First it needs to be said that this book is edited right. I did not want to bash my brains out due to grammar errors. The writing isn't too bad eitherFirst it needs to be said that this book is edited right. I did not want to bash my brains out due to grammar errors. The writing isn't too bad either. It has life and a flavor to it. Sadly the overall story, events, and characters bored me. I fell asleep while reading. Had to skip a few parts that basically went exactly how I knew they would. (For a read-every-word girl like me, that's not a good sign.)
The first thing I need to touch base with was the world building. The idea of a world where humans evolved into mages, and then the mages experimented on humans that then created shifters is awesome. When first diving into the story I thought this was an urban fantasy read. It felt like it. It revealed we were not on our earth, but a totally made up one. Cool. Then all of a sudden a steambike pops up and whams me in the face. OK. I rolled with it because the idea that this is a made up world with steampunk technology thrilled me.
So it was a steampunk fantasy world!
Maybe? The technology felt off because there was a power plant and lots of things that didn't quite fit a steampunk world. Such as sweatpants. And I'm assuming they are sweats, because that is the term used for them. Sweats in fantasy/steampunk worlds are usually “loose pants” or “baggy pants”. “Work out pants.” So on. Because the type of technology to make our kind of sweats does not mesh with the world.
I'm a picky reader. I felt like Walt simply wanted me to feel in the blanks. Assume a lot of things about this world. Which sucked.
Ah, the cast of characters. Who all felt barrowed from other stories and pieced together. Definitely urban fantasy characters. Who did and said the things I expected them to. The lead was supposed to be witty and snarky, but I found her more stupid and irritating. Rude. The male interests where boring and so typical that no attempt was made to flesh them out.
Oh, and the lead is magically attracted to the rude—excuse me mysterious/misunderstood—Chief Mage. AKA the man with all the power that seems like a bad guy but isn't. Of course she's drawn to him despite herself.
The mystery of her mentor's death and the “silver murders” is tacked onto the lead's secret being found out and so on. It's all rather boring. And well typical. (Yeah, I'm tired of using that word.) Actually it may have behooved this series to get us to care about the lead and her world before playing all of its cards.
The names of the characters have already left my head. Instead I remember them as stereotypes that did their stereotypical things. That just happened to be cut into a stereotypical UF plot. Which is a true shame as the basis of this world was so unique. With an underwhelming romance and boring plot. Despite the fact that this is supposed to be a fantasy steampunk world. It all falls short because it's so busy following the steps of a Urban Fantasy book that it forgets to be itself. To build emotions and distinguish its characters from the many others out there. To build the world and not just the buildings and rooms. To have the world figured out enough to clue readers into the hows and whys. Thumbs up for solid editing. Thank you.
Sexual Content: Sexual humor, minor dark themes, and overall clean.
Kate Daniel shorts are always magical. You don't necessarily have to read the Kate books to get them. And if you read the Kate books you don't have toKate Daniel shorts are always magical. You don't necessarily have to read the Kate books to get them. And if you read the Kate books you don't have to read them, there is sometimes a general nod to them sometimes in the main story. So why are you reading them? You're reading them for the sheer joy of the world and characters the Andrews team has created. Magic Stars, to its credit, does more then just deliver comfort food. It expands on Derek! Which is really all I need to know. Plus, Julie is growing on me.
Despite it being super short, it feels like a full blown Kate Daniels book. (Well kind of.) I really hope there will be more Derek short stories. I loved that tantalizing tease about . . . well I'm not going to spill the beans. I'm very curious where Julie and Derek's relationship will go. To be honest I like Julie with another from a different short. I enjoy the sibling comradery of Derek and Julie.
As usual Andrews creates an awesome mythology and I loved the mythical creatures introduced. As a fairly new introduction to the shorts for the Daniels verse I think this is a pretty great place to start. I've only read two so far—yes, including this one—and I know I have to seek out more. (Though technically this is supposed to be the start of the Grey Wolf series, it's still part of the Kate reading material to me.)
For such a tiny page count these books pack a punch. I'm totally invested in this world. HOWEVER. The biggest problem is that they are so tiny.
EspeciFor such a tiny page count these books pack a punch. I'm totally invested in this world. HOWEVER. The biggest problem is that they are so tiny.
Especially with Jade and Alek as a couple. I still don't see it. Because there is just not enough room to have this action packed adventure and emotional content. Don't get me wrong, this book is not cold. But it doesn't have the time to fully explore and develop things outside of Jade's current problem.
Thankfully that's really my only issue. Sure there's a few errors here and there. But the overall writing and Jade's voice is perfect. I adore Jade and her fangirl self. It's great having a book friend to geek out with while reading.
