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Molten Dusk, The Norse Chronicles: Book 3, Karissa Laurel

Molten Dusk, The Norse Chronicles: Book 3, Karissa Laurel

Molten Dusk (The Norse Chronicles Book 3) by [Laurel, Karissa]

Genre:  Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy

A fabulous finish, with the tension and excitement ramped up right to the end.
This isn’t one of those reads where you can jump in part way through – you need to start at the beginning or you’ll have no idea whats happening. Its not a run-of-the-mill paranormal, but one which takes on Norse legends and weaves them and the characters into modern day life.
Its so different from most current paranormal offerings and a real treat to read. The romance part is very muted so if you don’t like romance in your reads don’t be put off, its a small part. Personally I love it so long as the story is strong, but I also like reads such as this where romance takes a back seat.
In fact although its clear how Solina and Thorin feel about each other she’s still fence sitting, worrying about that Immortal God v Human paradox. She’s a fiery Star though herself, literally, so not quite just a human….

Helen and Skoll are still a danger and threatening the second Ragnarok. Baldur now has Nina, but she’s struggling with trying to remember her previous incarnations and with his feelings.
He’s less of a wimp in this book – maybe unfair I titled him that in book two but he really did cop out of helping his freinds, saving the world stuff – then again seeing the person you love die time after time after time and trying to find them each re-incarnation must affect one’s mind and priorities.
Val and the Ravens are still a danger, with them knowing a Thought soon as it takes form and being on Helen’s side, but how can Solina and co plan anything without thinking – tough one but aid comes from an unexpected quarter. Can it be trusted though?
There’s still the doubts about the Valkyries Solina has too, she’s not sure if there’s loyalty there or whether they are playing some long game. She knows Skyla is true but doesn’t know about the others.
Helen seems to be one step ahead all the while and she’s making things pretty tough for them, trouble is they have to treat each threat as real even though they know that she’s possibly double bluffing them, and while they fight one threat she’s planning another.
Its real down to the wire stuff this time, and both sides are pretty equal.

I love the characters here, love that the women are all pretty strong. Thor – well, I adore him. I’ve a soft spot for the Ravens too. All these characters have been through so much over the long years, so many battles, so many tragedies.
When Thor talks about his life and family I found it very emotional, and I adore the way he is so in love with Solina, so protective and yet respects her and doesn’t try to stop her from venturing into danger when he knows she needs to do it.

It’s another fabulous read, and the ending is perfect.
Its a fantasy read for Thinking readers, those who want more than the weak story wrapped around a hot romance, that’s sadly so much of the current best sellers lists.
Its story you’ll want to re-read, certainly now I’m planning a back to back read of all three parts.

Stars: five, fantastic ending to an amazing trilogy.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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The Betrayals, The Richard & Judy Book Club thriller 2017, Fiona Neill,

The Betrayals, The Richard & Judy Book Club thriller 2017, Fiona Neill,

The Betrayals: The Richard & Judy Book Club Pick 2017 by [Neill, Fiona]

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers, women’s fiction

I loved the idea of this book, and the writing style was perfect but….as I read it somehow it felt a bit flat. It seemed everyone was playing the blame game – except the two who I felt were actually at fault.
The way we saw events from each persons POV was fascinating, I’d be seeing it from one persons eyes and yet the same events from another person had a very different outlook.

I didn’t really like any of the characters. No-one is ever perfect of course but it was hard to find things in these guys to actually like, and without that my empathy is a bit missing.
There’s lots of to and fro where we see events played out as if now were in the past, and then see how they’ve affected people and how they act in the present. What happens to us does shape us, and its easy to link some of the traits of certain characters on what happened, but is it ever the sole cause? I don’t think so, but its human nature I guess for wanting to find a cause for every ailment, everything wrong in our lives.

There’s a bit where Nick says from his studies people change their memories of what happened unconsciously to reflect themsleves in the best light, and I can see that as true. Each time we were in one persons head I was trying to keep that in mind, but its hard not to get pulled in to what they beleive.

I was waiting for some grand climax, for a big reveal as all the way through I thought I kept getting hints of something huge to come out, a secret or something, and yet when I got to the end I felt nothing, it all felt very flat, and anticlimatic.
I wasn’t even sure if what I thought happened at the end did.

