I've kind of been an jerk lately about the Immortals After Dark books. Lately a few have been missing the mark with me, but overall still solid. My isI've kind of been an jerk lately about the Immortals After Dark books. Lately a few have been missing the mark with me, but overall still solid. My issue has been with how each installment's romance has 5 steps that they follow. I'm not going to get into them, because I'm not going to be a meanie. Nope. Because in between those “5 Steps” I was still having fun. The romance was still building, and for each read it normally does. The world is building. Character growth is happening. I feel the feels! Well it's still a great read!
After that epiphany and finally realizing that I didn't want to be a mean bookworm I decided to enjoy Sweet Ruin. (And any future books of this series.)
Because this is a game changer! It is frustrating jumping around the Ascension, the Lore being imprisoned on an island, and all those open cliffhangers. (MacRieve anyone!) Then boom totally new turn. All the new elements introduced here—sighs—are too good. I'm eating it up. Sweet Ruin was just what the series needed to rejuvenate the series. Despite all those open plots. The introduction to the Morior and Orion the Undoing is a breath of fresh air for plot possibilities. Not to mention that it's awesome seeing beloved characters through the eyes of Jo and Rune.
Jo is brilliant. She may be clueless about certain things, but she knows her self. She knows what she deserves and she doesn't take no. She gets what she wants; or she's smart enough to know when it's time to walk. No self hating. Well at least for things she knows aren't in her hands. Her love for her brother Thaddeus is beautiful. Both when they're young, and when they are reunited! Getting to know more about Thaddeus was such a treat. It's just nice to see a decent female lead again, I haven't been fond of the last few.
Rune is an interesting male lead. And when I found out he was quite the whore, I thought it was a cheap gimmick. In the last book the female got around and now it was time for a role reversal. That was not the case. Rune is one of the most fascinating male leads since Lothaire (at least for me). He felt more thought out and not quite as “me caveman” as is Cole's specialty. It was refreshing to see the male POV on sexual abuse. It felt real and I loved his revelations in the end. It's a great message on self love and worth.
Jo and Rune are amazing together. Sure Cole has a formula, but the magic of her books has always been her characters. Romance tends to follow a pattern and I love these characters—and world—too much to miss out. Not to mention that Cole's writing is solid! The snark, accents, flavor of each character, and the crazy-amazing-ness of the IAD is on point! Cole knows how to write a good book, if she uses her formula to do so why not? It works, it's good. And I shan't be judgy any longer.
I've been vague because I want readers to go in being absolutely surprised—and very delighted—by what Cole is bringing to the table. Nix is pretty epic here and I wonder if we just met her fated male? But I think that's too on the nose. The whole cast of the Morior that was introduced are characters I would very much like to get to know and see get HEAs. Not to mention that I want to see Nix take them away from Orion. How are Nix and Orion going to duke it out?!!!! No, really, it is going to get epic. Plus, I'm dying to know who is going to be next. Especially since there was a FURY in one of the showdowns. What the flying books!? Way to tease us Cole. I'm in for wherever this series is going to go. Because the characters are awesome; the world is super-duper-fun awesome; there's decent plots and world building shit going on here!
Sexual Content: Plenty of sexual humor and bedroom scenes. Duh. That's how we Cole fans like it.
Claims that this book was a lot like the Riley Jenson series had me practically foaming at the mouth for Fireborn!! Pretty please and thank you. IroniClaims that this book was a lot like the Riley Jenson series had me practically foaming at the mouth for Fireborn!! Pretty please and thank you. Ironically that's probably why I didn't love it. Because it was too much like the Riley Jenson series. Emberly had plenty of potential, but I didn't feel like she was fully fleshed out. Instead she had all the basics of Riley, and not enough Emberly to separate them. She has a male roommate, her soul mate who she can never be in love with—but still a lot like Riley's brother. Emberly is completely comfortable with her sexuality and owns it! (And really that is an aspect I'm happy to live with.) Emberly wants to live a quiet and normal life—this time around—but she's clearly all over the action and her justifications for getting involved seem stupid. Even the love interest has a lot of qualities like the Riley series, but worse.
Sam is already at that he's-an-asshole-who-felt-betrayed-but-really-just-didn't-understand-and-hurts-Emberly-continually jerk state. No really. Sam is already introduced as Emberly's ex. And he's probably one of the most insufferable male love interests to grace the pages of literature. OK, I've read a few worse ones, but this is a status update as I read: “Queue bus. Sam splatter. Now.” Arthur doesn't set up any time span for readers to get to know Sam as anything but an ass. There's no tender flashbacks. Readers are just supposed to take Emberly's word for it that their love was amazing, and that five years was not enough to get over him. Even though now that he's back in her life he's drugged her multiple times, threatened her, expects her to help him but practically gives her nothing, and one of those druggings leaves Emberly and another person completely defenseless against some enemies he knew where coming after her! Emberly annoyingly pining and Sam being an unmitigated ass gets old fast. Knowing Arthur she will drag this out, and I hate Sam. No matter what there will be no redemption for him.
