A run of the mill tie-in which pales in comparison to the TV series. It felt forced and read like fan fiction to me - though to it's credit the charac...moreA run of the mill tie-in which pales in comparison to the TV series. It felt forced and read like fan fiction to me - though to it's credit the characters were depicted so well it made me want to watch the series again.(less)
The setting and premise held my attention, but the characters themselves (while likeable) didn't inspire much emot...moreA quick, light hearted popcorn read.
The setting and premise held my attention, but the characters themselves (while likeable) didn't inspire much emotion.
Naji and Ananna are tough, used to fighting for their lives. I liked that both saved each other's lives (and it wasn't just a helpless girl relying on the experienced assassin) but many of their character quirks bemused me. Ananna is feisty and loud, yet relatively meek around Naji. And he's needlessly secretive, to the point that I barely know him so can't picture him as a romantic interest.
Also: if Ananna's parents really were so great, why do they try to sell her off? it would have made more sense had they been bad parents... or had Ananna shown more distress over the situation.
As for the plot, I was disappointed that the Hariri clan thread was dropped. no doubt it'll be picked up again in a sequel, but to have it entirely disappear was an anticlimax.
In terms of prose, I'm in two minds about the writing style. I appreciate the need to convey Ananna's voice, but her dialect is distracting outside of dialogue - which made it hard to sink into the story. For example: "Naji looked at me but didn't say nothing, and I didn't say nothing to him."
All in all, the story is enjoyable as a time passing, no attention required read, but it didn't elicit much emotion.
I have to admit though, the final sentence works well as a hook. I do need some more easy reads... but whether I get the sequel or try something else remains to be seen.(less)
I love time travel and the paranormal, and have read my fair share of romance, so thought this novel would be right up my street.
While the novel does...moreI love time travel and the paranormal, and have read my fair share of romance, so thought this novel would be right up my street.
While the novel does a good job in depicting the 1920s, it fails to weave together the three main story elements in any satisfying way. The time travel is almost exclusively a plot device to force the two characters into a relationship, and the vampire element was largely ignored until the last third of the novel.
In fact, taking away the time travel and paranormal, you're left with the fairly standard romance fare. Solidly written, fairly fluffy romance - so if that's your bag then this is for you.
I was glad to see the one small time travel twist at the end, but personally would have wanted a lot more depth and intricacies than what's on offer.(less)
A light, young adult fantasy novel with a creative premise. The workings of the secret hour kept me intrigued and enjoyed the anti-demon weaponry too....moreA light, young adult fantasy novel with a creative premise. The workings of the secret hour kept me intrigued and enjoyed the anti-demon weaponry too.
I wasn't as sold on the characters themselves; I didn't feel a great connection to any and for that reason the romantic element fell a bit flat. I presume this will improve in sequels.
While I'm not desperate to read the next book in the series I have to admit that I raced through this in a few hours and enjoyed my brief escape from reality.
I won this book in the huge Book-Tober Bash giveaway held on Juniper Grove; I hadn't heard of the author or series prior to this.
I did read all three...moreI won this book in the huge Book-Tober Bash giveaway held on Juniper Grove; I hadn't heard of the author or series prior to this.
I did read all three books of this omnibus edition -- the world-building was intriguing and I enjoyed McCullough-White's vampire/zombie crossover approach.
However, several things stopped me from enjoying the story, most notably of which was the writing. I barely got through the opening chapter (I'd skip it, the rest is better written). Purple prose abounds, descriptions are repetitive (if I had a penny every time Cameo's eyes are described as "ghastly"!), and there is some seriously jarring head-hopping. The action sequences are flat. Not to mention the typos; even in book 3 there were repeated instances of using "it's" instead of the possessive "its".
Other than the writing, I was disappointed by how little the characters matured over the three books. Other than gaining some injuries and new abilities, the essence of each character remains the same despite everything they go through.
Perhaps for that reason, I found it hard to connect with the characters. I wanted to like them, but they didn't inspire sympathy and their relationships with each other felt for the most part superficial. (The Jules/Cameo relationship in book 3 is an exception; this was the most promising point but sadly came to nothing.)
The plot is also a little shaky. A lot happens, but the interconnecting thread is weak. First they are on a mission to do one thing, then they forget that mission to do something else, then they start doing yet another something else.... I feel like the author missed the chance to weave in some subplots to tighten the story and up the pace.
That said... I wasn't entirely put off. Despite everything, I really see a lot of potential in this universe and was intrigued by McCullough-White's vampire/zombie lore.
An imaginative, ambitious effort well-suited to a less discerning reader.(less)
Draykon is a multi universe fantasy (erring towards young adult) which follows two female protagonists: 20-some...more2.5 stars, if I had a half star option.
Draykon is a multi universe fantasy (erring towards young adult) which follows two female protagonists: 20-something shy jewelry maker Llandry and 40-something High Summoner Eva.
The flowery, fairy tale inspired writing is initially offputting, as is Llandry's complete lack of back bone. I struggled to picture the many layered world(s) of this setting - an overwhelming number of fantastical flora and fauna names are mentioned, but few described in great depth.
The parallels between Eva and Llandry's storylines also jarred. Both are looking to escape the confines of their home life, both feel personally involved in the situation, and both are travelling mainly with one other male character who is a vague potential love interest (in Eva's case, he is 20 years younger, in Llandry's 20 senior).
Yet something (particularly Eva) kept me reading, and halfway through the book, when Llandry finally decides to stop sitting about like a pawn and take some initiative, the story picks up.
