American Witch, American Witch: Book 1, Thea Harrison
Genre: Romance, Sci-fi and Fantasy
I love Thea’s writing, have read many ( but not all) of the Elder Races series, and I loved the tie in here. Its very subtle, not a direct link, more a reference to the world setting.
I enjoyed the story, had me hooked very quickly and loved Molly and Josiah separately, but I wasn’t so convinced about them as a couple. There was certainly intense lust, but they seemed to flow from that to a full fledged relationship very quickly, and it just didn’t feel right. I felt cheated of the relationship growth, especially as for much of the time they were separated, for Molly’s safety.
The dangers facing Molly were twofold, first externally via her cheating husband and his machinations and secondly from her newly emerged and totally unexpected witch power. I loved Molly as a person, and cheered her on when she announced at the party just what Austin had been doing. He really was a typical selfish cheating husband. I had my thoughts early on about who the other party ( this time) was, and really felt for Molly when she discovered who it was.
Josiah seemed pretty cold, single minded about his quest when we first meet him, and he doesn’t realise Molly is unaware of her Powers. There are some terrific scenes between them, and TBH he was a character I thought I’d dislike. Sometimes its more interesting that way, than having the main leads be wonderful, likable characters right from the start. When I discovered his history, the reasons behind his quest I understood it. Its bring him and those around him into danger though, and I was full of respect for Molly when she said – for specific reasons) that she couldn’t be around that danger, and removed herself temporarily until he’d sorted it, even though it was heartbreaking for both of them. That brings me back to the turnaround in feelings though, where they’ve gone from 0-60, from disliking each other intensely to full on togetherness. It was just too quick, and I felt a bit cheated.
Its an interesting story, with some great characters. I couldn’t recall if it was a standalone or the start of new series as I was reading, but am so pleased it is a series. This book ends completely but leaves lots of threads open for more stories, and I’ll be lining up to read them.
Stars: four, a great start, just a few small reservations that stopped it from being a five.
Arc via Netgalley
Lionheart, Thea Harrison
I was wondering what to read next recently, I love to re-read good novels and this trilogy flicked in my mind as one I’d really enjoyed, and then only a couple of days later the final book appeared on Netgalley 😉 Yay!
Sadly though I loved the first two books in this series this one, well, not so much 😦 and just have to say here, I hate that cover. That guy just doesn’t do it for me. I get that Oberon is tough and growly, not a slight, pretty boy type, but that guy just looks hairy and – dare I say it – a little chubby rather than muscly……and that ‘tache!! Still, I’m sure he’s a hit for others 😉
Where books one and two were very people orientated and we had lots of action, drawing in so many different characters, it felt like the bulk of this book was just Oberon and Katherine, and I didn’t really enjoy that part. I’m glad he wasn’t a sap when he saw Katherine, that he was his own abrupt, arrogant, imperious self, even when they did fall for each other. Equally I love that Thea has strong women as heroines, no simpering misses, no-one that can be described as “his little….” that always infuriates me. Just strong, confident ladies. They often have issues, but that’s a world away from being weak and easily impressed. I did enjoy their battles, where neither backed down.
I love Puck, and I’m glad we saw more of him, he’s a strange character, I so feel for his past and the effects it had on him, and that makes him very unpredictable. His heart is for Oberon ( and Sophie) and he’s ultra protective, giving nothing for convention, politeness, politics, just takes the course of action that feels right to him. That gives Thea a freedom to introduce all sorts of events….
I missed seeing the characters we’d met in the earlier books, they were there but so briefly considering the size of the book, and that affected how I enjoyed it. It just didn’t feel properly connected to those earlier ones. I do like the link with the elder Races but you don’t need to have read them to enjoy this trilogy.
The battle with Isabeau, when it finally came, felt anti-climatic, there had been so much build up through previous books and then it seemed to be over in a trice. It made it feel a bit of a non event for me. I’d guessed a way back what was going to happen, not quite how but the seeds for the event were pretty generously sown.
