Cast in Secret follows on a few days after the second book in the series, Cast in Courtlight. In this instalment a prophetic dream so strong that all...moreCast in Secret follows on a few days after the second book in the series, Cast in Courtlight. In this instalment a prophetic dream so strong that all of the Oracles even the apprentices receive the same vision, the end of life itself. One very powerful Oracle focuses on Kaylin and begins painting a picture of her on his wall. He is so powerful that he is disabled by his gift. He doesn't speak, he doesn't sleep and he doesn't react like a normal person, his only form of expression is drawing and painting so Kaylin and co. have to determine who or what could be behind this and how to stop it.
Kaylin learns more about the Tha'alani, a telepathic race who can search a person's memory which most find unnerving including Kaylin, and to a lesser extent the Dragons and the Oracles. Kaylin sees Severn in a slightly different light as a Wolf instead of as a Hawk but also how he approaches the Tha'alani - without fear and with a little envy I think. She also learns more about herself, and of the others that have had the marks she has. We are introduced to the elements earth, air, fire and water with the emphasis on water but I won't go into this as I don't want to give anything away.
In every book so far (this is the third - the first being Cast in Shadow and the second, Cast in Courtlight) Kaylin has been working through her harrowing past and has been trying to move on. We see her grow not just in her power but as a person and that for me made this an interesting read.
There is still plenty of danger surrounding Kaylin especially since it looks like she will be meeting the Dragon Emperor soon. I really enjoyed learning about the Tha'alani, and their history as a people, they are a very interesting race. This series is progressing really well and I'm looking forward to reading the next book, Cast in Fury. (less)
This is the fourth book in the series and takes place almost immediately after the last book, Cast in Secret. Each book seems to have a theme. The fir...moreThis is the fourth book in the series and takes place almost immediately after the last book, Cast in Secret. Each book seems to have a theme. The first, Cast in Shadow was about the life and struggles of the main character Kaylin Neya and her relationship with Severn, her sort-of adopted older brother. The second, Cast in Courtlight examines the Barrani race and their customs. The third, Cast in Secret examines the Tha'alani race and their history. This book examines the Leontine race, where we get to meet Marcus's pridlea (his family) and we gain more insight into Marrin's life before she founded the Foundling Hall (an orphanage).
Again this story is based around Kaylin's love of children and the fact that she will do anything to protect them but this doesn't take anything away from the story. There wasn't a lot of character growth in this one (but then we've had quite a lot in the other books) other than Kaylin finally being able to keep her mouth shut, stopping herself from getting into (most likely, more) trouble.
Through the markings on her body Kaylin seems to be tied to the Old Ones who created the races and is thereby connected to the races themselves. It looks like the author maybe looking to set Severn up as an 'appropriate' love interest for Kaylin despite the brotherly relationship she has with him, on the otherhand Nightshade seems very interested but Kaylin does her best to ignore it which is probably for the best.
Overall this was another interesting read with a lovely ending. The world, races and characters that the author has created are so detailed and intricately woven together with natural character growth and plot progression, make this series seem so realistic. I hope we get to read more about the Dragons next and maybe even meet the Dragon Emperor himself. (less)
This is the 5th book in the Chronicle of Elantra and it pains me to give this one 3 stars but it has to be done. It covers the period of 6 months afte...moreThis is the 5th book in the Chronicle of Elantra and it pains me to give this one 3 stars but it has to be done. It covers the period of 6 months after Kaylin left Nightshade and before she entered the city and began working fot the Hawks.
I found this novel to be much slower in pace than the others and reached an ending which I saw coming (but was still good). The slow pace is the result of a lot of psychological and philosophical discussion which sometimes left me a bit confused.
I admit that it took me longer to reach the end than normal and did seriously consider giving up on it. It felt more like an 'in-between' book rather than a full novel which sets the scene for the next one.