Its one of those reads where I can admire the writing style, admire how much research has gone into it, but where the actual story content just passed me by, where I could happily have done without ever picking it up.
Still, others love it and so you may too. I’d try another of Fiona’s books happily, it could well be its just This book that didn’t suit my taste.

Stars: well, two seems harsh but I really can’t give it a three, good book so its two and a half from me.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

The Dark Interest ,(The Dark Choir 4), Book FOUR of The Dark Choir, J.P. Sloan

The Dark Interest ,(The Dark Choir 4), Book FOUR of The Dark Choir, J.P. Sloan

The Dark Interest (The Dark Choir Book 4) by [Sloan, J.P.]

Genre:general fiction (adult), sci-fy and fantasy

I’ve been with this since book one, and TBH its such a complex series you need to do that. It’s full of difficult characters, real world and Old World, and demons of course, charms, hexes, curses, murders, mayhem and magic and without knowing the backstory you’ll get lost. I do know the events that have passed and yet at times I’m lost ;-), but always manage to work it out somehow.  It’s a sereis outside my comfort zone, that I fell into by accident but that I’ve come to love.

What I love is that the author mixes up fiction with Fact, with magics that had a real following at one time – probably still do in certain circles. So each time I see an unusual word I think – aha, this time he’s made this up – and then check and find its some ancient language, or shade of magic, or a weapon that’s used for certain purposes or something like that. I’ve learned so much about magic since starting this, that its not a one-size-fits-all, but that in the past (and present) it took many different shapes, evolved through some very different practices.
And I’m talking as if it’s all real, but reading this it feels real. There are some well respected people in the world who still believe in these practices, and then I think – how come, all over the world each different group through the ages had had the same belief, but taken different routes to it? Or maybe its just human need to believe in something greater than us, something beyond this world..
It’s not really a big stretch considering billions believe in a book written centuries ago, believe in a God who’s really only a word of mouth figure.We don’t have empirical proof, we  can’t Know for certain he exists, that Heaven is real, but yet billions believe it.

Well, I guess that’s why I enjoy these books, they’re complex and yet readable, they have a solid story-line, some very real characters, both pleasant and horribly dangerous, those who just want to live and love their families and get on with life, and those hungry for power, magical, political, they don’t care. In the middle is Dorian.

I’ve always felt he’s on the side of good, not a particular do-gooder, but someone with his own morals and beliefs that he lives by, who tries to do the Right thing, not just the easy thing.
Along the way he’s had so many issues, starting with his lost soul, and its taken him on a very strange and complex journey.
He’s always worked alone, had his few good friends, been respected and never sought Power for its own sake, and yet he’s become embroiled in some dodgy and dark magical practices, got involved in politics against his wishes, gets pulled into different groups and is still searching for his soul.

Its another deep and dark, and at times complex read. Dorian is tempted hard in this story, confused, trying in his usual way to protect humanity and his friends, but all the while his soul is missing and he’s struggling to get it back.
I love that his magic isn’t a wave of a hand and a few muttered words, quick fix solution, but takes work, real work, if he wants to avoid the Dark side, the world of sacrifices. Yet his new lady, Annarose does just that, and how is he to mix her and how he feels about her, with his morals and how he feels about that?
Is the Utilitarian excuse, for the Greater Good, sacrifice one for many really a good reason, or a cop out?

Its a novel full of danger for Dorian, more than we’ve seen so far, and he’s had some tight escapes. Once more he’s in the centre of some dark forces but who or what is pushing them?
It takes time before he can see the bigger picture and he makes some very dangerous enemies along the way. And that ending….I hate it when that happens 😉

Stars: five, classic Dorian, anther rivetting adventure and complicated read. A real change from so much Light and Twee Magic reads.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

When Time Is A River, Susan Clayton-Goldner

When Time Is A River, Susan Clayton-Goldner

When Time Is A River: A Winston Radhauser Mystery: #2 by [Clayton-Goldner, Susan]

Genre: thriller, mystery and suspense.

