I went through 6 stories in this 12-story bundle, and all six were less than impressive (if I use a m***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***
I went through 6 stories in this 12-story bundle, and all six were less than impressive (if I use a mild expression). So, leery of wasting even more time reading something I didn't like instead of wasting my time reading something I did like, I decided to forgo my foray into the paranormal world created by the imagination of 12 to me more or less unknown authors.
He saves her life, spends the rest of the story protecting her (and telling her he just wants to keep***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***
He saves her life, spends the rest of the story protecting her (and telling her he just wants to keep her safe), his wold spends the rest of the story lusting after her, and she spends the rest of the story fretting about her job prospects, and lusting after him.
It started out well (chapter one), but it sort of fizzled afterward. It was mostly due to the boring aspects of Mia's life when she wasn't in a panic or when Lucas wasn't rescuing her. I couldn't help but think that a more experienced author could've made those aspects (most of the book) seem not so boring.
The second thing was the new adult genre, which is just a little bit grown-up version of the young adult genre which I hate with a passion. The heroine in this one was a college student and the mid-twenties hero a dot-commer, which could've easily been swapped for a high-school girl and a college guy with a job. And I had this comparison in mind throughout the story, with was off-putting.
And the cliffhanger in the end just made me grit my teeth and roll my eyes. If you have to end the first story in the series on a cliffhanger so the people will buy your next book, doesn't scream 'confidence in one's own story-telling abilities' to me. If someone wants to read the next story in the series, they'll do it whether the current story ends on a cliffhanger or not. In my case preferably not. Cliffhangers just piss me off....more
**spoiler alert** What the fuck?! Pardon the language, but that's what was going through my head (on repeat) while reading this book.
Where is the seri**spoiler alert** What the fuck?! Pardon the language, but that's what was going through my head (on repeat) while reading this book.
Where is the series I've followed since the beginning, where are the heroes and heroines I've come to expect, where is the compelling story, where is the narrative flow?
What the fuck?!
I was looking forward to Zev's book ever since he's appeared in the series, and judging from the snippet found in the end of the previous book I was in for one hell of a ride.
Unfortunately the preview promised what the book couldn't possibly deliver, and instead I read through almost 400 pages of a disappointing excuse of a book with an abusive hero (no matter the fact Ms. Feehan tried so hard to make me see Branislava was okay with it), an idiotic heroine for putting up with the bastard (lifemate or not), rehashed prose, repetition to no end, cringe-worthy sex scenes, more repetition, more rehashed prose, rehashed action sequences, and an appearance from the past that was the first time the 'what the fuck?!' line was uttered.
I'm sick and tired of Xavier, the High Mage, but now he's suddenly a triplet. And his sicko of a brother is named Xaviero. What the fuck?! Original much. Not. And the third brother is Xayvion (or something like that). Ooh, originality, welcome into the Carpathian world.
When the author has to resort to inventing triplets out of thin air and doesn't even bother with giving them more or less original names, it's obvious she's still writing it only for the money.
And it's high time for me to stop reading. When I started this book, I kept thinking to myself that this was probably the last one in the series. And while I was a little sad, because I loved most of it, I also understood why it was time to end. But when Xaviero (I still can't get over the name) was mentioned, I knew this was the end only for me.
So, thank you Carpathians, for keeping me company through all these years, but it's time we part while the parting is still amicable enough....more
This is the series prequel...Before Lucas met Sascha (and all hell broke loose), Emmett met Ria (Lucas' human executive assistant in later books) andThis is the series prequel...Before Lucas met Sascha (and all hell broke loose), Emmett met Ria (Lucas' human executive assistant in later books) and fell—hard—like changelings do...read more (external link)...more
I'm a huge fan of the Carpathians/Dark Series), but I must confess the last books (Dark Slayer being the exception) have been disappointing indeed. ThI'm a huge fan of the Carpathians/Dark Series), but I must confess the last books (Dark Slayer being the exception) have been disappointing indeed. The last one, Dark Predator being one of those, despite I was rather looking forward to Zacarias’ story.
This one was certainly NOT a disappointment. Quite the contrary. It made me see anew what I love about this series—the story, the main arc, the sexiness, the ‘environment’, and sometimes even the characters. This one had it all.