It also breaks with the general themes of the others in the series, the first focuses on the back story of the main characters whereas the others focus on the ins and outs of each of the races, one at a time, within the world Sagara has created. I expected this one to either be about the Aerians, some new race or the Dragon Emperor. Unfortunately I was disappointed. Hopefully the next in the series, CAST IN CHAOS will be better.
I was a bit shocked at the thickness of this book, I had hopes it was going to be a wildly interesting ride. Sadly I was almost as disappointed with t...moreI was a bit shocked at the thickness of this book, I had hopes it was going to be a wildly interesting ride. Sadly I was almost as disappointed with this one as I was the last.
Mostly, it was just too long, repetitive with some utterly useless paragraphs. I was tempted to get a red pen out and start crossing out the unnecessary parts. I especially grew tired of Kaylin repeating what she'd done or learned to everyone she encountered sometimes in greater detail than was needed.
However, there were a few things that peeked my interest which saved this from a two star rating. The blatant introduction to possible romance. So far in this series there's been none whatsoever. Kaylin's had a hard life and has showed no interest in love, sex or having her own children despite how much she loves them. We all knew Nightshade was interested in her but she's always remained reluctant. He finally makes a move and she reacts badly.
When Severn makes hints about his feelings, I'm relieved as I've been waiting for this for a while now, and when he explains his reasons for loving Kaylin and she acknowledges this it gave me hope. At the same time I grew worried that the status quo would remain in place despite their love for one another. I'm not sure Kaylin can handle it which is why Severn has said nothing for so long.
Parts of the plot were of interest to me, especially the origins of humans and the new race of people who've found their home within Tiamaris's fief. I look forward to reading about their progress and how the other races react to their presence/existence.
I am surprised Sagara hasn't done a book on the Aerians yet and that Kaylin hasn't got much closer to meeting the Dragon Emperor. I know that she desperately needs to learn self-preservation around those that can devour her but I hardly think etiquette lessons with a stuffy dragon will help matters. Besides she does pretty well with the Arkon and he's no picnic either. I really hope Cast in Ruins makes for a better read.(less)
The first story, fierce and dying human warrior woman meets reclusive dragon shifter, was a bit disappointing. I kept checking my reading progress. Th...moreThe first story, fierce and dying human warrior woman meets reclusive dragon shifter, was a bit disappointing. I kept checking my reading progress. The dragon's argumentative family's constant squabbling amongst his siblings and their royal parents' unconventional relationship kept a smile on my face. 3 stars.
Strangely the second story was a prequel of the first, describing how the dragon parents got together and ascended to the royal throne. I much preferred this story. It was fast-paced, funny, with a poor excuse of a mother as the scheming villain. It also gave me a different perspective on parenting styles. 5 stars.
Dragons are bloodthirsty and fierce creatures not be messed with. I like!(less)
May I just say, I HATE cliff-hangers! And is there going to be sequel? There better be because I was mighty pissed this book ended when it did.
I loved...moreMay I just say, I HATE cliff-hangers! And is there going to be sequel? There better be because I was mighty pissed this book ended when it did.
I loved the plot, the writing and the fast pace but the characters needed to be fleshed out. I can forgive this IF there will be another book.
The actions of the dragons seemed fair and just whereas the humans panicked, baited the dragons and effectively broke the truce just to see if they could win a war with their new F-22 "Dragonslayer" jet fighters.
I loved the story, we only get the human perspective and what Artegal's opinion on the dragon perspective but if there is in fact a sequel, it will be dragon-orientated. I didn't really like the "virgin sacrifice" idea but I can understand it as being part of an honoured historical tradition among dragons. Oh and the quotes from dragon stories at the beginning was a nice touch, especially the second one from Naturalis Historia by Pliny the Elder - these made for a great introduction.
Voices of Dragons is definitely not your average YA book, there were teenage issues but they thankfully did not take over the story - no boring over the top teenage angst here, only a highly entertaining read that can be enjoyed by all.
