For a debut novella, this didn't suck. I'm not sure what to make of the way the author has written it, though. I've honestly never come across2.5 stars
For a debut novella, this didn't suck. I'm not sure what to make of the way the author has written it, though. I've honestly never come across anything like this before, and I'm not even sure if this is correct, but it seems to be written in 3d person present tense. Maybe? I'm not an expert on tenses or narration so I could very well be wrong. If anyone out there would like to correct me on this, feel free to leave a comment and I'll edit this sucker. All I know is that it was sort of...odd...to read. But the story wasn't bad at all, and it leads up to what will be the start of this new series from Tash McAdam.
So. There's a girl, Serena, who wants to become a soldier/agent for this group of underground telepathic rebels. Her little brother was captured by the government a few years ago, and the only way for her to get the resources to mount a rescue mission, is to pass this test and become a full-fledged operative. However, her one-time BFF seems to be trying to sabotage her efforts. The first half of the book focuses on this part of her life, and gives you a bit of backstory into the dystopian world she lives in. The next half of the book revolves around her mission, and introduces (I'm assuming) some of the characters that will eventually play a role in the novel, Maelstrom.
I'm waffling on whether or not I'd want to continue with these books. There's potential for it to be really good, and it's hard to tell from a novella whether it's going to rock or not. There are some cool elements that I enjoyed, but the way it was written made me feel detached from the characters. I'm just not chomping at the bit to read an entire full-length book in that style. But. If I find out that it was only the novella that was written like that, I'd be more than happy to give Maelstrom a chance.
Poor Kate can't even enjoy a nice night out with her sugar-woogums. Halfway through the appetizers, a necklace chokes the life out of a NaDate Night!
Poor Kate can't even enjoy a nice night out with her sugar-woogums. Halfway through the appetizers, a necklace chokes the life out of a Navigator, and both she and her besotted date lose control of the vampires they had chained up outside the restaurant. Lucky for the patrons, Curran and Kate are able to mop up the mess. However, that's just the beginning. When the dead girl's mother shows up, she snatches the necklace away from her husband, and throws it on her elementary school aged son. In lieu of Child Protective Services, Kate and His Furriness step in to save the boy. Ok. Forcibly take him away from his mother. The necklace isn't choking the life out of him yet, but all signs point to that being the end result of his new accessory. Naturally, it turns into a race against time to get it off of him.
This novella packs quite a punch for the number of pages it has. You get Vikings, a cannibalistic giant, Ghastek losing a bet, and a drunken brawl with somebody's grandpa. Can you really say no to any of that?
Magic Gifts intersects with Andrea's story in Gunmetal Magic, so if you read them back to back, you'll get to see Kate's version of some of the scenes.
I have a dirty little secret. I... *cough* I've never read past the 1st book in the Women of the Otherworld series. I know! I know! How is this even possiI have a dirty little secret. I... *cough* I've never read past the 1st book in the Women of the Otherworld series. I know! I know! How is this even possible? I don't know. I liked Clay and Elena's story in Bitten, but I never went back for more. Anyway, I thought this anthology might whet my appetite. Maybe get me off my duff, and excited to read the rest of these wildly popular books? Amazing plan, Anne! *pats self on back* So, did it work? Am I currently reading this series? Well, nooooo. But I will! I promise!
Since the blurb does a good job explaining what/who each story is about, I'm not going to go through and review each one individually. They're all pretty good, to be honest. In fact, if you've been keeping up with these books, then this might just be a 5 star anthology for you. Every story was well-written, and I was interested in what was happening to each of the characters in them. The thing is, I think this book would have been soooo much more enjoyable if I had read more of the books. I mean, I had no idea who Adam, Reese, Hope, Karl, or Savannah was. Or that Clay and Elena had twins! Awwwww. Congrats, guys! So there were a few times I felt lost, but that's not a problem I could dump onto the lap of the author. These are novellas for fans of her series, and it's not her fault I hadn't read enough of them to fully understand everything.
I guess my only 'real' complaint would be that I got a little annoyed with Elena's parenting style. And, yes, I fully understand that I sound like a crazy person for even mentioning that. But she worked my nerves, with her I'mSoWorriedThatWeAren'tDoingEverythingPerfectly that I just had to mention it. I wanted to slap her, and then ground her sassy little brats. Sorry, I know I'm weird...
