Demon Dance (A Sundancer Novel)
Arc supplied by publisher.
This is certainly an action packed novel, we jump straight into a scene where Nick is accosted by Coyote, who I know from fiction as a Native American spirit shape-shifter, and assume that Brian is using the same character. Coyote plays about with Nick, forcing him into a rescue and giving him a scale from a dragon…all very curious and that’s one of the problems I had with the book, the way everything just happens without any kind of background. I love this sort of book, where parallel worlds exist with gods and demons, spirits, vampires and shape-shifters, and a few select people with special abilities. The action was perfect, tightly written and riveting, but – and its a big but – I felt I was reading a later book in an existing series. I really struggled with all the different demons, angels, vampires and with Nick’s mysterious powers. None of it was explained and it meant I was constantly wondering how – why- when…I love this sort of fiction and Brain can clearly write it well but I just wish I understood more of the characters abilities and motivations. As it was I felt I was bumbling along finding out as the story unfolded. I don’t mean I need to know everything upfront, or be spoon fed each detail, but a bit more about Nick and the past incidents with his wife and sister in law would have made the story flow much better for me.
Its difficult to review in a way; as I said the writing style is great, full of action and scenes that are believable – or would be if I understood where the characters were coming from. Sadly I was lost – to the extent that I just couldn’t relate to the story as a whole. If I was reviewing on potential and quality it would be a resounding five, but the story itself had me lost and so I struggled to keep interested 😦
Priced at £2.68 for 334 pages/524kb is certainly excellent value if you can work out where the story goes better than I could 🙂 maybe your mind will work differently to mine. If Brian was to write a prequel explaining the events of the past then I’m sure this book would work far better for fantasy lovers, certainly it would for me! Sort of Sundancer 0.5 …..
“I came here,” I told the cat, “to get away from my life. Why did it have to find me?”
The cat’s emerald eyes sparkled with silent laughter. He seemed to know how stupid that sounded, and a thin, brittle smile came to my lips.
“You think I’m an idiot, huh?” I asked. The cat responded with a sharp meow. “Well, so do I.”
I sat up and stretched my neck. “I’m an idiot for throwing the glass,” I told him. “That was some premium Tennessee whiskey.”
The cat meowed again. “As for you,” I said, “you need a name.” The animal wore a dark blue collar I had missed when he came in. There wasn’t an ID, but the strip of cloth had a word printed on the front: Walker.
“OK,” I said, “Walker it is.” I scratched the cat behind his ears, and a rumbling purr vibrated my fingers.
Suddenly Walker’s ears perked up and he sprang from the bed. The hairs on my arms stood to attention, and I swung my legs over the side. My eyes searched the room, seeking a sign in the afternoon gloom of what was crawling across my senses.
That’s when the phone rang. “The Hall of the Mountain King,” made up of singular electronic notes, echoed through the apartment. I leaped out of bed and stood at the edge of the protective circle. The melody repeated itself three times and went silent.
I stood there at the edge of the circle, my heart racing. I strained to hear any movement, and my nose searched for a hint of sulfur. Nothing looked out of the ordinary.
The song blasted the silence again, the tones as simple as a child’s keyboard. With a deep breath, I stepped out of the circle and crept toward the bedroom door. Sensing nothing, I walked into the living room.
The cell phone became silent again, but only for a moment. I managed to snag it on the last ring with an annoyed, “Hello?” Away from the circle I was vulnerable, and I turned to go back to the bed, but the fearful breathing on the other end of the line stopped me.
“Nick?” Caitlin called, as if from a long tunnel. Static overpowered her voice, like energy on a high-voltage wire.
“Cate? I can barely hear you.”
“Nick! Thank God. I need your help!”
I sighed. I came away from my protection for this? “Look, Cate,” I said as I walked back into the bedroom and toward the circle, “we talked about this. You know my—”
“Just shut up and listen!” she yelled. I stopped again as a roaring filled the phone. Screams pierced the background. “I’m in a penthouse at One-Fifty-Five Second Street. Downtown. Get your ass down here!”
“Please, Nick!” Gunshots cracked the phone. “Jesus, the thing has no eyes, how can it see—”
The line went dead.