UPDATE: I've just checked Carrie's blog and no sequel has been written yet but if this sells well there will be one soon so please buy this, please, please, please. I know it's a hardcover but it's worth it. If you've read her Kitty series (which I'm a big fan of especially the last book, Kitty's House of Horrors) then you'll like this.(less)
I had high expectations. So many have given this 5 stars but it didn't quite reach those lofty heights for me.
I enjoyed the story but the prologue re...moreI had high expectations. So many have given this 5 stars but it didn't quite reach those lofty heights for me.
I enjoyed the story but the prologue really put me off, it was a lengthy and slightly dull history lesson which was difficult to read. It should have been incorporated into the story instead.
In general, The Smoke Thief was dry in parts but I required more from it. We didn't get to see Rue's rise to Smoke Thief status or her reception from the general population of the Shire when she returned as alpha.
We saw little of the council, who were drawn as the villains, bar the scribe. It would have been nice to have had another individual written in more detail who wasn't cast as a completely evil/ambitious council member.
On the upside, the turning to smoke was interesting. There aren't enough dragon shifters in my opinion and we got plenty of dragon action. I've read the free excerpt at the end of the next one, which I'm interested in but Zane seems to have grown into a jerk. Oh well, perhaps that will change during the course of that book.(less)
"I need to buy more gold!" Seriously, that was my first thought upon finishing You Slay Me. It's a fun, entertaining read. Yes, it had some ridiculous...more"I need to buy more gold!" Seriously, that was my first thought upon finishing You Slay Me. It's a fun, entertaining read. Yes, it had some ridiculously silly moments but I went in knowing what I was getting into so I didn't mind. It brightened my day and that's all I required from it. The sequel, Fire Me Up will be read very soon!(less)
My utter disappointment has driven me to give this a pitiful 2 stars. Some would argue it deserves more and up to about 15% in I would’ve agreed with...moreMy utter disappointment has driven me to give this a pitiful 2 stars. Some would argue it deserves more and up to about 15% in I would’ve agreed with them. In just a small amount of time an original species and history had been born with an adrenaline pumping opening scene but as soon as Jacinda, her sister and mother left the draki community it fell off a cliff.
Not only did it turn into Evernight with Jacinda inexplicably falling for her hunter but her mother and sister were unbelievably harsh. They showed little sympathy for her and at times were downright cruel. I could almost understand this from the sister’s point of view having to live as an outcast for the past few years due to her inability to shift but the mother’s? For someone who claimed to love her daughter and did this risky thing to protect her, she refused to see how much she was hurting Jacinda with her words and actions. Telling Asking her to kill her draki when Jacinda had come to love that part of her and then travelling to a place where the choice would be taken away was monsterous.
However, this wasn’t my only gripe. The romance. What romance? Jacinda, draki girl meets Will, human hunter and an instant yet powerful connection is formed. Ugh. Although the connection was later explained, and being around Will reinvigorates her draki, their constant yearning for each other was supremely annoying.
And why did Jacinda always put him before her family and their safety? She made dangerously unwise decisions, took risks she shouldn’t all because of her passion for this boy whose hunter family (who’d most likely murdered her father), if they found out about her nature, would turn around and kill her and hunt down her mother and sister. A heavy price to pay to keep her draki alive.
'Can't she understand? What good is safety if you're dead inside.'
'To keep that part of me alive, I have to be close to that which kills it.'
'A sad realization. To know the ones you love will be better off without you around.'
And then Cassian arrives on the scene, ready to drag Jacinda home, even offering to let her family stay. At first I saw him through Jacinda’s eyes, an arrogant heir pursuing her for her rare ability to breathe fire, to own her instead of loving her for who she is, but then as he spoke, I came to cheer him on.
A Blood and Chocolate ending would be the best I could hope for, which would mean picking Cassian over the human…and oh no, it’s a trilogy. We’re left wondering how she’ll fare with Cassian after a dramatic incident.
"You did this!" "Not on purpose. But I am glad I ruined your little romance with that murderer? Hell yeah. You bet."