Stars:Three and a half, fabulously written as always with Thea – that parts a solid five stars, but the rest just didn’t live up to books one and two for me. I really missed meeting all the others, missed the actual world connections, Lyonesse v the world we know, the magic that connects it, and they way Oberon’s people have been fighting so hard for Lyonesse and him on both sides of the divide. I felt so much of this book was just Katherine and Oberon and they took over too much of the story for me. I also felt the ending was a little anti-climatic somehow, all that build up and then…..
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publisher
Spellbinder, A Moonshadow Novel, Thea Harrison
Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy, Romance
I loved Moonshadow, the first novel in this trilogy. Thea is one of those authors who can make fantasy and magic feel real, who has me completely wrapped in the story. This time round we see the other side to Morgan, Queen Isabeau’s magician enforcer, leader of her Hounds.
We met him mainly by reputation in the last book, knew him as a conscienceless killer, and now we see that its not him, he has to act as the Queen commands, has no free will. She took control of him centuries ago by magical means, and he is forced to obey her every command. He hates it, hates her, she killed his beloved Arthur, and he’s been waiting for her to slip, make a mistake all these long years, and then he’s going all out for freedom, even if it means his death.
Then she does, she makes this tiny error in what she says and he takes advantage.
He’s not free, not yet but her words allow him freedom for a short time to research the magical knife at the heart of her control over him. He has to stay away from any of the Light Court, they can tell him her wishes, and it acts like a command. While he’s researching and avoiding everyone he hears Sidonie play, is entranced and that leads to a string of events ending with her the Queen’s prisoner.
If we didn’t know Robin, the Puck, and all he suffered from the last book, I’d think he was an awful person. He knows full well what will happen to Sid when the Queen gets her claws in, but he hates Morgan, hates that he was the instrument of his centuries of torture, as commanded by the Queen. He doesn’t know the full circumstances, thinks Morgan betrayed the Dark court he was part of, thinks he is the Queen’s lover and had a free hand in the atrocities he does.
He sees Morgan is enjoying Sid’s music, and thinks to use her as a trap for him, use her to break up his relationship with the Queen.
Its kind of a long logic thinking that because he’s following her tour, enraptured by her music that he will seek revenge on Isabeau for the atrocities she will inflict on Sid, but I guess Robin’s kind of flawed in his thinking anyhow. He doesn’t see Sid as a person, only a tool, and doesn’t care what happens to her. His plan will work – or it won’t. Either way he loses nothing by trying. I have to think of it the way he would, the way the Fae see humans, disregard them mostly as people, don’t really care what befalls them unless, as with Sophie from Moonshine, there’s some kind of personal connection. He’s devoted to Sophie, determined to protect her despite the fact she’s (mostly) human. He doesn’t know Sid so he’s not concerned about her. That changes though when he gets to know her.
Poor Sidonie, she’s horrified, powerless, distraught at what’s happened and feels so alone. She does what anyone would do, demands she be released, give the queen the sharp side of her tongue and…suffers the results.
As Robin planned Morgan soon gets to know of what’s happened but of course Robin doesn’t know of the restrictions surrounding Morgan, so his plans from there go wrong.
Its another fabulous magical read, making me really feel for Morgan despite the awful things he’s done.
In Moonshadow I hated him, here I see him as another of the Queens victim’s now I know the whole story, and likewise I felt so sad for Robin in Moonshadow, and had to keep reminding myself of what he’d been through when he was so casual about Sidonie’s welfare.
Its like we’ve two sides to the story now, the Dark Fae and the Light Fae, centuries of history, of Isabeau’s horrific reign now look to come to a head, with the key players having a change of situation. I can’t wait for the final novel bringing everything together.
Stars: Five, great second book, roll on the final one 😉
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
Moonshadow, A Moonshadow Novel, Thea Harrison
Genre: romance, paranormal and fantasy
I read the early Elder Races books then somehow missed later ones, caught up in the morass of new books I lost track of them. Then saw this on Netgalley and jumped in, a trilogy, so a fantasy with an end in sight not years off ( I hope!) that sounded right up my street.
I love Thea’s writing style, succinct and easy to follow and yet not dumbed down as so many paranormal reads are. They suit lots of readers as evidenced by sales and they way they dominate lists, but I like that bit extra, more to think about.
