to this world. I want to buy book three to see where the story goes, but am wary that it may leave more questions than give answers and I hate that. I like my reads to have a satisfying conclusion, not finish open ended 😦 I’ll mull it over, but I’ve lots more reads/review books to go through so doubt I’ll be paying for something I may feel frustated with at the end…

Stars: a cracking read, and a great story, a full five.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers.

Sinful Cravings, Lake City Stories Book 2, Annie Nicholas

Sinful Cravings: Erotic Paranormal Romance (Lake City Stories Book 2)

 

Sinful Cravings, Lake City Stories Book 2, Annie Nicholas
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
I’d not read book one or the novella prequel, but read samples and reviews and thought I’d enjoy this one. I’ve read several of Annie’s book before ( my favourites being Bait and The Angler) so knew I liked her writing style.
Pia, she seems such fun, but a typical Baby of the family. She seemed to run into problems without trying ( it happens – I know!!) and so far has turned to family and friends for solutions. This time though she can’t, she has to rely on her own resources and I enjoyed the way it really made her grow mentally. Part of the problem too is that she’s one of those people everyone ( except Sin’s pet Demon) loves, and they just help her automatically, assume she can’t do things herself. The fact that when she’s tried in the past it leads to even more difficulties doesn’t help….
I struggled a bit getting my head around the whole incubus/succubus feeding schedule, and how they’d cope with good old jealousy! But they need sex for food so as one person can’t provide enough its something they have to get round. It’s the driving force behind the main plot in this book though, and Pia can’t go to her family as they are already at full stretch, with her usual donations to dad via the vials going to Val instead. That’s led dad to seek out another wife and of course the family are struggling with that too….
Pia’s investigations lead to some alarming situations. Val been keeping something from her – again that whole “Pia can’t cope” thing everyone has, and he nearly drains her unintentionally, He’s out of control to his hunger, having left it too long waiting for his wives vials to arrive, and that’s dangerous as he could kill a succubus in his feeding now. Pia is distraught, needs a feed herself desperately and is worried about what Val may do. She then falls into further problems with the person she feeds from, and has someone misunderstanding Succubus ways and thinking sex means she wants to join his family…temporarily escaping from that drama brings her into more danger, and the offence caused endangers something Sin, Val and her father have been working on. See? Whatever the poor girl does seems to bring her into more drama and its not over yet..
Its a fun read, I knew it wouldn’t be a deep drama but a light hearted one, and i enjoyed it. Its a great way to escape for a while into someone else’ problems! I like Pia, wasn’t sure about Val but he grew on me. I get the feeling Sin would like to be more to Pia that he is, for a dark and devious person he’s very helpful and protective of her. Not something he does for many people i think.
Stars: Four, its a great fun, easy to read novel. A way to forget the world and its drama by living in Pia’s ones.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers

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