No doubt Vanish will be full of pining for her lost human love and glowering at the intriguing Cassian despite his best efforts to help her and of course, woo her. And if we’re really lucky as the third book is being written we’ll hear this trilogy has turned into a series.
And yet…and yet, I’ll probably continue reading. Despite my pessimism I’ll hope for the best now that she’s away from what I see as the negative influences in her new “human” life: Will and her family.(less)
I was all set to give this one four stars just like its predecessor until I got to the part when Drake throws Aisling into the limo near the end. At t...moreI was all set to give this one four stars just like its predecessor until I got to the part when Drake throws Aisling into the limo near the end. At this point Aisling becomes incredibly selfish and immature.
I couldn't believe her behaviour. She made an oath, a commitment to not just Drake but to his green dragons. She acts like a selfish brat worrying about a career she hasn't even started yet, when her mate is about to lose everything with the possibility of even going to war.
And then she runs away and walks away from him. Again. Despite knowing the importance of her role to his species and the possible ramifications of her abandonment of her duties to both the dragons and humans. Ugh. I know this is supposed to be a light-hearted series but that really p*ssed me off.(less)
Not as frustrating as Fire Me Up, it's still entertaining if a little confusing with the dragon politics and power plays. At least Aisling has stopped...moreNot as frustrating as Fire Me Up, it's still entertaining if a little confusing with the dragon politics and power plays. At least Aisling has stopped running away, is taking things more seriously and is confronting her problems.(less)
The Lesson: Never put on any ancient necklaces when you don't know its history.
Ignoring this rule could change your life forever. Luckily for Toni al...moreThe Lesson: Never put on any ancient necklaces when you don't know its history.
Ignoring this rule could change your life forever. Luckily for Toni although her old life as a self-reliant thief is over she gains a family in Amethyst, the dragon she's now been merged with and a sexy geek who in helping her has become her "minion" much to his chagrin.
This was an easy read, the writing flowed and the three main characters were likeable in their odd but endearing relationship as a threesome.(less)
Okay, so I’ve read 7 books by Keri Arthur and I can’t take it any more. This is one of her more recent books so I mistakenly thought the problems I ex...moreOkay, so I’ve read 7 books by Keri Arthur and I can’t take it any more. This is one of her more recent books so I mistakenly thought the problems I experienced with the Damask Circle trilogy, published 10 years ago, wouldn’t be repeated here.
Destiny Kills had a premise with great promise and the power to be unforgettable but it was ruined by a number of re-occuring factors concerning Arthur’s books and writing style.
First off, sex. Nothing can get in the way of sex and the I-love-yous. Not even romance. There's a lot of love-at-first-sight fated-to-be-mated because her, sometimes wooden characters, are incapable of falling in love gradually. Now, if Arthur was a writer of erotica this probably wouldn’t be a problem. But paranormal romance tends to require some sort of storyline, a reason for the hero and heroine to meet each other and for a little time to pass together before they start bumping uglies. I prefer there to be a balance between plot and sex. And plot almost always comes last with this author.
The beginnings of Arthur’s books are mostly very weak and Destiny Kills was no exception. Our heroine is on an unknown beach with a dead body with no memory of how he died, her name or what she’s doing there. Only she knows his name and his relationship to her. She knows they’re both non-human and how to traditionally dispose of his body with the proper ceremony. I’m no expert on amnesia but I have witnessed it first hand, and I find it unlikely that she would remember all of that so quickly.
I wondered why exactly the author decided to start the book at that exact point:
Destiny’s a child when her mother is kidnapped. Destiny and her dad run away to the US.
Aged 18, attempting a rescue, Destiny is kidnapped.
10 years of confinement: includes experimentation (read: torture), forced coupling with Egan (i.e. rape), protecting the dragon children who’re also confined.
Escapes aged 28, with Egan, leaving the children behind after her mother feels Destiny’s father dying.
On the run, caught and Egan’s killed.
[The book starts.]
