I absolutely loved Jennifer Estep’s first novel in the Elemental Assassin series, Spider’s Bite. So when I needed a little break from all the mushy ro...moreI absolutely loved Jennifer Estep’s first novel in the Elemental Assassin series, Spider’s Bite. So when I needed a little break from all the mushy romances novels I’ve been reading lately, I turned to something I knew would be the complete opposite. I don’t think I could of chosen a better book to come back to urban fantasy to than Web of Lies.
The number one thing I like most about this series is Gin Blanco. I like the fact that we’re rooting for the bad guy, because... she’s also our heroine. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been irritated by uf’s kick-ass chicks that hesitate. Gin doesn’t hesitate and she gets the job done. Maybe that makes me blood thirsty or I just agree with Estep’s idea of maybe there are just some people out there that need to be eliminated, but either way, I think it's fabulous. Of course, we do find out more about Gin's past in Web of Lies. Fletcher Lane's last parting gift to Gin brings out serious trust issues, but in doing so, he's helped her to remember one of the most important clues - just exactly who the Fire Elemental is that killed her family.
The gang from Spider’s Bite is all back for a second appearance. Finnegan Lane has taken over the role of Gin’s handler (not that she really needs one in her retirement) and is as cheeky as ever. Sophia Deveraux, the Gothic-dwarf, is still a cook at the Pork Pit and clean-up crew. This is one character I wouldn’t mind finding out more on. With her one grunt answers, dark appearance and secretive body disposal methods. Jojo Deveraux has a few secrets of her own that she isn’t telling. As an Air Elemental, she has the gift of sight and it’s obvious she knows more about Gin than she’s telling.
That brings me to Detective Donovan Caine. When we first met Caine, I was all about the high standing moral officer. Pairing him with the ambiguous moral assassin was so much fun to watch. Though, now, it’s just irritating. There is nothing, to me, more un-sexy than a weak man. It would of been so much better if he could of stayed true to his convictions, then at least, I would still have some love for the man, but instead he wobbles. We don’t see much of Caine in Web of Lies, but when we do see him, he’s spending most of his time in judgment of Gin or he’s trying to sleep with her. Such a conflicted man. Will he or won’t he? I’m hoping for won’t, because I have my eye on someone else. From what we've seen of this new man, I don't know if Gin can trust him, but I do like what I see.
Web of Lies wasn’t the smash hit for me as the series first, Spider’s Bite. It’s slow to start into the real meat of the novel. I found that I could put the book down and come back later. It wasn’t actually until the end that the pages started to fly by. Small things that didn’t bother me in the first, really grated at me in the second. Like her short sentences, or Gins description of their eyes locking "gray on gold" There's also a lot of repetitive sentences and phrases that I could of done without. I'm not a genius, but I'm also not a complete idiot, and describing the same things, sometimes in the same words, over and over is just plain insulting to my intelligence. However, I'm not ready to give up on this series yet. It's just not enough to keep away, so I’m really happy that the third in the Elemental Assassin series, Venom, is only a month away.(less)
Skyler White is back with her second novel, In Dreams Begin, demanding more from her readers by asking harder questions through a provocative prose.
In...moreSkyler White is back with her second novel, In Dreams Begin, demanding more from her readers by asking harder questions through a provocative prose.
In present day Portland, we meet Laura on her wedding night. Laura has married a man not for love, but for practicality. As a straight forward, smart, independent woman she knows that crazy in love is still crazy and chooses the more safer option. As she falls asleep, her spirit floats up and back down in to the body of one Maud Gonne, Dublin's famous beauty, 100 years in Ireland's past. Greeted by Ida Jameson, she's convinced that it's all only a dream and welcomes the idea of a love play between the crazy in love Ida with Maud believing in only the symbolism of the act.
Ida Jameson believes that everything she wants or loves turns sour at it's climax.
"But every gem-like moment Ida sought to fashion for herself turned to a dirty paste of disappointment while unexpected opportunities inevitably found her unprepared, in her worst dress or bad skin."