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You can run all you want, but the game’s in your blood. And blood never forgets…
Nick St. James was born different. His extraordinary gifts have saved him time and time again, but they couldn’t save the one thing he loved most: his wife.
Now he just wants to forget his old life, but more importantly, he wants to forget the magical underworld that lives beneath the “real” world. A place where a man’s faith can determine the very fabric of reality. Where ancient forgotten gods walk hidden among us, and angels and demons fight for our very souls.
But nothing stays hidden forever. Nick’s peaceful world is ripped apart when a demon slaughters his ex-partner and marks him for death. Now he must use all his gifts to find the one who summoned the nightmarish creature, but more importantly, he needs to find the one thing he lost long ago.
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Brian Freyermuth, an 18 year veteran in the gaming industry, started his career at Interplay Entertainment, serving as designer and writer on a number of titles including the award-winning post-apocalyptic role playing game Fallout, where he helped craft the story and create some of its most recognizable settings.
Brian was also granted the pleasure of writing the missions and dialog for the best-selling game, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. Working alongside William Shatner, George Takai and Walter Koenig gave Brian a new perspective on voice acting and dialog that influences his renowned style to this day.
In 2004, Brian ventured to the Pacific Northwest where he spent two years honing his design skills at Midway Games in Seattle. He then returned to Southern California, where he spent five years working on various influential brands under the THQ umbrella such as SpongeBob: SquarePants and WWE.
Brian’s passion for storytelling would eventually lead to a wonderful opportunity to get back to his writing roots by joining Disney and Junction Point in 2011. During his time there, he co-wrote the story and dialog for the WGA Award Nominee Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, where he worked with comic book writer Marv Wolfman and industry legend Warren Spector to give Oswald the Lucky Rabbit a voice at Disney for the first time in 80 years.
Born in the quaint town of Manitou Spring, Colorado, where he grew up in the shadow of Pikes Peak, Brian moved to California as a teenager, eventually graduating from UC Irvine with a major in Comparative Literature and a minor in Computer Science, both of which he uses in his professional and personal careers. Brian is also a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, and loves to write and play video games in his free time. He currently lives in Atlanta with his wife, Juliet, and their son, Kyle.
Interviews and Articles: http://www.middark.com/middark_links.html
Spell Blind (The Witchblood Dossiers) Nicole J. Fawcett
I received this from the author in return for an honest review.
I’d read book one and loved it ( Spell Struck) so was looking forward to more from Rian and Co. This book picks up several years after the first, Rian and Cato are having one of what seem to be fairly regular spats and we don’t see so much of them. I thought I’d miss them but there’s enough to keep me happy and I just loved the new focus on a grown up Rhodry and Marco and Rian’s long time friend Elise.
Elise has come to stay after big problems in her career and personal life caused by the betrayal of her lover. She’s feeling vulnerable and in need of some rest and care – but she’s come to the wrong place! Witnessing the end of what seems to be an act of vandalism she mentions it to Rhodry as there were anti witch slogans daubed on the wall. Rhodry works for Rian at her detective agency, Wright Noble and Trew. ( what a mane 🙂 love it). Turns out that the vandalism is a bit more, one of the buildings owners disappears and the kidnappers seem to think Elise knows more than she does plunging into what seems an endless spiral of danger…along the way she becomes very close to Rhodry, though she worries about the age difference at first then finds that maybe his relationship to Marco could be a greater problem. The police are very unhelpful to the point where they are obstructing the agency’s enquiries placing Elise in more danger.
Its once again a riveting read, a romance with a twist (i’m not saying more but that scene after Elise has showered…hot!) and plenty of action. Nicole is spot on with editing and plot lines that flow seamlessly together – I’m always amazed at how tiny hints earlier in the story turn out to be major parts of a later plot . The trick is to look for them. This is one of those books – like the first- that has so much detail it bears reading over and over and will go into my favourites collection. If you love romance, a great adventurous storyline, witches vampires and fae (though they fae aren’t much in evidence here ) then you’ll love this book. Its fantasy and romance for the thinking reader – not one where you’re spoon fed each plot but one where you have to think and wonder whatever is coming next 🙂 Right up my street.
