Amanda Carlson once again shows her masterful skills at blending all the elements together in one story. An Urban Fantasy world that is large but does...moreAmanda Carlson once again shows her masterful skills at blending all the elements together in one story. An Urban Fantasy world that is large but doesn't feel overwhelming with action and love happening in a plot and story line that makes the whole package.
*****FULL REVIEW***** Diesel Jones has his chance to be one of the SCC (Sin City Collectors). But first he must complete this trial run job. The catch, to bring in an incubus (which he hates as a whole species) and on the night of the month he struggles to not lose control to his wolf - the night of the full moon. The mission leads Diesel to the doorstep of the sexy new witch in town, that he's starting to fall for, Sofia. The mission brings Diesel closer to Sofia as it seems she's his help in succeeding on his assignment, and more.
I had loved meeting Diesel, briefly, in Aces Wild as the bartender at Jake's bar and was thrilled to hear he was getting his story here. Diesel and a wolf shifter and he's found he's attracted to a new witch in town, Sofia. What Diesel isn't ready to see is that Sofia is just as attracted to him. But it does come to light when an incubus in involved.
Diesel has...issues with the full moons. And this assignment is taking place over the three day cycle of the full moon. It's a test to see if he can control himself. If he can and can complete the mission, he'll get his official papers as a SCC. We learn a great deal of Diesel's past, and the reason he's the way he is at the full moons. Interesting the details we get. Then we have Sofia. Sofia is still a touch of a mystery to us, yet we learn some secrets of hers as well.
Since the story is set in the same world as the other novellas we get to see previous characters again, and they help Diesel with his mission, of SCC manner and of personal vendetta.
Amanda once again blends all the elements into one story like the masterful writer she is. She has a big Urban Fantasy world that doesn't feel as it's overwhelming with action and love happening at the same time. A full story for the main characters. One thing here, I do get a feel for who the next story is going to be for. It's not the usual Amanda Carlson ending, but you have a feel for who is next.(less)
Morovio is the wanderer. Cursed to roam and share his stories and sing his songs. Tonight, with the vision laying in his bed, he remembers another fro...moreMorovio is the wanderer. Cursed to roam and share his stories and sing his songs. Tonight, with the vision laying in his bed, he remembers another from lifetimes ago. The one that he loved and lost. The next day Morovio meets another with a similar curse. One that's pained more than Morovio as he doesn't live on longer than death wishes, but desires to go home A home he can no longer find.
Morovio is a ladies man, a lover. He seems to know what to say and do to woman. Though, do keep in mind, he is a bard that's lived thousands of years. He's got TONS of experience. Even though Morovio is not spending long with each woman (only a night or two), he has a gentleness about him. He' doesn't 100% understand woman but he sees them more than other men do.
We spend time with Morovio as he meets another of a similar curse as his. Goodness! Even the heartache I feel for Rust. Poor man. Sad story of his and his fathers and his fathers father. A whole cursed family. All stole my heart.
A taste of the world Morovio lives through for years upon years. We get short stories of tales Morovie spins. A feel for what he's seen and lived through. Yet leaves our palate craving more. To have one night with this bard to hear all he has to tell and share.
Jennifer speaks poetically through Morovio. I love it! The feeling and emotion in the story behind Morovio tonight. Morovio's, the bard, story is in first person as he tells his story. Jennifer's style flows with ease and I'm drawn to keep reading. I believe Jennifer has to have bard ancestors in her family tree after reading Rusted Memory.
Oh, I will be waiting for more in this world with Morovio.(less)
The tale of Aladdin and the forty thieves retold with a clockwork/steampunk element to the world. A tale that has dangers at the turn for Ali and his...moreThe tale of Aladdin and the forty thieves retold with a clockwork/steampunk element to the world. A tale that has dangers at the turn for Ali and his family, and I liked it for it.
****FULL REVIEW**** Eighteen year old Ali bin-Massoud is visited by a mechanical falcon while in England apprenticing under Ustad Babbage. The falcon leaves him a gift, a puzzle box - something he's loved for years - inscribed in his home language with his name. This one is more special as it's crafted with clockwork and magic. Kassim, Ali's older brother, rudely is awaken in the night to find his fathers horse has returned, riderless and blood soaked. Ali had his own plans for his life, until he is called home by his brother to help with the home. Kassim has his own motives for calling his brother home, the greed for something he heard his father talk of with his younger brother. But the family's hidden secret and honor surfaces, following Ali and after the pieces that have surfaced. Ali has the mind for mechanics, and a profession from the family's past that needs nurtured to clear the dishonor in the family. Along with taking care of the family secret.
