I've been getting more into dark fantasy and was quite curious about the particulars of a necromancer's world. In reading Necromancer, I feel as if I'I've been getting more into dark fantasy and was quite curious about the particulars of a necromancer's world. In reading Necromancer, I feel as if I've taken a college course in dark beings and all things undead without feeling schooled. Rather I was purely entertained and on the edge of my seat.
The city of Malkandrah was expertly portrayed and painted in rich, earthy colors. I found myself as compelled by the setting as I was by the characters, though I became very fond of Maldren as I read on. His mother had been a powerful necromancer, who he'd had some misunderstandings with that were never resolved, since she passed on. And Maldren was plagued with an inexperienced apprentice that he never asked for. Nevermind that Ayla was young, beautiful and brave. Maldren had his heart set on an older woman, Phixia, who was out of his league and out of reach. His pain of not being able to get any respect as a necromancer was visceral, since the superstitious townsfolk all too easily blamed death and destruction on the necromancers and their guild.
The town was besieged by terrifying, supernatural fires. The big question? Would Maldren be up to the task of figuring out who or what was causing the fires, and more importantly, why? You'll have to read to find out.
Ing is a masterful writer, who really understands wordlbuilding and character development. Oh, and there's a compelling romance blooming, plus tons of really intense action. I highly recommend Necromancer....more
I really enjoyed J.L. Flynn’s Short Game novella, which is part of a longer series (The Long Game and The Waiting Game). First of all, it was a refresI really enjoyed J.L. Flynn’s Short Game novella, which is part of a longer series (The Long Game and The Waiting Game). First of all, it was a refreshing departure from the typical romance fare. It was set in Louisiana and the main character was from a group of Irish gypsies, called Travelers. They made their living conning folks, doing anything from completing a roofing job with many slippery shortcuts, to long games, involving cheats that required intricate planning and years of infiltration to make the steal.
The main character, Jimmy starts to fall for a girl named Tracy, who works at the local hardware store. He considers this an impossible relationship from the start because she’s what the Traveler clan calls a Buffer, a village person, who the clan is never supposed to interact with in any deep way.
It’s a perfect setup for a forbidden romance, and to add to the tension, Jimmy is also quite worried about what’s happened to his older brother, Shay, who was sent away for a long con, or long game.
My only quibble with this fascinating, fast-paced story was that the ending was too much of a cliffhanger. That's why I gave it four rather than 5 stars. I understand why—Flynn is setting her readers up to nab the next story and continue reading. But I am a believer in at least tying up a few loose ends in any series book. That said, I still heartily recommend this read, which stands out as unique, among other all-too formulaic fare....more
Callie’s a sweet, shy girl who left her hometown to attend college where she wouldn’t be pegged the uncool recluse as before. Her secret crush on herCallie’s a sweet, shy girl who left her hometown to attend college where she wouldn’t be pegged the uncool recluse as before. Her secret crush on her guy friend, Tayber is very believable, even for these days, where the assumption is that most girls are fast, free and up front about their desires.
Callie and Tayber are great friends, but in truth, she’d longs for much more with him. He’s also been hurt, by family issues, and has closed himself off except for fast, commitment-free hookups. Callie’s found a way to get inside his fantasy world through, but it’s the most dishonest thing she’s ever done: she sets up an account as Sasha, a sex freak, and when Tayber goes for it, their back and forth messages get quite steamy. There are huge drawbacks: Callie finds herself terrified that she’ll slip up in real life and blurt out something to Tayber that only “Sasha” would know, and then he’ll discover who she really is.
I powered right through this novella by Shari Slade, and totally enjoyed it. Slade’s writing style and characterization is a cut above many of the novels I’ve recently read in the new adult and adult romance genre. Highly recommended, and I look forward to her next new adult read. ...more
In Boomtown Craze, Craze has grown from being a Candide-esque innocent to a lovable, but sharp realist. Plenty of bad things still happen to him: hisIn Boomtown Craze, Craze has grown from being a Candide-esque innocent to a lovable, but sharp realist. Plenty of bad things still happen to him: his tavern tables get delivered in all the wrong colors, his obnoxious, user family arrives just as he is finally making it big in the tourist trade; yet Craze has learned how to play hard. He has grown quite suave with women. For instance, he’s able to make a strategic decision to forgo seducing the young lady of his choice in order to flatter and charm that girl’s mother, who has planetary power and a massive crop of Wonder Ricklets, a sort of small bovine type herd that he wants in on. I enjoyed the scenes where we get glimpses of his sexual charm. One of the women is a Sprinkler, a blue-hued race that sloughs off mist and a continual drizzle that, on this dry and dusty moon of Pardeep definitely has its benefits! I love Pax’s inventive side: the way the characters’ hair curls and swirls and has its very own life; the beautiful yet toxic plants of Photwit and the nanite-laced chocolates that one can control a subject’s mind with when offered as a treat. M Pax has true imagination and humor, and the prose just keeps getting better and better. I’m a fan. ...more
In a desperate quest to make it to the coast and to the heart of the rebellion, Princess Semara travels with hunky, kindhearted Ryder and his quirky,In a desperate quest to make it to the coast and to the heart of the rebellion, Princess Semara travels with hunky, kindhearted Ryder and his quirky, mentally damaged (but somehow charming sister) Raeth across a scarred postwar earth. On the way, Semara learns from a confidant that the rebellion might just find it more lucrative to turn Semara in to her mother, the evil queen and Semara’s archenemy than to accept Semara into their own fold. This is part of the uncertainty that fuels the tension throughout this perilous journey. Knight is quite adept at action and battle scenes, and there were many. I particularly loved the terrifying desert critters that slithered up from the sand to startle and bite. Other page-turners were the battle in old Chicago with heat-seeking assassins and a rousing train chase.