Its a good length too allowing Nicole to get in depth with the characters and spread the story over multiple plots to keep reader hooked. The end had me in tears of sadness first then tears of joy – I loved it. Great value for money at 362 pages for £4.84 on kindle as its one to re read so cost per read goes down considerably ( I am happy to pay more for books i’d re read – increases the value of them to me)
Stars: full five – its a terrific novel and I hope Nicole is on to book three ( please Nicole – we need more and I want to know how things continue for Elise as well as Rian….)
Bound by Night. Larissa Ione.
Arc supplied by Netgalley.
I loved Larissa’s Demonica series, but have to confess * shock * I’ve never read her Lords of Deliverance….I know, I know, disgraceful – but somehow I’ve just never got to them (or Wards BDB novels…)so when I saw this beginning to a new series – with vampires no less – I had to request it.
Larissa seems to take conventional supernatural creatures and give them a different spin. In this novel the vampires are of two sorts, Natural Born and Turned, and some- especially the Born ones – have special gifts. She manages to make the vampires just that bit different in this way and adds in Native American spirits and beliefs, and a bit of Demon blood…and it works to give us something new and fresh ,in a genre that is becoming swamped by sadly bland vampires. These ones kill though, they’re unashamedly tough and practical but there is a little morality there from some. They drink blood from humans too as well as from bags, eat food, and she links their needs for blood to a moon phase so each second moon either females or males have to drink and need sex from a vampire of the opposite sex. Sounds quite complex doesn’t it – but it’s necessary to move forward the story she’s created. It’s a great world, peopled with characters that feel real, and I started to anticipate what they’ll do next as if I really know them.
One of the strengths of Larissa’s writing ( and with most authors who’s work I enjoy) is that ability to take two people with diametric views, who on the face of it should hate each other, they always start that way, and yet they end up re thinking all their emotions and thoughts, and finding each other not only sexually attractive but mentally too. I admire so much the way this is done, as a reader I look at the two main characters and wonder how I’d get them together and – well – I just can’t! When they are rethinking so am I, looking at situations from anothers’ point of view leads to different conclusions usually.
Riker’s mate was captured by Nicole’s family, a leader in Vampire Slavery, and research, using vampires in all sorts of very profitable but horrific ways, some legal and some not so. Nicole has always believed Riker killed his mate, and that he’s a cruel person, his mate was her Nanny and she loved her dearly and was very close to her. Riker hates all her remaining family for their use of vampires, the cruel way they treat them, as commodities and not as people. Nicole has a vampire phobia after being attacked in a rebellion that killed most of her family. She been involved in the research side not knowing about the horrific treatment given to vamps, and assuming the company acts legally. Now she’s inherited the company and finds out all is not as she thought. How on earth will those two ever get together. Well, there’s a complex and riveting story to be read before you’ll find that out, and its one that had me gripped to the kindle, not wanting to put it down til the end. Larissa doesn’t dumb down her writing thankfully, its an intricate work, one that’s long, absorbing and full of detail. There’s not loads of descriptive waffle though, each word belongs and is part of the whole story. There’s the main plot of course but also I can see a myriad of smaller ones that link to things either in this book or presumably to come in later ones.
First novels in series have a hard task, they need to set the scene, show the world and people created and yet still tell an absorbing story. Few manage a five star read from me on a first in series as its difficult to get all three parts at the right balance but this one does. It’s one for my keepers file and at 400 pages for £4.41 it’s really good value.
Stars: five – all the way, and a series I’ll definitely be following eagerly.
ARC supplied via Netgalley.
I enjoy paranormal books, but so many are really just a light, fluffy romance with a bit of fantasy thrown in, so it’s a treat to read one that has some depth to it. This novel is a mix between fantasy, urban, and dystopian, it has elements from all those genres mixed in and it works really successfully to give a story that’s action packed, gripping and full of characters that I felt I could be friends with (well the good ones !).
The description covers the basics of the plot, and this book feels as if its the first in a series. I hope so as I’d love to read more of Nina and friends – especially Frankie – I’m a sucker for the good vamps….