Other then that, this book is a great start to a knew series! Jackson enters as a fire Faye who's down right sexy and helps Emberly steam up the page! While there is some questions to whether he is a good or bad guy, Arthur is kind enough not to torture readers too long. Also, some question to whether Jackson will be the other side of the love triangle. The vibes I’m getting are just good friends with benefits. They're a great team together and I like the idea of following a series where they both interact. Rory is also a surprisingly fun character, and I hope to see more of him considering he has a pretty tight connection to Emberly.
Which brings me to the coolest aspect of this series. Phoenixes! There's only one book that actually had a lead who was part phoenix that I've read, and others they've just been magical creatures. Arthur spins her mythology well. As phoenix are fire spirits and are quiet different from humans. They have three forms: human, fire, and phoenix! Phoenixes come in pairs, or soul mates, and can not live without their other half. Of course there's a tragic twist that pairs cannot ever be in love, romantically, with each other. Every life they are reborn their destined to have true love, and it is fated to never end well. Really sad crap. But I wonder how much it is they find that “true love” for that life and then they give up on “normal love”. You know the practical kind that you have to work at? Just a thought.
While Fireborn didn't have as powerful a murder mystery as what I'd grown accustomed to from my beloved Riley, I did have fun. (Come on, we all no ones different/wrong with Sam.) The setup for the Red Cloaks was interesting and left open to sprawl out in future entries into the series. (Though how no one would think that there's something fishy to a bunch of “crazy mindless beings” all having red cloaks? Mindless creatures don't wear uniforms.) The dark world and humor that readers have grown to love, and expect, from Arthur is present! While I find two of the men in Riley's life fantastic and love them without actually needing them to be her HEA. I will say that if Sam is dragged out as “the one” I'll probably not continue this series too long. However, I love the promise and I hope to get to know Emberly more! Arthur can deliver better mystery and love story then this and I look forward to it.
And no. You do not need to have read the Riley or Dark Angels series to read this It’s the same universe, but no cross over a that feeling of missing something.
Sexual Content: Hot bedroom scenes, plenty of sexual humor, and well . . . tons of sexual content. It’s Arthur it comes with the turf.
3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.
The reason as to why this is now my favorite Kate Daniels book to date is because Kate and Curran actually get some serious time to interact. Curran bThe reason as to why this is now my favorite Kate Daniels book to date is because Kate and Curran actually get some serious time to interact. Curran botched it in Magic Rises (I’m sticking to my guns). He may have grudgingly earned my respect back in Magic Breaks, but I still had my doubts. Because now he's no longer the Beast Lord and I'm not sure how he's going to respect Kate in their knew lives. Especially as Kate played bait a lot and seemed to rely on Curran so much.
However, that's the beauty of it. Curran is holding himself back because Kate can handle herself. Even after one super scary (no really I prayed during this part of the book, because it could have been the worst game changer for this series) Curran loves and respects her enough not to put her under lock and key. Kate relies on Curran is a beautiful thing as she used to rely on no one, and she trusts Curran enough to have her back.
Oh, and the one liners and witty conversations. Bless you. I highlighted the crap out of this book. And I had to restrain myself from posting too many quotes in my Goodreads updates (no really just check them out!).
Julie is present and I think she's developed into a great character. Too be honest Julie's character never clicked with me. Here it did and I loved seeing Kate, Curran, and Julie be a family. Comforting each other, backing each other up in bloody situations. This is Kate and Curran's family after all.
For once I didn't feel like I knew the plot and how things would go. (Though I did call it on Kate and Curran's future child! I called it!) It's a wonderful build up for the next books and I loved how complex the mythology was here. Ghouls, djinn, flesh eating unicorns, giants turning into metal, and how old myths deal with the current tech and magic world. It was awesome.
While some favorite characters may have not gotten enough page time, others did. Jim and Dali as the knew Beast Lord couple are awesome! It will be interesting to see all of the Pack members that decide to follow Curran and Kate. The ones who already have are epic. One complaint is how Derek seemed to un-character build? I don't know but it feels like he hasn't aged and he's just this gloomy thing for this book. However, the rest of the epicness of Magic Shifts can not be ignored. I adored this and as I've mentioned it stands as the funniest and best entry yet into one of my favorite series.