Everything that she strives for she knows she will never obtain, but that does not detour her in her journey to find completion. She wants her childhood friend, Maud and to be apart of the Theosophical Society in a way that borders obsession and driven by open opportunities. When she finds a chance meeting between Maud and William Yeats, she hopes to present Maud, in a mesmerism state again, as Laura to him for guaranteed acceptance in to their society. Though, like everything else, it slips from her grasp and as Maud, Laura falls for the hopeless dreamer and handsome poet Yeats and him with her.
Entrancing from page one, In Dreams Begin sets the reader off on a course of finding love, sexuality, security, infatuation, freedom, sacrifice and imagination though a wide scale array of emotions from pain to pleasure. Like and Falling, Fly, Skyler asks what's the difference between need and want? Imagination and reality? Love and infatuation? What do we accomplish by holding ourselves back or sacrificing our love? Is love really a sacrifice of freedom? Adding to her own more person quandaries:
"Do I truly possess my own body? Is it mine to maintain, enhance, neglect or add horns to? Can I give myself to someone? Do I own my child? Is my body’s health a status symbol, a communication tool, a shell for my soul, or a public policy problem? And isn’t channeling the souls of other people really what all writers do?"
As we follow Laura through time to the other half of her soul, we will see the toll it takes on her poet, Yeats. The sacrifices he will endure for the love of Laura. How Laura finds her freedom, security and peace from the war raging inside her. Meanwhile, Ida has shifted obsessions once again, willing to travel to Hell and back to bring her one true love to her at any cost. Is Ida the devil or villain of this fairytale? Maybe, but I can't help but feel sorry for her plight. All she's looking for is love and freedom, however, life is cruel to her. In a time where beauty is everything and woman are less than second class, she has nothing to hold on to. The tighter her fist clench to keep what she wants and needs close, the faster it falls from her grasp leading her down a path of rejection and failure, desperate. Is Laura, Maude and Yeats the victims of crazed actions? Of course, but are they any less to blame? No.
In Dreams Begin will leave you drunk on words of the beautiful poetic writings of Skyler White. However, also like and Falling, Fly, I found the first person past tense point of view of Laura a bit jarring mixed with Ida's third person present tense point of view. Again it took me longer than I would of liked to get into the story, but once I did, it flowed. By the end, you will learn the answers that plagues Laura's questions and Skyler's alike. Your going to have to work for this one, for it is not a simple read, but it will be worth it for what it provokes in you alone.(less)
I have mixed emotions about this edition in the Riley Jenson series. I was so afraid going in that we’d get an onslaught of emotions that were dragged...moreI have mixed emotions about this edition in the Riley Jenson series. I was so afraid going in that we’d get an onslaught of emotions that were dragged out endlessly about Kades death in Bound to Shadows. His death was already hard for me the first time around and I didn’t want to keep reliving it over and over. I was pleased to see that the opposite was actually the case. While Riley does grieve for Kade in the beginning, Kye’s haunting last words to her become fulfilled. In the midst of another case for the Directorate of vengeance killings made by a horned demon, Riley gets abducted and wakes without memory to a new life. She can’t remember much, but familiar words linger and faintly she knows she’ll have just one week to recover who she was.
Moon Sworn is quite different from the last eight novels in this series. The whole novel had a different feel, and with the knowledge of this being the last edition to the series, made reading it all the more surreal. It’s a bitter sweet ending for me. I know all good things must come to an end, but that doesn’t mean I won’t mourn it’s passing. Because most of the novel is Riley without her memory, we’re denied proper good byes to all of the supporting characters. I desperately missed all of my favorites- Rhoane, Liander, Quinn, Jack, Sal and the rest of the gang. However, I will say that Ms. Arthur brought all of the long standing story arcs together very nicely and I’m left completely satisfied with how things turn out for Riley. I’m really going to miss Riley and Co. but I’m more happy about not seeing this dragged out to the point of irritation and boredom.(less)