I loved Susan’s A bend in the Willow, so when she offered me this book for review I jumped at it.
I’m primarily a romance reader, but enjoy other genres from time to time. A few years back I was mainly a thriller reader, and Susan’s style of writing reminds me of the best of them, Nicci French, Mary Higgins-Clark, John Grisham, James Patterson, Dick Francis ( the horses were the draw there of course!) All of those deliver a great story, slowly building up to a climax that keeps the reader wondering, from the little clues dropped in, just who is behind things and why.

The characters here are so real, flawed like most of us, and that always works for me. I want real people not storybook perfect clones.
Brandy loves her little sister but doesn’t get on so well with Step-mum Christine. She’s only four years older than Brandy. Prior to her dad meeting her at the university where he works she had Kathleen as her nanny since she was a toddler, and of course they all felt like one happy family and she resents Christine. Still, Brandy’s a sweet girl, loves her dad, adores little Emily, and tries with Christine and they’ve developed a kind of working relationship. I feel for her, it must have been hard when her father told her Christine was pregnant.
I feel for Christine too, a baby wasn’t in her plans, she’s had to give up university and her life has been upended. Instead of fun, parties and boyfreinds she’s married and looking after a toddler. That’s wasn’t in her plans when she started an affair with her professor.
Then there’s her dad, he’s like most, fallible, and his weakness in sleeping with Christine changed his life too. Of course there are others connected to them, who also have been brought into the group, had plans derailed, but would – could – any of them be responsible for Emily’s disappearance?

This awful event throws a deep crack into a family that’s kind of just getting along, still full of sharp edges and tentacles of resentment. Emily’s disappearance will either strengthen them or break them entirely.
Its not the first hard thing for Brandy and her dad top deal with, her mum died when she was very young, and she’s undergone many surgeries on her face from a horrific accident when she was tiny. She wants to be an actress, has incredible talent and wonderful voice but is scared her looks will fail her. Its a sad thing isn’t it, that we rely so much on beauty and supposed “perfection” in our celebrities.

We follow the story mainly via Brandy, and of course Radhauser. He’s no stranger to tragedy and each case like this takes a toll on him.
He and Brandy are both very conscious of the 48 hour timeline, that abducted people are less likely to survive after that and are pulling out all the stops to find Emily. He’s really good in that he doesn’t treat Brandy as just a kid, she’s 18, but that’s an age where some are adult and some aren’t. In some ways Brandy is older than her years, and the way her thinking runs, especially after the way Radhauser sets her tasks to recollect all her memories of the event, is crucial to the story. He doesn’t really know what he’s started on the steamroller juggernaut in search of answers Brandy becomes. At times he wants to just tell her to stop, that she’s in danger of hindering and not helping, but he can see why she’s so determined, and understands her reactions. And of course each time she finds out something relevant, however tiny the information, just makes her more determined.

I loved how we saw her thinking, how we understood along with her just how events could have played out, how she came to the conclusion she did because we also had the same information. Somehow Susan managed to get us to understand her thinking by way of letting us reach conclusions along with her. I hate it when a story “tells” me whats going to happen, rather than letting it play out and my reaching my own conclusions, and here Susan lets me work things out along with Brandy and Radhauser, though the ending and person completly caught me out.

It all takes place over a two day period, and seeing events come to light, adding up tiny clues to see which were real and which led no-where was fascinating. I usually like books that cover a longer time-span, but this is so detailed, the characters felt so real that I was pulled into the story and that just didn’t matter to me. Its another great read, out of my usual romance comfort zone but one I thoroughly enjoyed.

Stars: Five, a riveting and well planned suspense read, that kept me gripped to the end.

ARC supplied for review purposes by author
 

To Have and To Hold, (The Wife Book 1), M L Roberts

To Have and To Hold, (The Wife Book 1), M L Roberts
The Wife – Part One: To Have and to Hold (The Wife series, Book 1) by [Roberts, M L]

Genre: mystery and thrillers, women’s fiction

I loved the synopsis and looking on both amazon and goodreads its listed as a 400 page book, a four book series. I expected this part, part one to be 400 pages though, but its not.
I guess the 400 pages relates to the whole story 😦 as part one is 1402 kindle location…..I can’t seem to find info on when parts 2,3,4 are out and I so hate waiting. for me it spoils a story, divided like this, and TBH I feel in this case its unnecessary, it could have been put together as one book, or possibly two.
Four parts though? With no release dates for the rest? I’ll have forgotten much of this by then, certainly the drama will have lost its impact.