Nina is back in her home town managing the bar she co-owns with her aunt, after spending most of her life away training with the Dept. she works with. There’s an attack on her and one of the customers leaps to her rescue – he’s the delicious Max, FBI agent here on a mission to help with the local gang crime. Of course Nina can’t tell him that its supernatural related, but he can’t seem to stay out of it. There’s lots coming forward too about her ancestry, and she’s developing powers that the secret Govt. agency she works for hadn’t foreseen. Its a mix of ghosts, demons, vampires, hell hounds and witchery, and it all makes for one hot, riveting investigation, with the supernatural agents trying to clean up away from the investigations of the human police. Nina seems to leap from one attack to another, trying to get a successful date with Max, who’s sensually attractive, without tipping him off about her odd heritage. Max gets suspicious when she’s involved in so many of the crime scenes though, and her passing out when a recently murdered man keeps possessing her, along with a strange and frightening incident involving her new powers when they finally do manage a date has him wondering just what’s going on. He’s not ready for the truth though even when he does get told…
Frankie – ah I loved him right from the start, he’s known Nina all her life and her dad was his mentor. He’s over 500 years old and has some great snarky quips. He’s very protective of Nina, and there’s antipathy between him and Max right from the start. Max is hot but compared to Frankie – Max? Max who ? 🙂
There’s a host of other supernatural people in this novel, and all are strong and play a part to make for a superb story that had me glued to my kindle. I really, really want more form this team.
Stars: cracking book, solid story, real characters so full five.
Arc supplied by Netgalley.
Paranormal romance, I love it so Crimson Night was one I had to request 🙂 Its a strange book to get into in the beginning. The characters are so very different from what we’re used to, but ultimately once I’d worked them out a bit better it made for a welcome change. Though its classed as romance, that angle isn’t as prevalent as I’d expect but there is some hot sensual sex between Pandora and Luc.
Pandora is Nephilm, but seems to be unusual for them in that she feels emotions for people, and has sympathy. Usually they’re a very unemotional, practical race and she’s still a killer, still takes what she needs but tries to balance it. I felt for her, its not her fault she was born what she was, and she’d tried to make the best of it. I love the way the Carnival is home to the family of different types, all have their faults but make up a family under the protection of Luc, their leader.
Luc, I wasn’t sure what to feel about him, on the outside he’s proud of what he is and unashamed of his practical non emotional stance, and yet he’s clearly got a soft spot for Pandora, though he’s limited in how far he’ll go to protect her. They’ve a chequered past spanning thousands of years, so its a complicated relationship. The Nephilm each have their own demons, and Pandora’s Lust is strong and sometimes its a very tough fight between her and Lust. It seems to be that way for all the characters, they have themselves and their demon half but almost as two separate entities within one body, and the control each person has varies. It made for some interesting scenes, and I’m hoping that its going to become a series. I can’t find that info anywhere but it reads as though there’s more to come from Pandora and her family.
There’s sex here, both practical and pleasurable in type, lots and lots of blood and gore, demons, weird creatures, mystery and mythical people, plots, backstabbing, danger and adventure. A really interesting storyline, and hinting at a prophecy which makes me feel there’s more books to come. I’m still unsure of Luc and his romantic feelings for Pandora (or not), and her for him even at the end. It was a good read, something very different from what I expected, but I really enjoyed it even though the romantic angle was tentative. I think that might heat up more in the next books, if this continues as a series. It did grow from what I felt at the start, but I could feel the caution on both sides about really letting go of emotions.
Stars: four. Good read, unusual story and I do hope there’s more to come.
ARC supplied by Netgalley
I’ve read all these now from the first in the series, and its always a fun adventure where poor Sophie lands in all sorts of trouble. This time is no exception. Thinking now her old boss is back she’ll be able to relax, Sophie and Will are sent as supply teachers to a school where a pupil is missing as there’s rumours of witchcraft involvement. As usual Sophie takes on more than just the job, desperately wanting to find the missing girl, and fearing it’s part of a chain and others will go missing. There are similarities to a girl missing from the school the previous year, who was found dead with witchcraft markings on her.
