A graphic novel about Red Sonja (actually, I'm not too familiar with this heroine) that written with some writers that I know from Romanceland...more 3 stars
A graphic novel about Red Sonja (actually, I'm not too familiar with this heroine) that written with some writers that I know from Romancelandia and Fantasy Land like Mercedes Lackey, Meljean Brook, Marjorie M Liu, Tamora Pierce, Nancy A Collins, and many others. Like the title, this anthology tell the story of Red Sonja from some people that know and met her. What connect all that story is the legend told to Grey Riders, an assassins and mercenary group that targeted Red Sonja, for the she-devil murder their prince.
There's a story that I like, that meh for me, and some story that make me go "huh?". My favorite is "The Undefeated (written by Meljean Brook), She Lives Still (written by Marjorie M Liu) and Gerd's Story: What Lies Beneath (written by Nicola Scott) that told how Red's Sonja famous armor and outfit come from. One story, Jenny's Story: Parallax (written by Mercedes Lackey), have a unique interpretation. What amused me is, Red Sonja outfit. I know it's skimpy and I will not mock her for that. It's just, maybe in some time she will feel uncomfortable when wearing her armor, especially in cold weather. But, hey, in Wikipedia I read that she blessed by Scathach, a warrior goddess. So, that's explain a lot.
If you fans of Red Sonja, you might want to try this compillation graphic novel. And if you are a first reader, like me, Legens of Red Sonja can make a good introduction into one of a remarkable women warrior in comic and graphic novels world
EDIT : Actually I kinda give a wrong info for The Unleashing become re-release of Hunting Season (might that I misintrepeted the news in Shelly's newsl...moreEDIT : Actually I kinda give a wrong info for The Unleashing become re-release of Hunting Season (might that I misintrepeted the news in Shelly's newsletter). This book indeed have a same myth with myth in the HS but with new storyline and characters.
Sorry guys for the wrong info earlier (in case you reead it!)^^; I did hope somehow that Shelly will continue with the secondary characters that she write on Hunting Season. Like Mike. Anyhoo, I still can't wait to read this! :D(less)
Dark Paradise is a debut novel from Ms Sandro and I can say for a debut, this novel exceed my expectation. Combine gothic theme, ghost, hoodoo,...more4 stars
Dark Paradise is a debut novel from Ms Sandro and I can say for a debut, this novel exceed my expectation. Combine gothic theme, ghost, hoodoo, suspense, mystery, a little bit police procedural and drama, Dark Paradise make me can't stop reading its pages. With alternate POV narration from both h/H Malaise LaCroix and Landry Price, Ms Sandro bring us to the investagion behind Landry's sister, Lainey Prince murder.
Mara never believed in magic, less about hoodoo, even she comes from a long line of LaCroix witches. She had been battered from her mother's act, never realize that the reason behind her Mama's drunken state is because she can see and hear the spirit. So Mara's Mama always drink booze to dampen it. I like Mara and her voice. I can see that she can be strong but vulnerable as well. I like the fact that she is not TSTL and I understand her skepticism to her nature as a witch. I admire her strength to face her drunken mother and her sucks life. Even when Lainey's spirit haunting her and make her nuts, she never give up to search for Lainey's murder and the reason behind it.
Otherwise, I have a problem with Landry's voice. It's just me, but somehow in some chapter he sound like a girl. I know Landry is so fucked up, knowing his sister dead, his Mom act weird, his Dad is a zealot religious man that accuse Mara's Mom as being witch and his complicated feeling to Mara. Sometimes I want to shout to him "grow some balls, man!". I want Landry to become strong. I don't need him to become alpha macho, just at last he try to understand Mara and become a full grown adult man.
The mystery is well writen and the part about hoodoo and the ghost give me a heebies jeebies. And because Dark Paradise is NA adult, of course there are some delicious drama and angst. Sometimes I think that Dark Paradise have a YA vibes because the drama and some characters behave like teenager and it kinda grates my nerve. But I love the part about the hoodoo and the suspense make me can't stop reading.