That’s a real shame as its a terrific story, carefully written so we think A is what happened, then clues laid out so we think maybe it was B instead. Then something else comes up so maybe it wasn’t A or B but C, and then maybe D and E are part of the story too. There are lots of clues laid out, but many send the reader off in the wrong direction. Or do they??

I really enjoyed this, what there was of the story anyway, and as a complete book it would probably be a five star, but divided as it is?
Well, the biggest emotion I feel is frustration, not knowing when I can read more, not knowing how long before I get the whole story, especially as it ends in my least favourite way, with a dam n sharp cliffhanger. Gah!!

Stars: Three, excellent writing, tantalising story but presented this way, divided into four parts, really spoils my enjoyment. I felt I’d barely got started before it was ending….

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Then She Was Gone, Lisa Jewell

 

 

Then She Was Gone, Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone by [Jewell, Lisa]

Genre: General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers

I love Lisa’s writing, have read a few of her novels now.
This is a typical LJ story, one that slowly unfolds with each reveal giving us more questions til really I had a few wild stabs about what happened but was way off course in the final denouement.

Laurel, mum, wife and like many of us, nothing more than typical family petty issues mar everyday relations,  life is good – til it isn’t.
Ellie, her youngest child, beautiful, golden Ellie disappears. The family are distraught, Lauren retreats, leaving her two older children and her husband to cope alone.
Its a huge problem, who knows how we’d deal. For the Mack family it means life fractures, Laurel and Paul separate, the kids grow apart from their mum, and the impact stays with all of them for many years.

The story is told partly from Laurel’s POV, partly from Ellie with a few other voices thrown in.
I like that format, it lets me see what people are thinking, what their motives are and a story is often very different according to who is telling it.

Its heartbreaking, I so felt for all of them, poor Ellie, the slightly spoiled teen, to have that happen, so tragic.
The family, on course for normal average family where kids grow up, parenst become grandparents and life is full of happy family occasions – then all that is lost.
Like ripples in a pond the repercussions spread outwards.

Then there’s Floyd, we know he has a bigger part than he’s telling but how and why? And Poppy, 9 going on 49, a precocious child, so grown up in many ways but the child she should be is there deeply hidden. Why does she look so much like Ellie, how did she come into Laurel’s life, how do the puzzle pieces fit together?

Some secrets get revealed along the way but the finale brings out parts I’d never imagined and made me so so sad for all of them and what they’d been through.
A real tear jerker emotional read, and a story that could so easily be real.
When I was a teen one of my dad’s workmate’s daughter disappeared. She was my age, 12-13 maybe back in early 70’s, taking a short 1/2 mile bike ride to another family member in the middle of  a summers day. Her loss never left her family, tore through them, had such a massive impact on what was a standard family with standard expectations. She never was found, and the mystery has always stayed with me.
As a parent I think I grew to understand even more about the impact her loss had on them, and while reading this novel I recalled so much of the shock and horror of April’s disappearance.

Stars: Five, a gripping read, emotionally gutting at times, ripping through me as secrets upon secrets came out. Sadly very realistic, which makes for a terrific read of course.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Reckoning, Shana Figueroa

Reckoning, Shana Figueroa

Reckoning (Valentine Shepherd Book 3) by [Figueroa, Shana]

Genre:  Romance

I missed book one, but loved book two, a supernatural romance/suspense novel thats not the oh-so-popular dumbed down type.
I like a book that makes me work, not too hard, I want the story to flow, but not the sort that spoon feeds the reader every little bit of info.
I want to see the clues and try to work out for myself where the stoy is going, who’s good and loyal, who’s doing the dirty, and ultimately how its all going to meld togeher into an ending.