Anyway, it's a great book. I love it when authors do the right things by their fans, and Armstrong is definitely giving her fans their money's worth.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital arc, in exchange for an honest review.
This is the free online prequel to Cinder. If you're interesting in reading it, you can click this Link, aJust in time to pad your Reading Challenge!
This is the free online prequel to Cinder. If you're interesting in reading it, you can click this Link, and check it out. I know, I know! I'm awesome!
This shorty tells the story of the first little bit of Cinder's life with her step-family. Starting with the train ride over from Europe, and ending with her stepfather's death. You get a peek at her beginnings as a mechanic, her budding relationship with Peony, and her stepmother's feelings from the beginning. No, it certainly isn't a must-read, but for fans of the The Lunar Chronicles, it might take the edge off of the long wait for Winter. ...more
Prequel to Scarlet... FREE TO READ ONLINE!!! Click this Link...you're welcome.
This tells Z's (or Wolf's) origin story, and it's pretty darn good for beiPrequel to Scarlet... FREE TO READ ONLINE!!! Click this Link...you're welcome.
This tells Z's (or Wolf's) origin story, and it's pretty darn good for being such a short little read! It starts with the day he was taken from him home at 12, and recounts how he was genetically modified into the Lunar version of The Big Bad Wolf. Or a werewolf...depending on how you want to look at it. The animosity between Wolf and his brother Ran is explained, as is his rise to Alpha of his pack. Again, this is not a long story, but it packs a decent punch!
OMG! Talk about a book that makes you feel (a bit) sorry for the psychotic villain in all the other books! Are you reading the Lunar Chronicles? Yes? Th
OMG! Talk about a book that makes you feel (a bit) sorry for the psychotic villain in all the other books! Are you reading the Lunar Chronicles? Yes? Then this is a Must-Read. No, you can't skip it because it's a novella...and let me tell you why, ok? First, this sets up EVERYTHING that happens in the rest of the Lunar Chronicles. It's the prequel that doesn't suck. Second, you get to find out about the past that Cinder forgot. You know what I'm talking about, right? No? Then you need to go read the other books. Now. Third, it sets you up for the upcoming FINAL installment of this series, Winter. Not to mention, you get the first 3 chapters of the new book (they were awesome, by the way) in the back of this one. Fourth, Levana's creepy-yet-pitiful descent into madness is not to be missed! Oh! I wanted to hug her, then slap her, then pat her on the head, then stab her repeatedly, and then give her a band-aid...maybe. You need to read her story! Besides, it's over 200 pages, so you're definitely getting your money's worth out of this.
Warning: Spoilers for the previous books in this review.
When I originally read The Island, I never in a million years imagined that it would end up making a point. I thought it was just this weird little book, about a group of people who based their belief system on Star Wars fanfic. I mean, come on, how are you going to turn that into a poignant social commentary? Can I get an amen, folks?
Ok, Minkman. You got me. I get it now. In the original book, Leia starts questioning the society she grew up in, and ends up turning their world upside down. She finds out that their 'religion' is based off of the diary of a young boy, who was one of the survivors of germ warfare that wiped out the world as we know it. The parents of the original inhabitants of the island died before they could reunite with their children, so the backbone of the two societies were founded by the twelve and under crowd. Eventually, the children split into two groups: the ones who believed their parents would come for them one day, and the ones who thought they had been abandoned. Leia's side of the island followed the The Force, and revered The Book...which, in reality, was a wonky version of some Star Wars stories. To the inhabitants of the other side of the island, they were known as The Unbelievers. On the flip side, you learn about Walt's half of the island in the second book, The Waves. Leia knows this group only as The Fools...as in, foolish for waiting around for someone to save them. And, in essence, that's what Walt's town does. Their 'religion' is more traditional, in that they worship a goddess named Annabelle, who has promised to return for them one day. And that makes a hellava lot more sense than believing in the prophet Luke, and trying to find the Force within yourself! Or does it?