The romance between Semara and Ryder was full of passion and switchback twists, and I do like a fiery mismatch between lovers of two different classes. The most compelling element for me was the hatred of the mother for her daughter. This plot point was so disturbing, and against the natural order that it really got my attention. I only wanted more insight into why the mother hated her daughter so much. I didn’t have the benefit of reading the prequel novella, Weighted, which may have explained this more. That said, I highly recommend Escapement to those who love action, romance and sci-fi. ...more
Lirium has a tough job, but someone’s got to do it! He’s a collector of life energy in a gritty future world that goes to paying off debts. he can takLirium has a tough job, but someone’s got to do it! He’s a collector of life energy in a gritty future world that goes to paying off debts. he can take it or give it, depending on the situation, but there's often a price to pay. When he meets the sex worker he dubs Apple Girl, for her fruit-laced perfume, he’s surprised to discover that she wants something other than a quick, addictive hit of life force. As suspicious and paranoid as Lirium is about her motives, he’s drawn in enough to travel with her to her place to find out more.
Quinn’s voice mirrors the classic hardboiled noir authors, yet it also pings with a fresh, edgy, no-nonsense bravura that sets her apart from the pack. It’s a clever blend of sci-fi and noir, and it really works. Highly recommended for those who love mystery, drama and dark tales of suspense. Stay tuned for each succeeding installment. ...more
Meg is a tennis freak, and is quite disciplined about practicing her game. She has a sure shot at making it to varsity if she keeps up her game. But tMeg is a tennis freak, and is quite disciplined about practicing her game. She has a sure shot at making it to varsity if she keeps up her game. But there are undeniable and continual distractions! One of these is her main squeeze, Ash, a dreamy and sweet guy who she's sure is on the verge of blurting out the L word--love you!
Noah Turner, a super confident and outgoing ace player is even more of a distraction because he won't leave Meg alone after never giving her the time of day before. Does he really like her, or is he angling to mess up her game? Meg has her mind made up to ignore him and remain faithful to Ash--that is until Noah sidles up to her with his handsome eyes and undeniable charm.
Grayson, her best friend, and tennis buddy, is getting fed up with all of Meg's male distractions because Meg has promised Gray she'll spend the rest of her precious free time helping Gray up her game. Without Meg's help, Gray doesn't have a shot at varsity.
Will Grayson make the team? Will Ash ever tell Meg he loves her? Or will Meg choose Noah over Ash after all? I like that this story has a sporty element that raises it above the typical YA romance. The twists and turns will leave you breathless--in a good way--and looking forward to the sequel.
Sports loving Peb has a hard life. The planet’s been involved in a war for almost as long as she can remember. The government is repressive and the waSports loving Peb has a hard life. The planet’s been involved in a war for almost as long as she can remember. The government is repressive and the war weaponry, including the use of bacterial bombs is truly frightening. Plus Peb must keep her love, fellow courtball player Zel a secret, as it’s a crime to have a same-sex partner in this society. As a cover, she dates a guy named Balk, who she’s friendly with, but not attracted to, and this deception plagues her.
Cross creates a fresh world here, filled with sporty, determined courtball players and bands of teens who form gangs to make sense of their harsh, oppressive world. Inventive worldbuilding fits the gritty society. Zel’s mother works in a league of professional courtesans, Peb works at a munitions plant putting guns together and the Thwaasians, resident aliens work as janitors, which is reminiscent of the metics of ancient Greece. At first, Peb and her friends are mainly interested in hanging out, but eventually they join the resistance and up their game from courtball to working to better the society.
Eventually, though, Peb’s guilt over how she’s using Balk gets the best of her. Will she come clean to him? You have to read Discarded Faces to find out. There is a learning curve with all of the tongue-twisting names of people and places, but overall, this is a fresh take on dealing with repression a la 1984 and other political dystopias. Recommended for older teens and new adults. ...more