This trilogy does all that and more, fab characters, not flawless impering types, but gritty and real, prone to bias, to making mistakes and yet at the heart Love plays such a strong part.
Its definately a re-reading trilgoy for me and then I really must get book one so I can see the beginning of how it all started, maybe understand a bit more of some of the characters. Sten especially is one who I didn’t like at first, but have come to love, and wonder if maybe book one has more about him there.

Its another great adventure, with murders stacking up quickly and Valentine on the warpath. How dare Northwalk threaten her family? She adores Max and their twins, but has always felt the threat of Northwalk is near, and yet now she thinks they’re on the track of them again she can’t seem to convince Max.

I love Val, she’s not an easy person to get along with but she’d give her life in a heartbeat for the small circle she considers family and freinds.
She’s not one to run from danger, Max seems to think she’s over-reacting to her suspicions but willing to pick up and move if that will help her, but she knows moving = running and Northwalk will still follow. She wants to stand up to them, take preemptive action, Max isn’t so convinced.
In a way that’s understandable, he’s been through so much and just wants to enjoy his life now, with his adored Val and their twins.

Northwalk play a long game though, and once more its a cracking paced drama, with me wondering who was on which side, and why, and how and looking at people and events trying to work out motives.
Max made me so cross at one point…and yet I understood where he was coming from. Likewise Val, she really does run headlong into danger at times.

Its a perfect wrap up….for now 😉 Ending works really well, and then…there’s that hint that Northwalk may be down but not dead, and that they aren’t the only players in the game. It finished off this section of Val and Max’ life perfectly, but leaves the way open for more.
I know its a trilogy I’ll want to re-read, and at some point when I’m ready to do that I’ll get book one and start in the proper place, get a better understanding of the characters and events.

Its a supernatural read with an unusual twist, and it was refreshing to read something so different to most books offered. The Seer part, the visions and predictions reminded me a little of the Seers in JC Andrijeski’s Allie’s War and Quentin Black series. Most supernatural reads follow the more usual vampire/shifter/fae structure while this is really humans with a supernatural extra – humans-plus maybe 😉 and it was interesting and easy to believe for me.

Stars: Five, perfect wrap up for this trilogy leaving the door ajar for more books later as the family grow.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Wraith Hunter, City of Crows 3, Clara Coulson

Wraith Hunter, City of Crows 3, Clara Coulson

Wraith Hunter (City of Crows Book 3) by [Coulson, Clara]

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers, sci-fi and Fantasy

This is turning out to be a cracking series, seems to be full of drama, action, puzzles, danger and each day seems to bring Cal and the crew into more of it. It’s not quite like that though, when this story opens its some months after that action of the last book, the gang have taken time to heal from the incredible injuries they incurred back then and that’s as it should be.
When a book is day after day of non stop action it makes me think” who dealt with all this before?” and “who will do xyz when this gang are gone?”
Spaced out over time feels much more fluid and natural than the one-drama-on-top-of-another story lines too many books have.

 

The last two books have proved to be openers for more action, and I love that the vampire who was the catalyst for Cal joining the DSI is in this book, and of course wonder about him and his actions. Are they as cut and dried as they seemed? Or is he just as much a victim of circumstance. Or maybe its just his job, that’s going to make him p iss off a lot of people, maybe it is all about the money for him. Who knows? He’s an intriguing character and I want to read more of him.

I love Cal, he’s a great lead, talented and yet flawed too, he knows he doesn’t have all the answers, knows his limitations but throws himself in wholeheartedly when he believes its needed regardless of the cost to himself.
Erica, oh I hated that bit, what she needed to do, and why she felt she had no alternative. fingers crossed that all works out well.
Cooper – a surprise there? Or not, maybe its another red herring – though book one made me wonder if that might happen. I love storylines that make me wonder what if, and how come, and maybe this will….you know the sort, where you get so involved with characters you think of them as real.
The rest of the gang are there, with a few new guys ( and ladies) joining in and it was great seeing them all again. Like meeting old friends, and making new ones.