Sexual Content: Plenty sexual humor, and sex scenes.
Right up front I'm going to put it out there: I don't think this book was worth all the buzz.
That said I enjoyed it. To me it was a fun read, I likedRight up front I'm going to put it out there: I don't think this book was worth all the buzz.
That said I enjoyed it. To me it was a fun read, I liked the idea of a YA version of Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series. Elemental does well with the idea that I never thought that it was a rip off of said series. The writing was pretty fun and I enjoyed all of the brothers, and added hottie. The brothers have a very interesting dynamic to them and I look forward to each of their books, oh and the hottie AKA Hunter.
What I didn't like was the overall plot. Gosh is was so obvious that I felt like I should have just put the book down because I knew exactly what was going to be “revealed” and la-dee-dah. However, I kept reading because it looked like Becca—oh, and let me get to that mess in moment—and Chris were the leads telling the story, but Hunter entered as the new hot transfer student and it seemed like he had a real chance with Becca. Of course his “plot” twist meant drama that I'd usually say dump the guy for. The problem was the majority of the book evolves around Hunter and Becca dating. Even with Chris telling part of the story he felt like a third wheel and not part of the main romance. Even the ending was so, eh. Eh.
It didn't help that I loathed Becca. Loathed. Not disliked, loathed. Dear authors making a nice and empathetic character does not mean you need to make them feel like blank slates. Becca felt like a telling character, you know the author is telling me she's supposed to be really brave and all this. Oh, and the blushing. I'm a blusher, but I don't freaking blush like that!! I'd pass out. Over heat and probably kill myself. I will give props to Kemmerer for addressing the subject of sexual pressure among teens. For how a girl can blame herself and simply want the whole mess to just disappear. However, what I don't get is if you're afraid of going to a party because your ex might rape you in front of everyone (and that's only her 5th worry, hate to know what the other top 4 are) don't effing go to the party! Oh, and no matter how kind you are do not wander off alone no matter how safe it looks.
Becca-Becca-Becca! You dumb girl. She put the whole too stupid to live thing into the light. She gets mad at the wrong people. If something traumatic happens and your passive and just taking the kicks, I understand. However, Becca would have these moments to show readers how strong she really was, but she was being aggressive to the wrong people. Which I get in a way, but most of the time it's a game as to what really happened with Becca and she's dumb enough that I really started to wonder . . . if she even knew what happened. Or if it was like a forced kiss gone wrong and or something mild blown out of proportion. That's how bad she was.
Beside the cast of brothers being really cool and my enjoyment of Hunter, I will say I was really disappointed in the lack of Chris. Honestly this felt more like Hunter's book, only he didn't have narration time. And no it's not a spoiler, we all know how these books work! The flip happens and Chris gets the girl, only I didn't give a fudge. Ya know it's gonna happen, and sadly both love interests are underdeveloped. Becca's best friend Quinn even got on my nerves and I'm worried about the book she'll have as she's pretty uncaring, an over the top drama queen, and a bitch—no I didn't think she was very “spunky” just mean.
Back to that plot. Storm is a really cool concept with the Elemental universe, like I said I'd been waiting for a YA title to do this idea. Yet the plot felt like someone's connect the dots on how to write a book. Within the first 30 pages, once all the elements are introduced—and even before those elements are added—I was all “oh, this is going to happen and then they'll go with this whole schpeel and try to do this silly plot twist.” And yeah, I was write on. If you're one of those people who can anticipate plots and know where a story is going this is one of those books.
Overall with the predictable A to B plot, with an unshocking twist tossed in, and a lead I loathed, it's puzzling as to why I enjoyed this book. Especially since the subject of sexual harassment, sexual pressures, and rape were such . . . props in the story. It was insulting. Especially since it was supposed to be a huge part of this book. Either go all the way, or go home! Please do not tip toe around subjects like this. And don't . . ugh. The world is interesting, but underdeveloped. The writing is nothing to bedazzled over. And besides the brothers and Hunter, the other characters and generic and cut outs. Oh, the brothers and Hunter are cut outs/generic characters too. Maybe it's the potential. Yes, I will be looking into the rest of the books. Let's hope the next ones buck up.
Sexual Content: Sexual humor and some dark sexual content. Nothing over the top though, the kids will live. Though I don’t have a drug content, but white out on nails . . . pretty sure that’s how kids in my grade got high. Why wasn’t that ever addressed? Or was the Kemmerer just unaware, or thought it was normal to add it . . .