Overall I enjoyed seeing Jade's “blood” relations. It was very interesting and you could both see why she was drawn to Samir. But also wonder why she trusted him so much. It was a fun mystery and it also sheds light on how different Alec and Jade think. To be honest she was pretty naïve about how she went about things. I agreed with who needed to die, but she was just stupid thinking that that person would be the only casualty. I'm very curious as to what will happen between Jade and Alec. I really want to feel them as a couple. Also, I look forward to the books getting longer.
Sexual Content: Sexual humor, minor dark themes, and some alluded to fun time. Nothing graphic.
3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.
It's a true testament of Bellet's writing talent that this short of a book worked. Short reads like this have more pressure, especially as an officialIt's a true testament of Bellet's writing talent that this short of a book worked. Short reads like this have more pressure, especially as an official first book, to introduce the world and lead. To get readers hooked and say, “Hey, I've got some great stuff to show you!
Bellet really does.
There were some mild grammar issues and rough writing moments, but mostly the writing is solid. Jade's voice is awesome. She's clever, snarky, and nerdy. She's a gamer and that had potential to make it hard for non gamers to understand. I'm a very casual gamer so I know some of the lingo and games, but not all. There's just enough gamer inside jokes, but not to an extant to alienate non gamer readers. But Jade is a well rounded geek and I'm sure everyone can find some way to connect with her. (Come on we all have an inner nerd/geek.)
Jade is pretty cool. The book does a good job to introduce her, tell about her past, and make readers love her. As mentioned she's a fellow geek, so that immediately endears her to me. But I like that despite her fears she can't abandon her friends. Not to mention she can see when someone else is right and has the balls to make the decisions that need to be made. She's got a lot of work to do to be in fighting shape, but I think the journey will be well worth it. For her and readers. Plus, I have to find out more about what I thought was Jade's wolf familiar. She's an Undying? That happens to look like a wolf tiger, lynx, and other things! How cool is that.
“A girl needs options. To me, video games are like shoes. But with more pixels and a plot.”
Despite how well setup, and paced, the book was Jade and Aleksie's attraction felt off. More like an obligation. Aleksie is the Justice. A weretiger who helps to keep the piece in the shifter society. He's the law, judge, and executioner basically. So he's the perfect setup for a love interest. But there insta-lust felt off. Especially since it barely took a few paragraphs—barely a new page—for Jade to start imagining doing dirty things to Aleksie. (But I can't really fault her.) It just felt off. But. Yes, there's a but. I look forward to seeing these two characters connect and get a proper page time to develop.
“After all, in a world full of shape shifters, witches, gods, and sorcerers, maybe miracles can happen.”
Apparently there aren't vampires in this world. Bummer. However, console yourself with bad ass sorcerers/sorceresses, witches, all kinds of animal shifters, leprechauns, and more. At this point there's not a ton of detail on the magic, but I liked the range and variety shown so far. It's a promising setup and I can't wait for more to be revealed!
“Guess no one had ever told him not to bring a gun to a mage fight.”
Despite some minor issues Justice Calling is a solid introduction to Jade Crow's world. Readers get to know her and I can't wait to see her grow. Even better is the promise of what is going to be an epic show down once Jade's Ex tracks her down. Bad Romance, can't say no to that. Especially when he's out her eat her heart—not brain. (Sorry I made lots of Gaga references there. I couldn't help it!) I love the fictional town of Wylde, Idaho. I'm a sucker for any book in my state. The cast of side characters is promising and I simply want more of this cool Urban Fantasy world.
Sexual Content: Dirty thoughts, humor, and some kissing. Clean. (Well one dark musing.)
3/5- Adored it, just a few minor details held it back.
****Review copy received through Netgalley for an honest review.****
Edged Blade (Colbana Files, book 4) by C.L. Daniels
Edged Blade is the weakest ent****Review copy received through Netgalley for an honest review.****
Edged Blade (Colbana Files, book 4) by C.L. Daniels
Edged Blade is the weakest entry into the Colbana series. No, I'm not talking about the grammar issues that only seem to bother me. (Though those are very much still present, just not as prolific.) The problem lies in dramatic cuts where something is revealed, but not to the reader and it cuts off. Cutaways. Jumping to a different time to then make it's reveal. It's sloppy as heck and in no way prolongs the suspense. Not to mention that about the 50% mark there's a huge fight. In which nothing made sense and I had to reread it numerous times to figure out what triggered it. Who was fighting and why.
Maybe it all goes back to the fact that at many times I had no idea who was talking. If it was Kit or the person Kit was talking to. It was all very garbled. Which made any scenes that weren't well written grabbled. Which is sad as Kit has such a strong voice that she should stand out. However, a lot of the other characters sound a lot like her when they're talking. Chang, Doyle, Damon, and others. So that didn't help.
