On the Prowl Anthology Alpha & Omega (Alpha & Omega, book 0.5) by Patricia Briggs
Wow!! I had forgotten how good this short was. It's set in thOn the Prowl Anthology Alpha & Omega (Alpha & Omega, book 0.5) by Patricia Briggs
Wow!! I had forgotten how good this short was. It's set in the same world as Mercy Thompson's. Presenting a new character, Anna, and an old one, Charles. Charles is kind of old, but he's a blank slate. Readers first meet him in Moon Called and gets smatterings of mentions in Mercy's books. He's the son of the Marrok so it's bound to happen. He's also the executioner for the pack and a key in keeping it running. Charles is a character I've longed to know so it's exciting he'll be in his own spinoff.
Anna is another example of Briggs creating well realized female leads. They don't need to be bad asses wielding weapons. They can be strong in other ways. Personally I really loved her and it helped showing the other side of werewolf packs. Because it's been hinted at that not all packs are like Adam and Bran's.
It's also wonderful getting full on werewolf pack politics again! Especially from the point of view of a woman. Sure she's an Omega—no I won't ruin it for you—so the sexist rules of the other female members need not apply to her. Which is both cool and a bit of a shame that it won’t be explored. However, since she is a werewolf I have no doubt it will be brought up in future books.
Overall this is an excellent pre-series launch. It got my attention. Sadly it was so amazing it's probably why the first official book in the Alpha and Omega series was such a let down. (Who knows maybe I'll like it more on my reread. Because I can barely remember it!) It introduces an excellent power couple and I can't wait to see them actually fall in love. Because Mating in Briggs world isn’t like basic romance novel crap. Not to mention that Anna will be going up to the Marrok's territory. Oh. Yeah.
Sexual Content: Some sexual rumor, talk and mention of rape and sexual abuse. There’s a darker flavor to this book.
Pretty ding dong cool! The art is wonderful and I adore how gritty and naughty this first collection is! This is how I had always wished Once Upon a TPretty ding dong cool! The art is wonderful and I adore how gritty and naughty this first collection is! This is how I had always wished Once Upon a Time could have been. Thank goodness a Goodreads friend reviewed this and told me this is what I had been waiting for. It’s the best of Urban Fantasy mixed with the kind of brave stuff I want out of my fairytale reimaginings!
It’s enchanting to see the fables shadowing the fair city of New York. The art captures the dark tone of the city itself as well as the beasties that live there. Fabletown seems right at home in the Big Apple. Especially as a violent crime takes place and a murder must be solved!
The pacing is well done in these first five volumes as it gives readers the basics and introduces the main players. It introduces The Adversary and how the Fables came to be in the mundane world. (Which is actually a pretty clever and funny story when told by King Cole.) Thankfully that’s not the focus right now. It focuses on how the people of Fabletown are dealing with living in this world and takes place around a murder. While I guessed how it would end, the murder/who dun it part, it was still fun getting to that conclusion with Wolf.
What a cast to pick from! Snow White, so far, is the leading lady and boy is she quite the woman! I’m starting to think that White is very popular as she’s the one that always seems to get the most love, and kick ass personality, when she’s reimagined in a story. She’s the Director of Operations of Fabletown, and she handles it amazingly! That’s not to say some of the other ladies don’t get makeovers. I have a feeling that Cinderella and I are going to get a long quite nicely once she gets more page time. Beauty isn’t what I had hoped for, but maybe that will change over time. Rose Red is quite the interesting character, and sure she’s not the normal big princess, but I like her!
What’s more is no one has their happily ever after. Two of the “big” princess have already gone through divorces and one is battling it out for the long haul. Martial issues of the happily ever after kind, too cool. These realistic takes are my bread and butter!
Prince Charming is such a slut. Man he’s going to be a character I love to loath. Especially because of his dialogue. There’s some bedroom scene dialogue that practically had me laughing until I hurt. Jack is an interesting type, he’s the quick to make a buck and idiot type. Bluebeard is so fascinating! And scary. I’m going to love his character. Then there’s Bigby Wolf.
Ah. No matter the media form I can’t say no to a man who changes into a wolf. To top that this is THE Big Bad Wolf. I’d like him to huff and puff my—OK I’ll stop. (Things could get awkward. Fast.) Wolf is the perfect Sherriff of Fabletown. Not to mention his looks and personality fill that old time cop feel that I love. Solving the murder with him was a true treat. It was a mix of old school detective work and CSI. (Well low tech CSI.)