The Deep takes off in another direction, as Walt and Leia make the journey across the sea to the Old World. And, once again, what they find there surprises them. The inhabitants follow the New Testament, and seem to have a finally come up with a way for everyone to live in peace and harmony. But the price for no war doesn't come cheap, and it might be higher than either of them are willing to pay. Meanwhile, back on the island, the Unbelievers and the Fools are trying to find a way to rebuild their societies. Two of the characters from the other books, Alisa (Walt's best friend) and Saul (the unhinged leader of the juvenile Unbelievers), play a large role in the story. Alisa narrates the portions of the book set on the island, while Leia is our narrator for what's going on in the New World. There's a buttload of themes that we've got going on between the two points of view. Redemption and personal freedom were both heavily featured, however, the surprising 'lesson' was something I totally didn't see coming. The running theme of all three books is the blind devotion to their respective religious teachings. In the first book, I laughed, because...Fanfic! Bwahahahaha! How stupid do you have to be? The second book, had a more plausible belief system, but it was still weird that all these people thought some magical goddess was going to sail up in a ship...and take them all away to paradise someday. And in this one, Miknkman showed a twisted form of Christianity being abused by the people in power. Ha! Like THAT could ever happen! Sooooo. *cough* How laughable was it that Leia & Co. blindly followed a book that was written long ago? In a galaxy far far away... How stupid were they to believe in the undisputed truth to words that were written down by people no longer alive to explain their meaning? Riiiiight. And though Minkman calls into question blind faith, she does it without malice. Even while the characters are struggling with the realization that they've been duped, they still find solace in the belief that there is more out there than just what we can touch and see.
My suggestion is to read these books in order. Wallow in the ridiculous nature of Leia's society's foundations. Giggle when you read about Walt's belief in Annabelle. Because it makes it all the more impressive when the rug gets yanked out from under you in this book. Well played, Minkman. Well played....more
I have a rule. Anytime an author emails me with an offer to review their self-published title, I ignore it. It's a good rule. I occasionally tend to be an ass if I don't like something, and a book is like an author's baby. And I know what I would do to someone who was being an ass to one of my babies. *insert Psycho shower scene music here* So. Why did I make an exception to the Golden Rule? Well, I'd already reviewed Minkman's first book in this trilogy The Island, and I only gave it 3 stars. It was a weird little book that made no sense until the end, but it stuck with me. Now, I've seen authors go apeshit over reviews like the one I gave her book. Hence, The Rule. And I do not feel like getting cyber-stalked by some indie author with too much time on their hands. But. Minkman was very....dare I say it?...*cool about the whole thing. *Dorky inside joke about comments on the thread. Sorry. So, yeah. Turns out I like this author very much. It won't change the way I rate her books, but I thought it was only fair of me to mention it.
Ok, enough of that, it's Review Time!
*Warning: possible spoilers for The Island ahead!*
Right off the bat, The Waves just made waaay more sense than The Island. Now, it might have been because I already knew how this society came into existence, but I don't think so. Walt's community is much more conventional than Leia's, because it wasn't built on some kid's fan-fiction diary. On Walt's section of the island, you have the more traditional culture all around. People worship goddesses at the temple, children are raised by parents, and there is a structured leadership in place. It's not some crazy version of Lord of the Flies.
If you've read the first book, then you already know what will happen at the end of this one. However, this time around, you're hearing it from Walt's point of view. No, it's not the same story. There are a few parts of the book toward the last half that match up with The Island, but other than that, you're reading something entirely fresh.
Another thing I liked about this one, was the lack of a Twilight Zone feel to it. The character's in Walt's world were more realistic, and less...feral? Even the people I thought were going to be painted as villains, had an incredible amount of gray in their personalities, which made it more of an interesting read. And the budding romance between Walt and Leia seemed quite a bit more fleshed out than in the first book. The whole tone was just...different, but in a good way.
My interest in this world is officially piqued, and I'm pretty excited to see where these characters end up in the last installment!...more
Alrighty, this is a shorty about a serial rapist who goes to Hell. Niiiice.
Our main character, Sam, was trying to continue his winning streak with theAlrighty, this is a shorty about a serial rapist who goes to Hell. Niiiice.