The culture and structure of living is strongly projected here in this story. The second son of a successful merchant, Ali would have to find his own way in life as his older brother inherits the business. We even see the prejudice that's present toward Ali and his difference in dress and skin tone in a different nation, bringing a feel of real to Ali.
The story twists magic and clockworks together, even some steampunk elements. There is talk of magic found in England along with that at the desert. But we see the magic more in the desert with the djinn. Clockworks become a magic of their own in this world too. Something wondrous to others not of the mechanical mind thinking.
The writing is artfully descriptive. The story of Ali and the forty thieves is one well know. Danielle and Day twist that tale with a bit of truth, magic, and mechanical for us to hear.
We get the story from Ali's and Kassim's point of view, even from another's later on. It makes sense why it's shift to the other character after you meet them. But it's the view of the whole world and happenings. It explains what is happening and why. I wonder if Ali realizes how lucky he is in avoiding the tortures and death on numerous occasions, thanks to his kind heart and friends he makes.
An old tale remastered to include magics of different kinds. Sit back and relax with this old tale. (less)
I enjoyed this sweet romance. P.J. has blended paranormal romance with the looming zombie threat in the now dangerous city of London. What a way to bl...moreI enjoyed this sweet romance. P.J. has blended paranormal romance with the looming zombie threat in the now dangerous city of London. What a way to blend all the elements.
***FULL REVIEW*** Seth helps his medic, Danny, collect samples from a zombie before eliminating it. He then heads on the remainder of the patrol of his territory London, sending Danny back to start researching and testing. Hearing a scream with his sensitive hearing at night when few brave the streets, he heads toward it to find zombies after a woman and a family. Maisie went for a walk at night with her irritation at her landlord, when she came across a family running from zombies. She pulls her faithful guns to help protect the family. Her ammo is running low as the zombies narrow in. The zombies are acting different, organized. And this can spell trouble for many.
The world here is dangerous. The people who didn't have the money to leave or get out soon enough are stuck in London with the quarantined area. Zombies appeared a little over a year ago and stay in this area. Werewolves are great allies to have against the zombies, humans have finally accepted their help in patrolling and killing zombies but people are still nervous, yet they are more scared of the zombies at the moment. Seth's under the scrutinizing eye of not only the council and other packs but the vampires and fae.
Seth is strong in his feelings of the zombies, and magic. Kill them and don't use it. He has a history with both. Seth is a caring man, and an Alpha. He wants nothing more than to protect his area and eliminate any threat. Danny is a scientist through and through, working out the how, why, and what to do to cure or stop the virus. The humans have moved to slow to recognize the symptoms and to many have become infected. To many innocents have died or been turned.
Seth sees something more in Maisie with her lack of fear in her personal moves, towards zombies and him, and relaxed personality. She's one heck of a shot with her guns too. Seth's instinct is to help Maisie, get her food and off her crippled foot, is strong in Seth. Maisie is special and upon first meeting Seth, ends up in his strong arms. Maisie finds a physical attraction there curled next to his firm chest.
I enjoyed this sweet romance. P.J. has blended paranormal romance with the looming zombie threat in the now dangerous city of London. What a way to blend all the elements.
This is definitely a romance read. There's a blooming relationship with hints on more to the world and zombies. The focus is the growth of caring and love in this dangerous time, but I do hope in the future stories we learn more of the questions about the zombies posed from this read. I'm looking forward to reading them to find out. (less)
Wow. Philippa Ballantine has awakened a rarely heard legend in the vibrant world of New Zealand. Drawing to the forefront a seraphim and magic, in fir...moreWow. Philippa Ballantine has awakened a rarely heard legend in the vibrant world of New Zealand. Drawing to the forefront a seraphim and magic, in first generations born into the land, that many Urban Fantasy fans will fall for. A serial killer is on the lose and seraphim and their hosts are not safe. Fresh and traces of old blended together for our enjoyment.
4.5 stars ****FULL REVIEW**** Not only does New Zealands residents have to worry about fighting the war over seas for England but also the war in their own lands - the loss of their own protectors, the seraphim and their hosts. Three people are drawn together when what appears as a serial killer first with the many Awakened soldiers that are caught off guard in their home land, thrilled to be home, then takes children, who are first children and could host seraph. Faith goes in search of her missing cousin. Lily has lost her mother, and the name of her seraph before completely awakening. Jack, home from the war where his seraph awakened, struggles with the curse he lives with and the isolation he feels from the loss of his loved ones. All three are drawn together over years as they are drawn for personal reasons to the troubles and murders.