The story was great, an improvement from the later books in the series. The pacing was good, the plot tight, and though some reviewers have complained about the ‘choppiness’ of jumping from setting to setting at the beginning of the narration, that somehow didn’t bother me at all. I knew exactly where I was and which character had center stage.
The descriptions of the environment, though repetitive and thus truly annoying in previous books, sounded fresh (despite the ‘common’ setting of the jungle), the battle scenes were well-thought and well-presented.
The sexiness was definitely back in this one as well. The sex scenes were one of the elements that made me love this series from the start, but in the later books the sensuality and sultriness got lost somehow and the ‘hot’ scenes became rather perfunctory and ‘mandatory’ (I cannot find a better word—it seemed like they were there just so the characters could have sex, nothing more). In this one the sensuality, the sexiness, the ‘hot’ was back in business, maybe not really driving the story forward (except that first scene by the ruins in the field of night flowers), but it had ‘meaning’ not just as page-filler.
And the characters—oh, the characters. I have a rather love-hate relationship with either the heroines or heroes in this series, with just a few books being the exception where I actually like both of them. This book is one of those precious few. Usually either the heroine is a TSTL, mewling idiot that is just begging to be raped and killed in the first few chapters or the hero is an overbearing, chest-thumping ass that I would just love to hit over the head with a shovel. Repeatedly.
Not in this story. Both Riley and Danutdaxton a.k.a. Dax (I like the shortened version better) were amazing characters and an amazing leading couple. She was smart, sassy, intelligent, and completely aware of both her power and her limitations. He was sexy, funny, brave, a true warrior at heart…did I mention sexy? She didn’t whine, and when she did it was so out of character she knew there was something wrong, he didn’t try to stuff her in bubble-wrap and didn’t resort to chest-thumping. What a breath of fresh air that was in this series. Despite spending centuries locked up in a volcano he was much more ‘civilized’, tendering, caring and respectful to his lifemate than the others (Zacarias De La Cruz for one) that came before him. He knew he’s found a strong, resilient woman and he tried (and succeeded) to curb his caveman, sorry Carpathian, protective instincts, and let her help him. He knew he needed her, he respected her strength, respected her…And to me, despite the short time they knew each other, showed his true feelings toward her. And I actually bought it, despite the short time-frame.
Dax and Riley truly were perfect for each other, perfect for his story, and perfect for renewing my faith in this series. I hope Dark Wolf is at least half as good as this one, because Skyler and Dimitri sure deserve something great.
Yes, this was an amazing addition to this series and I believe it bumped Dark Slayer from the second place of my favorite books in the series. And yes, the hero and heroine deserve a mention in the Alphas section on my blog....more
Yes, another good installment in this, one of my favorite, series currently being published.
I admit at being a little apprehensive after reading a fewYes, another good installment in this, one of my favorite, series currently being published.
I admit at being a little apprehensive after reading a few of not so favorable reviews, and I must confess at first I thought that Adria and Riaz’s story would’ve worked better as a short—there was too much ‘angst’ between them, too much anger, too much frustration, too much drama, too much, well, heartbreak. And there was too much Hawke and Sienna in this story to actually be categorized as a one-couple-romance.
But once Riaz pulled his head out of his heiny and Adria defrosted a little, it all started clicking for me. They were good together despite the hindrance of the non-mating and the final resolution, though one of the reviewers stated that it didn’t mesh with everything we’ve read so far, was quite well explained toward the end (what happened during and after the Territorial Wars, the ‘diappearance’ of Libraries and texts) and on the finish line made perfect sense. The mating is a reality, but not a definitive. At least that’s how I see it, and how I understand the explanation given in this book. The mating must be accepted from both sides (male and female) and on both sides of the changeling (human and animal). I sure hope (and am confident will happen eventually) the mating bond between Adria and Riaz will develop, because they do match. There are mutual feelings that weren’t present between Riaz and his ‘intended’, their wolves are comfortable with each other, they’re friends, confidants and lovers, and they trust each other. And let’s look at Drew and Indigo. Even Hawke said it took years of them to know each other before the mating dance and mating bond emerged. So yes, there is hope.