It's a fascinating setting which could benefit from further exploration. In classic first of a series style, the cliffhanger ending left me hungry to know what was going to happen next... but I must admit I was hoping for a big plot twist a lot sooner in the story as the pace was fairly slow.
Despite the niggles, the setting and character show a lot of promise. Recommended for the more patient fantasy reader with fey/sorcery inclinations.(less)
The Whispers of Daemon is an epic fantasy, set in a medieval alternate universe where wizards live in seclusion. The story follows one wizard in parti...moreThe Whispers of Daemon is an epic fantasy, set in a medieval alternate universe where wizards live in seclusion. The story follows one wizard in particular, Harloch -- one of the few to live amongst humans as advisor to the King.
With the King under magical influence and on the brink of starting a war that will raze his nation to the ground, trouble is afoot. It is up to Harloch to find out what's going on... before it's too late.
This was a Kindle freebie, so I downloaded it without much thought. I didn't realise until I was a quarter of the way through that it is the second in a trilogy. Given that the first book in the series wasn't free, I shrugged my shoulders and kept reading, and for the most part was able to follow the story without troubles. But a number of things stopped me from fully sinking into the story.
I'll keep it short.
- The world-building is interesting. I like Billington's take on wizards, and the idea that each of them have access to an alternate universe through their personal doorway.
- The plot is engaging (and what kept me reading). I wanted to know what would happen. The villain, Creed, is a piece of work. There's so much potential for an epic story here.
- The pace is sloooow. I know that the characters are on a fairly epic and long journey, but page after page of them travelling and feeling miserable and worrying about stuff gets dull.
- The writing is clunky. Verbose. Repetitive. A little antiquated in parts; while I can appreciate using certain language to give the story a more historical flavour, it often felt forced.
- It suffers from "middle-book-itus". Nothing truly happens; it's a transitional novel. Plot threads are sown but come to nothing (eg, the first few chapters are all excerpts from a famous wizard's memoir, which aren't necessary to the plot).
- The characters were flat. Other than the villain, none of the characters really spoke to me. Harloch is an old, cautious and anxious man; his personality isn't strong enough to carry such an epic journey story.
I often found myself skim reading, bored, just wanting to know what would happen. That said, I didn't totally hate it, and I did manage to finish it.
I enjoyed this collection - but I don't think it is amongst Gaiman's strongest works. I'd only recommend it for someone who is already a big fan of hi...moreI enjoyed this collection - but I don't think it is amongst Gaiman's strongest works. I'd only recommend it for someone who is already a big fan of his novels; you wouldn't want this to be the first book of his you'd read.
I downloaded this book for free from Smashwords and read through the entire collection
Well-written, bite-sized, imaginative flash fiction which serve...moreI downloaded this book for free from Smashwords and read through the entire collection
Well-written, bite-sized, imaginative flash fiction which serve as an ideal introduction to Blythe's work.
The anthology is separated into two parts: contemporary stories (about things of this world), and speculative stories (about fairies and things of other worlds).
All the 13 stories feature striking and evocative writing, but also fairly unusual characters and plots -- an old man who becomes so obsessed with time travel that his own life passes him by, a widow consumed by grief for her late husband, and a man addicted to maple syrup who is struggling to remember his dark past.
My personal favourite was the autumnal story "Leaves of Trees", which was unexpectedly sinister and very imaginative.
Recommended for those looking for a quick and thought-provoking read.(less)
Arcane Solutions is a quick and fun paranormal detective story.
The story follows Discordia Angel Jones, a psychic private investigator with a penchant...moreArcane Solutions is a quick and fun paranormal detective story.
The story follows Discordia Angel Jones, a psychic private investigator with a penchant for life threatening situations. Her boss, determined to protect his best PI, hires handsome wolf shifter Nick Maxwell to be her bodyguard. It’s lust at first sight between the two… but first they’ve got to find a missing girl, fend off vampire attacks, and stop a demonic cult from ending the world. Just another day on the job for Discord Jones….
This is an escapist read which I raced through in a few hours. As befitting of the genre, the prose is stripped back and casual, and the plot fairly easy to follow. It has the requisite hunks, a kickass heroine, and offers a fresh take on the paranormal world – if this sounds like your cup of tea, don’t hesitate to read it.
Discordia falls into the tough, independent and headstrong heroine category — although thankfully intelligent enough not to make stupid, obvious mistakes. Born a human, she gained psychic abilities when the paranormal and human worlds melded, but unlike any other psychic, she has multiple powers as opposed to the standard one or two.
Love interest Nick is the strong, jealous type. His jealousy doesn’t win points with me, although kudos to Discordia for challenging his attitude rather than putting up with it.
Points to Drummond as well for the captivating world building. The melding of the paranormal and human worlds is still fresh in everyone’s minds, leading to prejudice and fear between some of the characters. It’s refreshing to read a story where everyone doesn’t just calmly accept the paranormal, and the tense relationship Discord has with her step-mother adds some depth to the story.
Overall, however, Arcane Solutions is at most a guilty pleasure. I didn’t find the resolution satisfying (the explanation of the vampire attacks was an anti climax) and the ending felt rushed after the pages and pages of conspiracies and whodunnits.
That said, I am intrigued to read more. Drummond has left much unexplained: how the melding of the paranormal and human worlds happened, why Discordia has more power than any other psychic, and what secrets the shifters are hiding. Plus I’d love to know more about Leglin — you’ll have to give it a read to find out why!
In sum, if you like urban fantasy settings with a dollop of romance, then this might be one for you. (less)