Its a fabulous read once more, things to puzzle out, drama and action, dangers, and speaking of which, those elevating zombies – what fun they were. The sly humour that had them dressed up in long coats and carrying scythes.
Its little touches like that which lift this novel up, give some levity to the dark dramas surrounding some of the main plots. There are other little touches worked in too, moments of humour, things that make these characters feel real. We all crack jokes at inappropriate times, that’s the kind of human way of dealing with stress and fright and it works so well here. Thats what separate a good book from the crowd, the little extras that keep us reading.

The plots in this part wrap up well, but open up the wider one that’s been building, and I really want to read more right now!!

Stars: five, another rivetting instalment, whetting my appitite for more. I know when this series is ended its going to be one I reread right through, in a back-to-back reading fest. I love to read series like that, get fully immersed in another world.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

My Husband the Stranger, Rebecca Done

My Husband the Stranger,  Rebecca Done

Genre:   Women’s fiction, mystery & thrillers

I really enjoyed Rebecca’s debut book, and was pleased to get this one for review. She’s got the same way of taking what I thought I’d think and feel, and turning it upside down in this story as in This Secret we’re Keeping, and the same type of ending, where its not cut and dried HEA but indications that everything will be OK in time. Secret was a little ambiguous in the ending, which I don’t really like, but this one is more distinct in which way the future looks set to fall.

So to begin, even though I felt so sorry for Alex, after his terrible brain injury I still thought he was a jerk. That’s tough judgement on my part, but it seemed as though he didn’t want to help himself, was content with who he was now.
At times he was so awful to Molly, didn’t seem to see her as his wife, someone he loved, his equal, but treated her as though she was simply there to be at his beck and call. Then moments of the old Alex flashed through, and I could see the man he was, the man Molly fell in love with.
Things were so hard for her, she’d memories of the man she married, and yet though he’s there with her, wears his face and body, he’s not the same man inside. That must be so hard to deal with, especially when after three years its unlikely he’ll go back to who he was before.
Molly was wonderful, but at the point we join the story she’s at the end of her tether, struggling to keep a job, where the boss is clearly out to get rid of her. She doesn’t like what she does but its an income, and with Alex not working they need it.
The cottage too, his old family home which they’d planned to renovate, is falling apart, not just the fabric of the building but all their appliances, and that adds to her stress.
Alex is in his own little world where everything revolves around his wants and needs, just thinks Molly is nagging, and is awful to her. He spends his days doing nothing really, going to pub, playing golf, and what really upsets Molly too is when his ex keeps flirting with him.
When they moved back to Norfolk from London he was irritated at Nicola’s attempts to text him, to be friends, running past their house in her daily jog, bumping into him wherever they went, but now he seems to revel in it and poor Molly is so hurt.
It doesn’t matter that she understands why he’s like this, she’s just struggling, hurt, upset and I wondered just how long she could carry on.
It wasn’t Alex’ fault, but how he is now isn’t how he was when they married. Molly’s hanging on hard but her parents and friends keep indicating that maybe its time she looked out for herself.
They want her to go back to London, back to the job she had, which she loved, where they could help share the burden of Alex.
She thinks he wouldn’t cope though with how life is there, far faster and more dangerous for him than Norfolk. ( I live in Norfolk, yes life is much slower here, I’d hate to live in London, fine for a visit but to live? )

Then there’s Graeme, Alex’ twin. He seems a nice man, but in the past and present format the novel is delivered there are hints that actually the man we see now isn’t exactly the truth, we see the resentment he has for Alex .
Their dad Keith always favoured Alex, and its clear that Keith resented Graeme, even though he’s the one that stayed in Norfolk to look after him. I wondered why there was such bias, but we do get the details well into the novel and I so felt for Graeme then, it was really unfair. It wasn’t Alex’ fault though, he didn’t play any part in their dad’s bias, couldn’t change it, yet Graeme resented him for it.