Hawke also had two mates. Sure, one died as a child, but she would’ve become his mate once she grew up. She died and he got a second chance. And what a chance. Him and Sienna were so cute together in this story, a somewhat continuation of their book. One of the reviewers mentioned something along the lines of Hawke losing his alpha edge in this one with all the cuddling, and baking he did in this book, but I don’t agree. To me, having Sienna with him, alongside him, doing domestic stuff, having her friends come over sometimes (despite having always to be their alpha), is something like him experiencing the life of a teenager he never got to have. He became alpha at 15, so he didn’t actually have a normal ‘childhood’. He had to grow up fast, but now, with Sienna (only 20), he gets to experience everything he’s missed. With her, alongside her, seeing it all through her eyes. To me, that’s they’re a perfect mix. He keeps her grounded (though she doesn’t need it that much), and she keeps him ‘young’, so to speak. I don’t think ‘letting his hair down’ when he’s with her, baking, getting drunk etc. means he’s lost his edge, become gelded. That edge, the dangerous alpha is still there, ready to jump into action whenever needed, he’s just found someone who lets him relax, lets him be something other than the leader of the pack, the alpha, lets him be just a man in love, just a husband, a friend, and a lover. *sigh*
Okay, back to Adria and Riaz. I, personally, loved them both. They were rather similar in spirit at the beginning, both damaged, both carrying internal scars that still seeped blood sometimes. Is there any wonder they were so drawn to each other even as they resisted that pull? They needed each other to heal, they needed one another for comfort, they needed a confidante. One of the reviewers scoffed at Adria’s ‘inner turmoil’ after the end of her relationship with Martin, that she acted like she was the only one exiting a bad relationship and it wasn’t as he beat her up or raped her on a daily basis. Sometimes psychological scars (even those not purposefully inflicted) are as painful (or more) than the physical ones. And Adria was psychologically scarred. And she was mostly to blame for those scars (and deep down she knew it). She’s spent years being something she was not, downplaying herself, she changed who she was for the man she was in a relationship with, and that wasn’t enough. Is there any wonder she kept pushing Riaz away? Because this time she knew that even if she was herself, it wouldn’t be enough. That she would always be just second best.
Those fears were unfounded in the end, because her golden-eyes black wolf was stubborn, obstinate and determined to never let her get away. And who wouldn’t love such a guy? I sure wouldn’t kick him out of my bed. ;) What I love most about this series is that single-minded determination displayed in both the DarkRiver and SnowDancer males. I love the leopards, but the wolves are my poison as far as this series is concerned (beside Judd Lauren and Kaleb Krychek, that is) and I can safely say that Riaz Delgado (I just loved the Spanish endearments and confession of feelings he started using toward the end of the book) is in the second spot on my favorite wolves list (Hawke holding the top spot safely and securely). There was just something about Riaz that drew me in, held me, enticed me. Seems to me it was that blend of lone-wolf, stubbornness, danger, even anger, determination, tenderness, endless capability of love, and, yes, playfulness he displayed throughout the story. I adored the courtship toward the end, the gifts, the humor in them (the silly carvings, the personalized hammer—how adorable was that?!). Who could resist?
See, this is what I love most about Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series. The characters. Don’t get me wrong, the stories and main arc are great as well, keeping us guessing, introducing new characters, new packs, new dangers, new intrigue. But the heart of it all, the heart of each separate book and the main storyline, are the characters. Their personalities, their interaction, their inner workings. There are so many books out there, entire series in fact, that focus on the action, the ‘story’, without really fleshing out the characters—but if the characters are bland, the story is bland, too. Nalini Singh accomplished and continues to accomplish the exact opposites. She starts with the characters and build the story around them, leaving the characters, their actions, reactions and interactions drive the plot, propel the story forward. And that’s what keeps this series ‘alive and kicking’, interesting and intriguing for me. I want to know what happens next to a certain character (and I’m so glad Ms. Singh keeps bringing the previous heroes and heroines back, continuing their separate stories merging them with the main one), what the consequences and ramifications of a certain action, certain word, certain though will be in the broader and (final) picture. And I keep craving more. (Just take Kaleb Krychek as example. He’s started off as an ambiguous character, secretive, Silent, foreboding, but slowly, throughout the series we got glimpses of unknown depths within him, seeing him as something more as another Psy, wanting to know more about him, wanting to read his story. And we got it. Yay!)