Edge Blade did help to mend fences though. Kit is becoming stronger, healing, and she faces her fears in this entry. Damon and Kit are wonderful together and I love how things are handled between the two. Justin is present as well as he brings another case for Kit to solve. One that will bring them closer to the “hospital”. A great place to start, but it leaves off the ending of the last book . . . too open. Oh, well.
In the end this was a fun entry. I feel like it really dropped the ball throughout most of the story. Those grammar issues are still present, turning words around and making things weird. The cut away scenes are soooooo freaking annoying. Man I hope they are not present later. Cutaways had been successfully used with the last few books. This was just sloppy. The fact that I couldn't tell who was talking and what was actually happening. It was all choppy and sloppy. What a shame. The Colbana Files have become a favorite of mine. At least I got some closure and healing on Kit. (Which is what saved this from being a 1 out of 5 for me.) Plus, what a way to end the book! I both love and fear where this will take the series. Because as I've said before I can't look away. I NEED to know what happens next.
Sexual Content: Sexual humor and some steamy scenes. There are a few dark themes as well, but nothing to explicit.
It's so surprising to find out that a romance between two Arrows can feel so sweet and innocent. While I found myself a hair's breath away from beingIt's so surprising to find out that a romance between two Arrows can feel so sweet and innocent. While I found myself a hair's breath away from being all consumed with fiery passion, I found myself happy to be in the middle of an adorable romance. Which is funny because Zaira is is one tough cookie, and refers to herself as a monster throughout the book. She's intense, scary sometimes, and thinks a bit differently. But I stand by what I say. The romance between both Aden and Zaira is adorable.
Maybe that's because both never got to experience true childhoods and with both their personalities they can see their love—and one another—in childish wonder. Especially since they both see the dark side of the world. The terrors and horrors. Zaira's selfishness and fire balances out Aden's over protectiveness and care for others. That's not to say they’re not great people. Zaira is amazing and I have to be honest the way she kept saying she was a monster got old fast. Because it's clear that she is a wonderful person and she cares deeply about others. Maybe it's just the contrast of how Silence made her believe that by defending herself as a child she was evil. I liked that Aden pushed her and let her know that he wanted her. However, it was Zaira observing her own actions that made her think that maybe she wasn't a monster. That’s not to say she doesn’t get scary violent.
Shards of Hope excellently displays the world after Silence has fallen and the Psy are taking tentative steps into their new hope. With the Empaths at the center of it, and the Arrows finding there footing in the world. It's a beautiful thing to see Aden's dreams for his Arrows. How he wants them to be more. To be a family. Much how Snowdancer and DarkRiver are. It's haunting and touching to see how not only the children can find hope and a new life, but the senior Arrows. It was fabulous to see the children become children. And the adult Arrows start to thaw out. To see some romances spark up! To just see the joy. Even as some very dark events haunt the squad as Aden tries to lead them into the brighter future.
This book is definitely an intro into the new world that the Psy/Changeling books are going. As well as a stepping stone as a new enemy appears on the horizon, The Consortium. They're crafty, and while are heroes come out on top this round it's clear that the Consortium is quite the enemy. They have learned from the Pure Psy and the Council's mistakes. It's also really fun trying to guess who might be the mastermind behind it all. (Come on we all had fun speculating who the Ghost could be, even after knowing 100% who it was.) It was like watching a crazy, and more exciting, game of chess. There were some devastating moments.
Oh, and RainFire is introduced. A new group of cats who are trying to setup and build their own pack! I loved how they helped inspire Aden and became allies. The members presented are characters I hope to see in future books. I have my fingers crossed.
Overall Singh does it again. I know a lot of readers are complaining about how it's a basic romance story. You know the two characters involved are going to end up together by the end of the book. However, Singh puts so much emotion into it I never get tired. Each new couple stand out. No two characters can be mistaken for the other. Plus, the world building is so fantastic that it not only influences the characters, but is influenced by them. I love how intricate the world is. How dedicated Singh is to the story, right down to the politics! Not to mention the dynamics between humans, Psy, and Changelings. It's all so believable, and I'm invested. Shards of Hope is very much a book of hope. For those who believe they're damaged and can no longer be human, the hope for a brighter future, the hope that the three races can truly interact together, and hope itself. I enjoy how much attention and importance Singh's books are about family and friends. The different aspects of them. Those values and ideas definitely shine here. Bravo! This series, and the world, is not running out of steam.
(For me the amount of characters and all the cameos are a treat! I love seeing all my beloved characters come back. However, there are a lot of characters and sometimes the guide at the front is not enough. Check out Wicked Scribe's character guide if you need to brush up. I know sometimes my brain stalls out. Especially with a year in between installments.)
Sexual Content: Some sex scenes, not as naughty as other installments. Sexual humor as well.