Its a great story, slowly bringing us deeper into the lives of the three main characters. I so felt for Molly, she’s in a situation that happens to many people in reality, and she’s doing her best.
Alex – well, even though I felt for him, for what he’d lost, he didn’t know what he’d lost. To him this life and how he feels is normal, though he does know what happened and how he’s changed, he just doesn’t seem to see the effect it has on others.
I wanted the miracle cure, something to bring back the lovely man we knew from the past sections of the book, the man who couldn’t do enough for Molly, who adored her and was always planning little treats and surprises.
You just keep wondering as you read, Is this how their future is? Can they move forward like this? Will he ever get back some of the man he was, become at least the loving man that adored his wife?
There are little flashes when  we see he’s in there somewhere, and then he does or says something really hurtful and poor Molly is crushed. It made me think – how would I react? I’d like to think in the same way as Molly, but who knows? She’s currently married to a very different person, and may never get the old Alex back. Can she live the rest of her life on this teetering knife edge?

Its a solid read, slowly drawing the reader in until we just don’t know what’s going to happen, how things will pan out, and of course there’s some trails laid that may or may not change the future, depending on choices made.

 

Stars: Five, a solid, very realistic read, that made me think how would I react.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Owl and the Electric Samurai, Kristi Charish

Owl and the Electric Samurai, Kristi Charish

Owl and the Electric Samurai (The Owl Series) by [Charish, Kristi]

Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy

I loved the first two novels but this one was, to be honest, a bit of a slog 😦
I’ve loved Owl, her kind of skewed world views, and yet underneath you know she cares deeply for her friends, that she’s moral, will always do the right thing, for people anyway even if artifacts are a bit of a grey area….but in this book she came over as a bit self centred, kind of blowing off issues that her best friend Nadya was dealing with, acting pretty cold towards Rynn at times.

I love Rynn, but in this book they felt more like two people working together who didn’t really like or respect each other, and though its clear Rynn cares deeply for Owl, would do almost anything to keep her safe she really wasn’t looking out for what was going on in his life, seeing his POV, seeing what he was worried about, didn’t really take Nadya’s issues seriously, only as far as they affected her.
This book seemed to be Only Worry About What Concerns Owl…and I didn’t like that, that wasn’t the person I knew from book one.
Then too there’s the whole Electric Samurai…its not Owl V the ES, its Owl searches for the ES. The Electric Samurai itself doesn’t really come into play til the end.

I had issues with Owl and Rynn jumping form one hot-spot to another, escaping by the skin of their teeth, jumping from country to country, and the non stop action that was hit, done and over just in time for the next issue got dull.
I wanted more in depth detail, to know exactly how they did things, how they escaped, not toss in a few whiz bangs and they’re out, but that’s how each drama began to feel to me. Just more of the same, another place where everyone wants a piece of Owl and she escape barely to fall into the next drama.
I’d have liked a bit more day to day details, more conversations that didn’t just involve “how are we getting out of this mess” type of thing. Less skin of teeth and bombs, less Carpe doing some amazing tech stuff, characters suddenly dropping in unexpectedly and a little more reality.
Back to one of my bugbears, the This just couldn’t happen problem. There’s an IT Acronym IFTTT (If this then that) where if one thing happens its the trigger for another action, and when I’m reading I want to believe that if this one thing/action/event is real it could trigger a defined reaction, but too often in this story I didn’t feel the first issue could be real, it lacked that believability factor, which meant that the action that followed felt wrong to me.

There were parts I enjoyed, and the whole story is so unique that it was really refreshing to read when the series started, but now its seems to have moved away from that and I just need a little less action a little more conversation….A bit more reality even though its fantasy.
How does Owl get from country to country without getting stopped at usual channels ect, without ever having any luggage? She never seems to eat or drink, need to shower, sleep, feed Captain, you know, all the everyday dross that makes a story feel real.
I don’t need loads, just a little to ground her, make things feel real.
She just flips from one country at the end of a chapter and on first page of next chapter she’s where she needs to be, and I’m thinking “but how??” Especially given Captain is with her. Travelling with a huge cat isn’t easy…and where does she keep getting cat carriers?
It is a very complex world blending real world with the fantasy game playing base Shangri-La, but it felt increasing detached to me from the characters and settings we started out with in book one.

Then the ending…no………How could Kristi leave us like that? I’d almost decided this was it for me, wondering whether I really wanted to continue with the series but I can’t stop at this point, I’ll have to see how it plays out and hope a return to the styles of books one and two are forthcoming.

Stars: Three, a bit hard going this installment. Hopefully book four will bring a return to the style of the first two.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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