Our main character, Sam, was trying to continue his winning streak with the ladies, when one of those bitches fought back. *fist pump* One knife to the gut later, and he found himself in Hell.
Alrighty, the first bit of this book, where Samuel is getting eviscerated and tortured went on a bit too long for my taste. Not that I didn't initially enjoy it when the demon tore out his throat and pulled out his intestines, mind you. It's just...there's only so many ways to describe horror, fear, desperation, and stinky accommodations. I admit I was losing hope to this being anything other than an excuse to read about horrendous acts of violence, without feeling guilty. But. After all the gory stuff was over, a real story started to emerge. At first, I thought that the author was going to try to make me feel sorry for Samuel, because maybe he had some sort of traumatic childhood or something. Nope. He was just a sociopathic asshole. And in Hell, they have cures for that sort of shit.
This isn't some sort of a Happily Ever After tale, but it does show that given enough time, enough demons, and enough mindfucks...even someone like Samuel might be able to see the error of their ways.
I'm giving this an extra star just for the name of the book. I mean, could I seriously turn this down? It was FREE, for God's sake!
Ok. Beyond the awesoI'm giving this an extra star just for the name of the book. I mean, could I seriously turn this down? It was FREE, for God's sake!
Ok. Beyond the awesome name, this didn't have much going for it. And I can't believe I'm going to say this... but I've read better monsterotica. I know, right? I never, no never, thought those words would come out of my mouth. Unfortunately, this just wasn't a well-written story. And, no. I don't mean the plot. I wasn't expecting anything other than some sort of a tentacle eventually making it's way into someone's butthole. The writing was just kinda bad.
However. I can't exactly say I regret reading this thing, either.
Big thanks to Dan for helping me feed my addiction!...more
Ok. I don't want you guys to think I'm weird or anything, but I thought this was oddly well-written...for free monsteroctopus erotica. And, no I've nevOk. I don't want you guys to think I'm weird or anything, but I thought this was oddly well-written...for free monsteroctopus erotica. And, no I've never had a fantasy about being violated by something lurking in my drain. Ever. In fact, it never even crossed my mind that some sort of overly-sexual tentacle creature could be hanging out in my shower. Hair? Yes. I've pulled stuff out of the trap that looked vaguely like something a diseased cat hacked up. But the only monstrous thing I've found in my shower, so far, is soap scum. Is that not the most difficult thing to get rid of?! Mold? Spray a little bleach on that shit....Poof! Gone! But ring around the tub?! Christ on a cracker! It's like you need a hammer and chisel or something. What was my point? Not sure... Anyway.
So there's this tentacle monster (obviously), and there's this lady. And other than the fact that it's, you know, a monster doing dirty things to her? It reminded me of a lot of the other erotica stuff I've read. To be fair, maybe I've just read crappy erotica in the past. shrugs
In conclusion: Have you ever fantasized about having EVERY orifice repeatedly raped by an octopus, squid, or any other creature with pulsating tentacles? Yes?! Then your search is over. This, my friend, is the book for you! ...more
I'm biased. Mercy is my favorite urban fantasy heroine, and Patricia Briggs is my favorite UF writer. Sooooo. Just a bit biased... Still, I th4.5 stars
I'm biased. Mercy is my favorite urban fantasy heroine, and Patricia Briggs is my favorite UF writer. Sooooo. Just a bit biased... Still, I think this is the best collection of short stories I've read so far, and that's saying something. The price tag for this little beauty on Kindle is $10.99 right now, and I'd have to say it would be worth every penny for fans of this series. Once again, you can tell that Briggs is an author that cares about not only her readers, but the characters that she writes about. Each story is complete (except the outtakes, naturally), well-written, and thoroughly enjoyable. Of course, I loved some more than others, but none of them were less than 4 stars, in my opinion. Anthologies are hard to review, so cut me some slack, and I'll try to do my best...
Silver: 5 stars
Ever wonder how Bran and Samuel became a werewolves? Or why Bran is so darn special? Well, here's where you find the answer to that question. Not only does Silver give the background to both of their origin stories, but it also tells the story of how Samuel and Ariana met, fell in love, and why it went wrong the first time around. Although, to find out how that love story ended up, you'll have to read the Outtake from Silver Borne. *insert big cheesy grin here* This one is easily worth the 5 stars I gave it!