Will, he veers from flirty to back to Protector constantly and I’m not surprised poor Sophie wonders what’s going on with him. She’s attracted to Will very much, but she’s in love with Fallen angel Alex – and recently found he’s got the problem that Sophie is the [person he needs to destroy to get back into Grace. So their on off relationship is definitely Off though he hasn’t actually told Sophie that. (jerk) Gone from Loving Alex to Cold Alex, and Sophie just doesn’t know where she stands. Like her I’m getting confused too, and hope the next book brings something a bit more definitive – though I’m not sure which one I favour. There’s something about Alex, he was so great at first til he found out about Sophie, then Will, flirty British Will is sometimes all on and smiles, then the next minute just reminding Sophie he’s only there as a task to protect her in her Vessel of Souls role. One minute he’s very protective, and next when she’s running into something that could be dangerous he’s “I’m watching the footy love – good luck and call me when its over…” Puzzling to her and me. Ah well, that’s why we keep reading.
As usual the simple job turns out to be tip of the iceberg, and poor Sophie gets bashed and battered once again, with some life threatening moments. Its a good job she heals fast. There’s lots of appearances by lovely vampire flatmate Nina – that woman is so funny. She reminds me of Pasty from the wonderful TV show Absolutely Fabulous. She’s always striving for something more and in the most unattainable way. She loves Sophie, and yet as ever thinks everything revolves around herself – it seems to be a common vamp trait. When the chips are down though she’s with Sophie all the way regardless of the danger. Vlad, Nina’s nephew – 16 years old but 113 vampire years, and really is a typical teen; hormonal, arrogant ( and the vamps take arrogant to a new position) and with a teens ever changing love life! You can’t help liking him, and the mix of them provides for some really funny moments. Vlads love life excels in this book!
There’s murder and mayhem, witchcraft and witches, hexes and curses, and the excitement and danger grows til Sophie faces death once more. I had some ideas who was involved…but I was wrong. Hannah lays false trails to catch us out 🙂 and I was caught! Though I was correct in one suspect. That made the surprise all the sweeter. The only thing I didn’t like was the ending – and that’s purely from a frustration point of view – I want the next book now so I can find out what happens next, what Will is going to say., what Alex will do next. You know – all the things you want to know from a good series. Its why I love to reread once the series is complete – I can just have a mammoth session of reading without the frustration of waiting for next book.
Priced at £4.31 for a massive 414 pages its excellent value and will join my keepers file for re reading.
Stars: Well written of course, brilliant plots that had me fooled yet again (good job its Sophie and not me, I’d have been dead ages ago) Has to be another five star read.
ARC provided by Netgalley.
This series just gets better and better. Each book builds on the adventures the duo have had in the past, and the dangers they’ve faced. Michael has just returned from a vampire hunt, expecting to have some much needed time with Nikki when Seline, leader of the Circle, contacts him to say he’s needed in a new hunt. He’s not happy about it but finally agrees he’s the best person for the job, and although he was looking forward to seeing Nikki he now only has a few hours instead of the hoped for weeks. Nikki has been saying she wants to help him, be a partner in what he’s doing but he’s not having that. He thinks that if Seline gets hold of her who knows what danger she’ll face, as she will want to use Nikki’s talents to the full, so despite Nikki and Seline’s pleas he remains adamant that Nikki stays away. However Nikki is an investigator in her own right, and he gets home to find she and Jake, her boss, have left o go on the same hunt Seline has just arranged.
Its the usual dangers faced, heart-stopping and vividly portrayed, blood, gore and guts and danger round every corner. Nikki as usual plunges in, and Michael tries to keep her back and safe. He’s being a typical man, and not just a vampire in that he wants Nikki safe, and won’t listen when she says her life is always dangerous because of what she does and who she is. Then of course there’s the whole tied to Michael’s life conundrum, from when he shared some of his life force to save her life. That’s led to both of them changing in ways previously unknown, and has given them extra strengths but at what cost? And they have yet little control or knowledge about these powers, so the usefulness of them is unpredictable, and they can prove dangerous if they take up too much power leaving them weak and vulnerable.