I love the Fae involvement, and the link to the Elder Races. If you’ve not read any of those it won’t really matter, you can follow the story anyway, because the Fae side is stronger.
Great characters in Sophie and Nikolas, also his second – well, he feels like a Second anyway, Gawain, and his other men. Loved Robin, and the way he links up to known tales about the Fae and Puck/Hob. All these people felt real, I seemed to know them, get a sense of each character and they were perfect in the story. I hate getting characters that just feel they’re added for padding, for a bit of sex, who don’t feel they belong in the tale.
The magic side was believable, I hate when characters get new powers and when all looks impossible they somehow pull them up and have perfect control. Its not like that here, there are new things Sophie is learning, but mostly its all stuff she knows and has used many times, adapted to fit what she needs.
There’s Fae and Elder Races here, humans, Hell hounds, magic and spells, runes and spelled silver, modern guns with special bullets and old time swords, along with bows and arrows. There’s a bit of everything here, could have been an unruly mish mash but its not, it works perfectly.
There’s the usual dangers in the story, and Sophie gets quickly pulled in to the war between Dark and Light Courts. It’s interesting that the Dark court, which I’d expect to be the “bad” side isn’t, and the Light court is the one at fault.
I love the parallel world connection, it fits my way of imagining how these things could be real, with a kind of time/space reality, where a thin field can allow one to move into another dimension.
Yeah… OK, I’ve never really grown up and to me stuff like that * could * be real. I reckon science just hasn’t yet caught up 🙂 After all electricity, aeroplanes, telephones, vaccines, antibiotics etc must have seemed like magic, impossible to many people when they were new.
Then Sophie’s spells, as a witch she’s good at them, but she’s other talents too from her heritage and I suspect we’ll learn even more about her.
The romance, that worked well for me, insta lust but with added insta hate! Sophie and Nik are total opposites, he’s old fashioned hyper protective of the “little woman” as you’d expect from someone that old, and Sophie is a self reliant, make her own mind up character not used to being ordered around without reason, they’re a real oil-and-water mix but it works, the sparks really fly from both tempers and sexual tension.
I enjoy the way Thea balanced it so the romance felt real, but didn’t overtake the story, how the story caused the conflicts between them and brought them together.
I’m really looking forward to the next two books, a first book has such a hard job, setting scenes, plots and characters but Moonshadow does that perfectly. a really solid five star read.
Stars: Five, a fabulous start to the trilogy. A definite re-reader.
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
Dragos Takes a Holiday A Story of the Elder Races Thea Harrison.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I’ve read several of Thea’s novels, and the first Elder Races one featuring Dragos and Pia is still my favourite so I was really pleased to get this for review. I love Dragos, he has that mix of Alpha male thing going with an at times naivety about the way the modern world works even though he’s a key player in it. His attitude is “if I want it I’ll have it” 🙂 fine but sometimes a bit of tact and discretion is needed. Luckily he’s got Pia who’s learned to manage him really well in the year they’ve been together. They have the Peanut now too, Liam, their baby dragon and he’s made a huge change in Dragos life. Anyway Pia decides Dragos needs a break and sets about it so he thinks the whole thing is his idea – hence the books about treasure hunting, he loves sparkly! They set off with friends Hugh and Eva for the Bermuda islands…Dragos being old knows many legends of treasure lost in that area. They find out though that treasure hunting isn’t the innocent pastime Pia expected, but one which will place them all in danger.
As ever I love Dragos, and Pia is just perfect for him. It was great to “hear” Liam’s voice when he was thinking of what he was going to do, what had been happening – it gave a child’s sweet perspective on events. All I can say is that with the way he’s growing Dragos and Pia face a fun and heart stopping future!
Its a short read – 90 pages, and priced at £1.91/$3.08. I really enjoyed it as a bit of fun, but its sweet and light, no real drama and its one that’s a one off read only for me. As I know the characters it allowed me to fully understand the background info, someone new to the series might not get as much out as I did in the same way I struggled with a novella recently when I hadn’t read the main series.
ARC supplied via Netgalley.
Stars: a solid four, a good fun read, but too short and light for a five from me.