This was a great introductory to the Fables universe. It’s got my attention and I am revved up for the next collection! Plus, I want to know what happened with the Dwarves that makes Snow White so touchy! I need Cinderella's development! As sad as it is to say I need more horridly naughty Charming moments. Wolf. Yeah, totally need more of him. Clearly The Adversary is going to come into conflict, maybe a big battle for the homeland back. For now though I’ll take what the series is offering while it builds up to it. Gritty takes on fables in the modern age! Nothing is off limits.
Sexual Content: No nudity, but there is sex. Plenty of sexual humor. Very much adult.
So first off, I loved the time with Peony. It was nice to see her again.
However, this overall short was unnecessary. Yes it provided a view into CindSo first off, I loved the time with Peony. It was nice to see her again.
However, this overall short was unnecessary. Yes it provided a view into Cinder's early years. But it's all something that was given in Cinder. It may have let readers meet the “father” who took Cinder in, but the only true development here is getting to see Peony meet and interact with Cinder.
It also makes me really nervous about the fact that Meyer is not big on developing descriptions of people and the world. (At least the cover for Glitches’ confirms what I had thought Cinder looked like.) I'll be reading the other shorts that come before Scarlet, book 2. Overall this is a short that could be missed.
It's a giant train wreck. You know how it ends, but you can't look away. It's also one of the strongest entries in the series, second to Cress.
Part oIt's a giant train wreck. You know how it ends, but you can't look away. It's also one of the strongest entries in the series, second to Cress.
Part of it has to do with how off Levana is and the mystery behind what her sister did to her. Let's be honest, either Levana was made that way because of those events or she just was that way. Either way it's comforting to know Levana was off her rocker before she went evil Queen, and it's even cooler to get a look inside her head.
It's also heart breaking to see such a noble and amazing character, Evret. Oh, seeing him being tortured by Levana was sooooo painful. And I loved every moment of it. (Yeah, I know. I need help.) It was amazing that he could still be such a good man as Levana drives him to madness. Well a lesser man would have went mad. 10 years. Wow.
Not only that but Fairest actually gives readers some world building!!! Why is the moon colonized? Why because earth wanted a docking port there to make exploration and space travel easier! Cool. Now what about ALL my other questions. At the very least let me know if other planets are colonized!!!!!!!
In the end I think fans should definitely read this. Some might be scared. Some might be like me and gleefully want to see this disaster implode! Either way it's good for the series and a setup for some of the leads in the next book. Such as Winter and Jacin. Either way this really isn't a short or something to be skipped. Besides I love it when I understand and can see how the villain ticks. It makes everything better.
Sexual Content: Alludes to some bedroom scenes, and definitely has some slightly more adult themes then previous books.
“I should have known he'd be trouble as soon as he walked into my workshop, but I couldn't have known he'd be the death of me.” - Muse
With that openi
“I should have known he'd be trouble as soon as he walked into my workshop, but I couldn't have known he'd be the death of me.” - Muse
With that opening sentence I was hooked! Especially since you don't know whether it's pertaining to this book or maybe the next ones? All you know is some awesome fun is about to happen. It also reassured my indie/self-pub fears. I haven't been batting well lately. However, it was clear that DaCosta's writing is on freaking point. There was not a single point where I was cringing due to bad writing/grammar. Thank you.
Once those fears were assuaged it was clear that this was one sexy and wild ride. Especially since the man candy does not fit into the molds of good or bad. No it's more like “wickedly evil” and “so baaaaaaaad but I can't help myself”. Oh, and the cherry on top is that they're demons. Yeah.
“The demon inside his male exterior burned with primal needs. It devoured, it stole, it consumed. He was all greed and desire, always hungry.”
Akil is the Demon Prince of Greed. He's basically Muse's—the main character here, I'll get to her—savior. Or is he? Akil is freaking sex and power personified here, and despite all the twists my lady parts still lust. Speaking of lust, let me tell you about Stephan Harper. Assassin, double agent, spy, killer, mechanic, and all around smexy man. Stephan can't be pinned down. He's a half human/half demon, like Muse, but he is ice where she is fire. Oh, they're fabulous together! Stephan might seem like the standard hero, but his character had just enough twists that trusting him is dangerous. I love that any lover Muse has might be deadly, and might just try to kill her. Come on, it's a dangerous combination that's too good.
Now speaking of Muse, I really enjoyed her. She's not some crazy warrior woman. No. Muse is a half demon. She lived in the netherworld for a time as the property of psycho demon. Torture, rape, and all kinds of nightmares were her life. Until Akil stepped in and helped her to become strong and kill her master. Readers come in as she's living the life of a normal human. She’s a blacksmith and enjoys her average Joe life. Her human boyfriend and feeding her cat. Come on, that can't last!