I love Michael but feel for Nikki here. For a long time she’s taken care of herself and lived with her life constantly in danger, now Michael wants her to stay at home, nice and safe, away from him for weeks at a time and not knowing if he will survive whatever job he’s on. He just can’t understand the stress that is for Nikki, and doesn’t see that treating her this way is causing a wedge to develop between them that could force them apart. Nikki loves him but won’t be like her mother, dominated by and always controlled by a man. She’s too much her own woman for that and knows it would unbalance their relationship detrimentally.
Jake – the best partner and boss Nikki could have, he’s a real star back up letting her use her talents for the firm but always there if he can be to protect her. The big problem is he’s only human and subject to human limitations. This time he faces some real danger and heartbreak, although he’s ostensibly in the city to look at a safer job after his wife pleaded for it. On the last job he nearly died, and she’s putting her foot down and wants him to look at a simple hotel security job…while he’s there his friends wife goes missing, and he and Nikki are looking into it. It turns out to be related to the job Michael is on, and with all the attending dangers that brings.
As usual Keri has written a tightly knit story, peopled with supernatural dangers and creatures beyond most people knowledge. There’s the balance of creating a supernatural adventure set in the human world while making it seem possible for it to happen and for humans not to notice.The plots flow into one another, seemingly innocuous events turn out to be major dramas, and unconnected incidents start to add up into clues to the main danger. Nikki and Michael are having more problems over his refusal to consider her working with him. Can they find a way to compromise or is this the end? I know how she feels in a way, I’m an above knee amputee and after falling several times from my horse and the attendant concussions and broken bones Him Indoors wanted me to stop riding – but its part of who I am, and in the same way facing danger and doing her best to sort problems is who Nikki is. Michael has to accept at least part of that in the same way Him Indoors did 🙂 or risk losing her but does he realise that’s what could happen. Nikki has to lay it out straight for him, and make a decision.
Another fantastic, gripping instalment from the duo and I loved it all the way through. Its a definite re read type book and one for the keepers file. Priced at £5.49 for 288 pages on kindle it’s in the upper range as far as value for money goes, but set that against the multiple re-read factor and it becomes more reasonable.
Stars: five, cracking book once again!
I received this from the publishers in return for an honest review.
Ohh – Paranormal romance, vampires, adventure – what more could I ask for. This is book one of a series and I quickly became enmeshed in the story. Its urban fantasy at its best, and I look forward to reading more of the series. Nikki is a private investigator and in this book we begin with her using her psychic powers to find a missing teenager. Sound easy doesn’t it – but of course things are not what they seem. Nikki seems to have more powers than she realises, and a very dangerous vampire Jasper is out to get her to use them for himself. She’s unknowingly under the protection of another supernatural organisation and a 300 year old vampire called Michael is tracking her for them – he discovers Jasper is involved and knows just how dangerous he is.
Michael and Nikki find an attraction developing between them and both fight it, Nikki has been independent for many years after living on the streets and Michael shys away from any relationships. Despite that they are drawn to each other and the dangers they face bring them together time and time again. They need to find a way to trust each other and work past their issues if they are to survive.
They make a great pair, Nikki isn’t some sweet devoted heroine but a strong, bolshy, independent lady and Michael can’t help admiring her. They both have secrets though and that doesn’t help, along with Michaels natural instinct to control which jars with Nikki’s need for independence.
Its a riveting read, taking us along an adventure that is face paced and full of danger. The romantic elements are there but they add to the story not detract from it and as a reader I can’t help but wish for a good resolution for the pair. Though its a series its not one of those awful cliffhanger types – this story has a proper ending thought we see a bit of what is going on with Nikki and Michael in book two.
Its well written and edited and will join my keepers file for re reading.
Stars: four and a half star – just the sort of book I love.