Beginning the book a little earlier while Destiny is still imprisoned would’ve provided better background and a sense of urgency for her escape. Obviously Arthur wasn’t scared of harsh reality and if we’d witnessed Destiny’s living conditions and how she was treated before escape I could’ve felt sympathy, encouraging me to be invested in her mission. We also could’ve met Egan who was apparently a big part of her life, before he died. The flashbacks weren’t enough. They’re too brief, often confusing with little context to fully understand what happened and the effect on Destiny’s behaviour.
Which leads me to another thing, Destiny, although not unaffected by her experience as a lab rat, she’s remarkably and suspiciously functional. I’d expect panic attacks, crying, not wanting to be touched, crippling anger –some sort of post-traumatic stress. She experiences one moment of it: when she’d had to shoot someone in the head during her escape. That’s it. She seems more concerned about dishonouring Egan by moving on too quickly with his half-brother, Trae.
Where are all the people? We live on a planet of 7 billion people and yet most of Arthur’s books (excluding Riley Jensen) contain two characters, and if you’re lucky 3 others with a sentence of dialogue each. There are no side characters, no sidekicks. There’s only one POV: Destiny’s. The scope is too narrow. They’re not the only two people in the world. Neither have friends or family. They receive no calls to check-in after going AWOL. Destiny has an excuse but then the kids, I would think, would be her family but we don’t hear much from them. Trae is an outcast who hates his father but what about friends, his mother? Not everyone is a lone wolf. Contact with other characters can be a means of showing what our heroes and heroines are really like, can provide a little light entertainment to an otherwise challenging or bleak situation, or a reason to hate the villains. Evil scientists were the villains but we didn’t get to see them being evil. We were told.
The epilogue is a rushed summary of events. Events therein could’ve been expanded so we might properly understand the effects of being confined on Destiny and the children during the search for their parents. We could’ve met Trae’s mother and seen her reaction to Destiny, figured out what kind of relationship she had with her son and how she felt about Trae’s father. Emotional relationships are very important and yet they are ignored.
I was incredibly frustrated by the lack of depth to the plot and to the characters. So much more could’ve been done to make this book special. Disappointing.
My history with Keri Arthur: 2 Damask Circle trilogy books(pub. 2001-2) [PNR]* 2 Ripple Creek Werewolf duology books (pub. 2003-4) [PNR]** 2 Riley Jensen books (pub. 2006-7) [UF] 1 Myth & Magic book (pub. 2008) [PNR]
*I own the last in the trilogy, which I may or may not read. **The best of the bunch. (less)
Despite this being Keita and Ragnar's book they weren't in it too much which is probably done on purpose as there's only so much self-absorbed arrogan...moreDespite this being Keita and Ragnar's book they weren't in it too much which is probably done on purpose as there's only so much self-absorbed arrogance one can take. Besides, there was plenty of politics, intrigue and action to keep you busy.
I loved the wonderful sense of family in this. How Morfyd and Keita will fight like cats and dogs but woe betide anyone who tries to hurt either sister.
The terrible toddler twins and baby Rhianwen -aww. Their unusual and protective bond with one another is so sweet. Rhianwen finally smiling. Annwyl's daughter taking after her mother and her son after Gwenvael (LMAO!), and Briec's perfect, perfect daughter. Feargus loving his daughter more than his son and Annwyl vice, versa.
Éibhear and Izzy. :( They need to get their act together! Only one more book, plus a few months, between me and their HEA.
Some of my favourite quotes:
'She looks to need nourishment. Unleash your breasts for her." "Stop saying that!"'
'Talan crawled into Keita's lap after he finished eating, buried his face against her bodice-covered breastsm and dropped right off to sleep. At that point, everyone-even Ragnar-looked at Gwenvael, who quickly denied any involvement, "It wasn't me! I didn't teach him that."
"He's your son, wench." He pulled his daughter to him. "She's mine." "You can have her." "Fine!" "Fine!"