It's clear that Muse has fire—no pun intended—and she wants to be free. It's clear she’s use to hiding behind people. Not using her inner strength and skills, but relying on others to help save her. But I still like her. She's believable, and after all the stuff she's gone through I can buy just wanting to stick your head in the sand. Pretend nothing happened. Though I'm a big believer in the whole “power is knowledge” thing. So I question as to why she wouldn't try to find away to protect herself when she left Akil's protection. A few times Muse ticked me off with her inability to think. To see where things might end up by. You know thinking things through. Knowing when to bail the hell out.
That's part of her charm. Cause despite that she is believable and I enjoy having a different kind of female lead to the UF genre. Muse embraces her sexuality. No slut shaming here. (I can't believe that's enough of a thing that it's such a joyous thing when I find it.) Love that she's a blacksmith/whatever you want to call it. Though I'm bummed there wasn't more of that here. Even with her iffy survival skills I do like that once she's confronted with the truth she goes forth and seeks answers herself.
The best thing about Beyond the Veil is that one can never be sure about any of the characters. What side they're on and what their agenda is. Because everybody has an agenda. Especially if Muse is involved. Because she's been lied to since birth and there are some secrets and truths that are coming out. The only problem is knowing whether it is actually THE truth.
Beyond the Veil definitely left no doubt in my mind as to whether I'd be continuing this book. Duh! It's a fabulous twisty and dark read. Oh, and that cliffhanger!!! (OK, maybe Stephan is that kind of guy.) Muse is a great lead and she's obviously going to be getting the crash course on what the demon world is really like. Now that she knows the truth about half demons and their power I'm excited to see her become that kick ass heroine. Especially since she's already got the whit to go with it. Come on action scene one liners! Even though she's out of the hands of the demons, for now, the humans might not be any better. (After all she just battled a Prince of Hell and her brother still wants her dead.) I'm looking forward to the full world picture that is teased here. (A little bit after writing this review I bought the rest of the books in the series.)
Sexual Content: Sexual humor and some darker themes.
****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.
It's clear from my reviews that I have not been doing well with indie/self pub books for Urban Fantasy. That said I enjoyed the humor immensely in thiIt's clear from my reviews that I have not been doing well with indie/self pub books for Urban Fantasy. That said I enjoyed the humor immensely in this book, and the grammar was clean. Wow, what a nice little twist. Sadly it felt like non-stop jokes. Which is a sad coincidence as I was talking to some Goodreads friends about how of late Urban Fantasy authors seem to think snarky/witty jokes is the way to go. Completely leaving character development and world building in the background. Which also led to how snarky humor may not be witty, but simply rude.
Thankfully it comes off witty in Maggie For Hire. Sadly the writing is bare bones. When I read a book the words need to transport me into the world. Where all I can visualize is this world. Taste, smell, feel, and just be in a freaking book coma. Where I don't need to eat or sleep because the author is providing all my needs. Maggie was a stranger going into the book, and coming out of it. She has a great since of humor. Yeah. None of the other cast of characters stood out much. And no I didn't find the elf sexy. With poor writing. Or I should say it's “telling” writing. Don't tell me how hot and sexy this elf is, make me believe it through the writing.
Now the plot. Nothing special. Runs like an uninspired UF, with nothing new. In fact, there is so little new material here that this is how it goes: chasing, little mini fight, find some one, ask questions. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. By the end of the book I skimmed. GASP! Yeah, me the advocate of no skimming. Sorry, by the last 50% I know longer cared. And actually considered exercising my “Did Not Finish” powers. But I wanted to get the last few jokes in.
Come for the jokes, and stay for them. Because you're not going to get much else out of this. There are some amazing authors out there, especially in the UF genre, and I know what I want. Sadly Maggie For Hire may have some solid writing—especially compared to some of the shit ARCs lately—but it's not quite there yet. A bit more work with world building, characters, and not telling the story is needed. Right now the book is free on Amazon for Kindle, try it out don't be shy. I read this as a group read and there were many readers who enjoyed it and moved on the the next books. For me, I want more. Nay, I need more.
Sexual Content: Sexual jokes, a few. Clean, cleaner than most YA.
It ticks me off when a good series suddenly changes things up. Sadly this volume not only changes up the art style, but it takes all the character devIt ticks me off when a good series suddenly changes things up. Sadly this volume not only changes up the art style, but it takes all the character development and stomps on it, and basically flips readers the bird. Chase is basically back to being an idiot jock. Even more brainless then when he first came into the series, and really mouthy. Talk about slapping Gert fans in the face.
Overall the plot bored me. The resolution was sad and broke up the best thing about Runaways. Who knows if it will be revisited.
Now about the art style. Don't get me wrong it's nice and I've enjoyed other comics and things that use it. However, with the change many characters no longer look like themselves and the style is juvenile. Yes, I get this is a comic about juveniles. But that doesn't mean everything suddenly has to be child out. Runaways best feature was that despite it being about kids it brings in adult themes about right and wrong, death, and more. The old art style reflected that. It was beautiful and brought a gritty realism to the comics.