I sat at my PC yesterdasy refreshng the amazon button hoping this was out. finally got it in the late afternoon and began reading it soon as I’d finshed the review book I was reading. I stopped (reluctantly) at about 7pm as I’m such a wimp and those these aren’t what I’d called Horror they can be scary to wimpls like me. I have weird dreams at the best of times so anything a bit spooky is out of bedtime reading 🙂 I just love this sereis – Dex, what a great guy though he’s a dipstick at times and yet we can’t help liking him seeing the real Dex behind the snark and quips. Perry – love her but I thought in last book she was being a bit tough on Dex, after all she’d done things wrong too. Still, the ending made up for it and I’ve been despate to see if they keep that up. so far I’m at 65 % and just Loving this book. Karina is such a fabulous writing she pulls the reader into the scene and we feel like we’re there with them. The ginger douchebag Maximus is back in this book – learning a bit more about him but i still don’t like him – never been a fan of his and after how he let Perry down that was it – he’s on my hit list.
Anyway once i finsih the book I’ll do a proper review but for those who haven’t fallen victim to the lure of karina halle and her writings and escepically the Experimnt in Terror series – get it now. Book one is free and the rest are very very fairly priced. Its a sereis to read and re read there’s so much in it.
I received an ARC in exchange for honest review.
I was contacted by the author and asked to review this book. As usual I looked and read the Amazon sample and decided it was something I’d like to read. Its a very good début book from Mr Ramos and I’d love to read next in the series – hope you don’t keep us waiting too long!
It begins with Elizabeth (Liz, Izzy) talking to her therapist about her background. Liz saw her mum taken by something – right in front of her in their kitchen but the action was so fast its a blur. Of course no-one believes her and she gained the reputation of being “odd” and she’s become a slightly prickly, defensive character. I found her difficult to like at first, she seemed almost aggressive to people. When she first meets Michael (and Vincent later) in the café where she works she’s fairly rude to him and if I’d been him I’d have walked out. Still he knows more about her than we do, or than she does herself. The story reveals slowly that there is a supernatural element alive and kicking in the human world and Liz becomes part of it along with Michael and Vincent. There are plots and battles and its a book with a lot of action in. Its not a book to be bored with 🙂 though I felt a little less action and a little more description would have been better. There was a lot of working up to each action scene, but it was over too quickly and I feel it could have been drawn out longer to make it the bigger part of the book it deserved. Still, better than those with pages and pages of dull action, as some books do just to fill pages.
The story line was believable, although of course fantasy means suspending belief to a degree there needs to be some form of realism, and I’m always sceptical when the main character such as Liz developers special powers right in the middle of a crisis. Thankfully Liz doesn’t and in fact often says how she feels the weak link having nothing special to fight with. I felt it easier to relate to her for that and it made a great change from the novels where the characters are in a battle and the newbie heroine gains powers to save the day ahead of those supernatural who are hundreds, even thousands of years old. I really struggle with that concept.
There’s a scene at the beginning where she is chatting with Michael about the supernatural world and the possibility of it being real, and Michael says how in history even though there was no contact between people in different countries they’ve come up with very similar otherworldly creatures – its something that’s crossed my mind many times too 😉
I liked both Michael and Vincent – more so as time went on and we learned more about them. I like the way they are very different characters with Michael being the planner and Mr responsibility, and Vincent being the fly by the seat of your pants person….Liz was attracted to them both and I can see why – she has a hard decision ahead of her though I think I can see which one its going to be 🙂 but I need next book to tell if I’m right.
On the subject of next book – I have a dire horror of cliffhangers – I love series but the recent trend for trilogies with cliffhanger endings leaves me cold and puts me off buying the book as its often months, even a year before we readers learn more by which time the impact has lessened. Mr Ramos doesn’t fall into that trap thankfully! The next book is clearly a continuation of this one but though there are lead ins as to what will happen this book of course, the ending to this one is tied up neatly as I’d expect and much in line with conventional series novels – a big Hurrah for that! Hopefully more authors will take note – I know from emails and comments that I’m not alone in HATING cliffhangers, so an end to them will be well supported by many of us.
Overall a really excellent first novel and I’d love to read next part. Its excellent value for money at just £2.01 for 282 pages, I have a kind of arbitrary 1.5p per page guideline on the VFM front, and this falls well into that especially as its one to join the keeper files for re reading.
Stars: brilliant start -there is room for improvement as with many first novels but I’m giving it a solid four stars.