Wow. Philippa Ballantine has awakened a rarely heard legend in the vibrant world of New Zealand. Drawing to the forefront a seraphim and magic, in first generations born into the land, that many Urban Fantasy fans will fall for. A serial killer is on the lose and seraphim and their hosts are not safe. Fresh and traces of old blended together for our enjoyment.
Seraphim are the magic in the oldest child of a New Zealand child. They always want to please their hosts so the temptation of the power they offer is easily accessed, and can be dangerous with feeling the power they have. Many feel the seraph are a curse as usually the hosts don't live to middle age, let alone old. The constant connection driving the host mad. Yet there are many who enjoy having the friend to never feel alone. The seraph awakened by severe pain and trauma to the host.
In the Prelude we meet Jack, three years prior to the story starting, while in the war in Turkey. We witness his awakening and how he has survived when so many are lost. I really like that we are introduced to the magics of being an Awakened from page one. Into the story we meet Lily and witness her awakening, and this is when the mystery takes off.
This story also brings to life the wars fought, for the country and personal. We are set us in a time that many loved ones are lost due to war, personal reasons with those lost at war, and the deadly fever that has spread through the land. So many battles to fight here. These all affect the characters and the world they are living in.
There was a mystery to the magic the seraph gave their host from early on. I was curious of it along with drawn into the lives of Faith, Jack, and Lily and those around them. I found I was hoping and wanting them all to meet up again, loving the time they spend together. There is chemistry between them each time they are together, bringing action and emotions to a heightening. I love them all for different reasons.
There are breaks in the story by years, but each section is a story of what has happened to bring us to a point in each characters lives. They are almost like short stories with arcs and endings, yet we know there is something not finished yet. In the end, we get our answers.
The story is set in New Zealand, an old yet new and exciting world. As much as it's described in all it's glory, it feels like home to me. The legend Philippa draws on is new and exciting. Pip briefly touches on a few dark topics. We are aware of it happening, and pull through it. Amazing talent with words on Pip's behalf for leaving the hints of what's happening without drawing us through the actual events.
I can't wait for more of this world and creation Philippa has brought to life for us.(less)
Wow! Love being back in this world. Felt the anxiety of being a powder mage, both as forsworn and a runaway, in the land of Kez.
Might be a novella in...moreWow! Love being back in this world. Felt the anxiety of being a powder mage, both as forsworn and a runaway, in the land of Kez.
Might be a novella in page count, but not shorted in story.
***FULL REVIEW*** Erika, a Kex duchess, is learning to fend for herself with a bow and arrow. She is forsworn to the Kez king and the black powder weapons are illegal and forbidden to her. In a land where powder mages are not welcome and sentenced to death, Erika finds a young girl branded and on the run for that very reason. Erika is determined to help Norrine make it to Andro where powder mages are accepted.
First and foremost, I have to mention I love this world created by Brian. The powder mages and the magics of the Privileged. When I was told Brian was looking for readers of this novella, I could NOT pass it up. And I'm thrilled I didn't.
This story is told from Erika's and Norrine's point of views. The passages are short, as this is a novella, but complete in every way. The story is quick into happenings, the threats Powder Mages face in the land of Kez. Death. But there is a small escape for nobility that turn up to be powder Mages, they can take an oath and become forsworn to the king. But there is always an eye on them, wanting to eliminate the threat of the hated powder mage. Erika is a noble woman and Norrine is a young commoner girl on the run. They both are in danger, and Erika puts herself in more harms way along with her family with helping Norrine. And her family goes along with it.
I felt the anxiety and worry of being a forsworn powder mage along with a runaway in Kez. With the Longdogs, the kings mage hunters, hunting for you.
It was nice to see the small ties to The Promise of Blood even though this is thirty-five years prior to the happening of The Promise of Blood. There is a character name you will recognize upon first sight, but that is at the end of this novella - the small tie in. You don't have to read the first full novel of the series to read this novella, but if you do you will be fully aware of the magic and the strain between Kez and Andro.
A novella in page count, but a full story in reading. Well worth picking up, especially if you have loved the world and magics created here. (less)