The art style isn't my only gripe. The story was jumpy and didn't flow well in many spots. The art style is so jumbled up that some of the fighting scenes--heck even none fighting--seemed garbled and hard to follow. This is series 3/vol 3 and at this point I'll only be following just to see how things wrap up. To be honest if I would have known the series spiraled out this bad I probably would have never continued.
I fear for further entries to this once brilliant series. ...more
Wow, this could have been one hell of a story with a wallop! Instead it's made me leery of a switch-up of names on the cover. Whedon . . . I fear it.Wow, this could have been one hell of a story with a wallop! Instead it's made me leery of a switch-up of names on the cover. Whedon . . . I fear it. No really there were so many things I love, time travel, tragic romance, dark themes, and woman's rights but the flow of this story was horrid. The jumpiest story telling I've seen in Runaways, which is a shame because this series hasn't let me down yet.
Oh, and why so man "things" for everything. "Things" is not a word to replace other words . . .
However, I love what the story was even if it didn't reach the full potential it deserved. ...more
OK, I know why I didn't see, or honestly want, the tragic loss of Gert to happen because I always thought she was the token girl and that she was therOK, I know why I didn't see, or honestly want, the tragic loss of Gert to happen because I always thought she was the token girl and that she was there to eventually die. Which is sad because she actually ended being a really great character. However, despite that I was hoping that Chase would get offed Gert's death and the affect it's having on Chase is awesome. It's going into dark and scary places and that . . . I love. With "vol 2 issue 23's" ending I was scared witless. Totally witless!
Volume 7 brings up some dark things about Chase's parents and how he coped with things. Glad the "big guys" have officially been laid to rest with Alex, hopefully. That ending . . . and you know comics. Plus, what the gang comes home to!
That being said clearly I loved this volume and I'm really digging Karolina and Xavins. It's a cute coupling that I want to watch bloom. ...more
The first bit felt off with Moly getting her own adventure, but after that things are great! Oh, and the Runaway that dies? Smooth move. They were dupThe first bit felt off with Moly getting her own adventure, but after that things are great! Oh, and the Runaway that dies? Smooth move. They were duping readers from the start. Bravo. Though, I'm really sad about it because I loved the character and I really-really-really wanted to see more grown up versions of said character.
Clearly things are changing and the evil "Victorious" option is teasing me!...more
This one went deep . . . . poor Dagger. However, I felt like it split in half and kind of left me in the lurch. The story with Karoline should have, aThis one went deep . . . . poor Dagger. However, I felt like it split in half and kind of left me in the lurch. The story with Karoline should have, at the very least, been brought up or visited as the next story came in. Or it could be that I wanted more of the intersteller stuff that was hinted at the start but sadly denied to me. And I'm a litte nervous it will never truly be expanded on.
And with some of the big character depth reveals I'm pretty sure I know who's going to day next in the Runaways. It seems glaringly obvious. Heavy handed with the hints much?
This is probably the most boring issue yet, which sucks because the last one was A-mazing! The part with Medusa was dull, and . . . didn't click. TheThis is probably the most boring issue yet, which sucks because the last one was A-mazing! The part with Medusa was dull, and . . . didn't click. The issue didn't seem to blend well with the rest of the story until the end. Which sucks because I hate it when a story is going smoothly and suddenly I'm kicked out of the story waiting for things to blend again. ...more
Meh. The art looks great, but coming off of the Suicide Squad, this was . . . not what I was expecting for Harley. Maybe the later volumes will fleshMeh. The art looks great, but coming off of the Suicide Squad, this was . . . not what I was expecting for Harley. Maybe the later volumes will flesh out better. So far, this sadly feels like a fanboy's wet dream. ...more
While this didn't rock my freak boat like the last volume, it certainly is epic. Especially with the add of James Gordon. WoReally liked it!! Yeppee!
While this didn't rock my freak boat like the last volume, it certainly is epic. Especially with the add of James Gordon. Wow. He's kind of awesome, which I know I should not be feeling! But that's what Suicide Squad is all about, loving the characters we should loath. Plus, James Gordon's crush has to make you love him. *cough*
Ahhhhh! Finally that lat bit of connection to make that 5 star jump! Oh, and my poor Deadshot! Man can't catch a break. This is a great lead into whatAhhhhh! Finally that lat bit of connection to make that 5 star jump! Oh, and my poor Deadshot! Man can't catch a break. This is a great lead into what is going to be an epic arc. Plus, all the Harley love!! Ga-ga!
This hits all the right dark and creepy spots! ...more