Anyway, as I mentioned, the characters in this book were the focal point for me, but the entire story, the plot was well-executed as well. There was enough romance to satisfy the romance-lovers, there was enough suspense to keep those suspense-lovers happy, there was enough action for a book that was mainly focused on the romance aspect. And there were multiple new hooks dangled to keep us interested in what happens next. The new ‘sea’ pack, the Pure Psy flexing their puny muscles, Vasic and his torment (I sure hope he gets a book in the future and a HEA he deserved while being alive!), and of course the last ‘chapter’, the last two pages focusing entirely on Kaleb Krychek and the prey he’s been hunting pretty much since he’s become a Councilor. Ooh, I want to read his book, but I’ll have to wait for when I return from my short trip. I don’t want to start reading now and not be able to finish it before leaving. (And no, I’m not taking the book with me, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate.)
Okay, this review looks more like a rant of a raving lunatic, but there was a full moon (a ‘Blue Moon’) yesterday, so I guess I’m entitled.
What I meant to write, before everything got a little out of hand, was that I absolutely loved this book—the characters (even secondary ones), the story, the ‘contribution’ to the main arc. No wonder Ms. Singh is one of my favorite authors and the Psy/Changeling one of my favorite series. I never get bored....more
This book is second in Ms. MacKenzie’s Shades of Fury series, but the first I’ve read…And I don’t think I’ll come back for more. Don’t get me wrong, IThis book is second in Ms. MacKenzie’s Shades of Fury series, but the first I’ve read…And I don’t think I’ll come back for more. Don’t get me wrong, I went in very little expectations, but the promise of the blurb constantly on the back of my mind. Unfortunately, the book didn’t meet those measly expectations or kept the promise of the blurb.
Though not really a fan of urban fantasy, I am a big fan of mythology, so I was naturally curious to see a “real-life” fury in action. Unlucky me, I got a strangely chic-lity book with a sassy, overly-self-talking heroine that despite her big “Rage” spiel, didn’t show it that much. And for someone who’s the boss in the magical investigative division, she was strangely blind as to what was going on around her - mostly in the villain department.
For the rest...What can I say. As far as romance goes, this was definitely an urban fantasy novel, since the boyfriend thing didn’t strike me as overly sincere. I didn’t feel the chemistry, I didn’t feel the connection. I was told there was, but I didn’t “experience” it. The suspense part was quite good, but, once again, the big bad magical investigator almost blew it. The supporting cast added a rather humorous tone, which was good, the fighting scenes were good, but the pacing seemed a little off, since the book really picked up speed only in the second half....more
I don't remember when I've last enjoyed a were/shape-shifter story as much as I did this collection of three stories about three yummy, hunky, Alpha wI don't remember when I've last enjoyed a were/shape-shifter story as much as I did this collection of three stories about three yummy, hunky, Alpha werewolves meeting their destined mates, three spunky, strong, independent human women.
The conflict lies in the fact werewolves in Ms. McCarthy's world (at least those in the particular pack these three wolfies come from) are forbidden to mate with humans. So you can imagine the surprise when they discover their destined mates are indeed human, and the inner-battle between "honor" and mate these three wage. I loved it.
I also loved all three women. There was touch and go with Lisa and Heather for a while, but their annoying denial was quickly resolved. Whew.
The first story, Donovan established the universe, the lore, the law, introduced both Donovan and the future Alpha of their pack, Wyatt, and the two younger Delaney sisters, Lisa, Donovan's mate, and Robin, who followed Donovan and Lisa's story with the most dramatic of the three. There was heart-break, there were tears, there was hopelessness as she met her mate, Kelon, Donovan's brother, but knew that she couldn't keep him. It all resolved itself in the last story, where Wyatt, the rising Alpha, met his mate in Heather, Lisa and Robin's older, and much more skeptical, sister. This last story was the most "action-packed" with challenges and disputing of the werewolf law, and also the most humorous of the pack, thanks to Heather and her cranky bitchiness.
Don't ask me to name my favorite story, hero or heroine in this collection, because I can't. Each story was touching in its own way, each was special, individual, each was different from the next, and I loved every single minute I spent reading this three-story, one-author anthology.
I have all Sarah McCarty's books on my TBR list and I cannot wait to go back for more.
A highly recommended read from a highly recommended author....more