Fairy Gifts: 4 stars
It's been a while since I've read some of the older Mercy books, and to be very honest, I couldn't remember who Thomas (the vampire) was, nor Margaret (the fae). But this is the story of how their friendship came to be, along with the backstory on how Thomas became such an unusual vampire. The twist at the end was something I didn't see coming, and since this was a shorty, I really appreciated the thought that Briggs put into it!
Gray: 4 stars
This one is an unconventional love story about a vampire named Elyna, and takes place before the events in Moon Called. Again, I have no idea if I've ever seen this character in any of the other stories before, but it was a lot of fun to read. Most of the vampires in the Mercy Thompson series are pretty evil, so this was an interesting peek into the life of one of the good ones. It involves a Haunted House, a lonely 'woman', and a few unlikely friendships. *sniffle* The ending got me a bit misty-eyed....
Seeing Eye: 4 stars
Remember Tom (the werewolf) and Moira (the White Witch) from Hunting Ground? Well, I only sorta-kinda remembered seeing them, but this story made me want to go back and revisit that book. This is the story of how they originally met, and is also featured in another collection, Strange Brew. Very well done!
Alpha and Omega: stars
This is one of those Must-Read stories, if you plan on delving into the Alpha And Omega series. And I would definitely recommend you DELVE! Oddly enough, you really need to this prequel in order to fully understand what's going on in the first book, Cry Wolf. This is the story of how Anna and Charles met, fell in love, and killed off a few problem wolves. The story intersects with the problems Mercy is having in Moon Called, just like the other Alpha and Omega books do, but (like them) this story can also be read independently without any other knowledge, and still make sense. I've read this one a couple of times before, but it was still fun to get a reminder of how far those two have come!
The Star of David: 4 stars
I had forgotten about David, the lone wolf mercenary from Moon Called. You know, the one that was Adam's old war buddy? A werewolf, a wizard, and a social worker walk into a bar... And a vampire tries to kill them! Kidding! Sort of. Here Briggs tells a nice Christmas story about family, forgiveness...and evil vampires.
Roses in Winter: 5 stars
This is plugged as Kara's story, but (to me) this was Asil's story. Kara, if you don't remember (and, of course, I didn't) was mentioned in Blood Bound as the 13 year old girl whose father begged Mercy to help, because she was bitten by a werewolf. The shocker was that she survived. Asil has been one of my favorites for a while now, even though he's rarely mentioned. He's almost as old as Bran, and totally convinced that at any moment he's going to go crazy. Personally, I think Asil will be with us for a looooong time, and that's one of the reasons that this story was one of my absolute favorites. Bran (because he's BRAN) seems to know just how to help all his wolves find exactly what they need. Maybe what Asil needs is to find a kid who needs him to care about them?
In Red, with Pearls: 4 stars
Warren gets a story! He's Adam's best friend, and the only openly gay werewolf in the Mercy series. This revolves around his job working with his mate, Kyle (a lawyer), as his private investigator. Kyle gets attacked by a zombie (yes, zombie), and it's up to Warren and Elizaveta's niece to figure out who's after him.
Redemption: 4 stars
I have always wanted to know more about Ben. He's not a nice guy, but you can tell it's because he's pretty damaged. So what in the world happened to him? And why did he have to leave London? Well, you get a lot of those answers in Redemption. The actual story takes place at Ben's workplace, when he finds himself defending a woman that he hates. Or does he really hate her?
Hollow: 4.5 stars
This one is a Mercy story! And you better be caught up on this series, because it takes place after Night Broken, so there might be some spoilers for those of you who haven't read it yet. Mercy is called in to get rid of a ghost, and maybe help another couple realize they're in love. Loved it!
Outtake from Silver Borne: 4.5 stars
It's only a few pages long, but it's the HEA for Samuel and Ariana. Awwwww!
Outtake from Night Broken: 4.5 stars
This is a scene from Adam's point of view, when Mercy is in the hospital. It explains how severe the situation was, and, as a bonus...Coyote shows up!