Alas, the ending make me pulled my hair. One hint: I.Need.To.Read.The.Next.Book. Yeah, cliffie ending, some mystery still need explanation and no HEA. Ms Sandro get me invested to her story and I can't wait to know what happen next to Mara and Landry
e-ARC provided by NetGalley for honest review(less)
A very, veeeeerrrryyyyyyy short story about Larissa and Terak, a h/H from Stone Guardian, the first installment of Entwined Realm series. So, i...more3 stars
A very, veeeeerrrryyyyyyy short story about Larissa and Terak, a h/H from Stone Guardian, the first installment of Entwined Realm series. So, if you want to read this, make sure to read Stone Guardian first. Otherwise ,you will be very CONFUSED.
Like it subtitle that named "After-Scene", Stone Embrace is freebies from Ms Monsch for those that want moar from our stoic gargoyle Terak and his Meyja, Larissa. The story is simple, just how Larissa and Terak must convice Jack, Larissa's stubborn father to accept their relationship. Which continue to Larissa feeling insecure, Terak feeling insecure and they try to fix that insecureness with a hot (and yes I said it, HOT) sex. I guess, the sex is very HOT and STEAMY. And EROTIC.
Okay, must stop writing in capital.
What I said that Stone Embrace just an okay read (eventho Goodreads said 3 stars mean "I Liked It") is how short this story was and no satisfying result from Jack, Larissa and Terak "confrontation". I guess, it's will never easy to trust your son-in-law to ensure his daughter's happines. Especially when this so called son-in-law is gargoyle. Anyhooo, if you think that Stone Guardian is not hot enough, you will be satisfied when read this after scene.
Anyway, thanks for writing Stone Embrace, Ms Monsch. Just hope you're not too late when publish this.(less)
Curse of the Phoenix is anthology from Rachel Firasek, contain 3 novella about women who cursed as a phoenix by Egyptian Underworld God, Osiris and mu...moreCurse of the Phoenix is anthology from Rachel Firasek, contain 3 novella about women who cursed as a phoenix by Egyptian Underworld God, Osiris and must die to save a soul then born again just to die. Like a time loop, but imagine if one of them have 2000 years of time loop, die and birth and die again. Not pretty.
The first novella is The Last Rising. Told the story of Phoenix Ice or some people will recognize her real name, Isis. So Ice lost her son once time ago and her ex-husband Osiris punished her by being a phoenix then disappear and nowhere to seen. One time Ice know that she will die but she meet a hot Texan named Turner Alcott and turn that Turner's soul is the soul that she must save. Turner survive from the plane-wreck but the image of Ice still haunt him. And to Ice's horror, her next assigment met her with Turner again and his son, Brodie. Turner want Ice for himself, somehow know her but his mind is vague. Yet, Ice still not forgive herself and can't explain her condition as phoenix constantly ignore Turner even she slowly fall for Brodie. Yet, when her next soul-to-be-saved called her, Ice know that she's not ready to leave the child and the man she already loved with.
I have a mix feeling about The Last Rising, and mine will be an unpopular opinion. Ice and Turner kinda girrated my nerves and their banter make may headache worse. Their tug war make me bored with Ice constantly "I want you but I don't want too". The story also feel flat and nothing big happen, especially if you prefer some action. If I can sum this novella, it just Ice being sorry for herself, Ice blaming herself, Ice try to ignore her feeling to Turner even she desire him and Ice babysitting Brodie. For the first novella, The Last Rising is not a good start for a new series to start. Ms Firasek writing feel juvenile and I think this novella is her debut. Even the premise of the Phoenix and Egypt deities is interesting.
I give The Last Rising 2 stars
The second novella is the Last Awakening is about Arabella or Ari, the phoenix that once was voodoo priestess. Osiris release her phoenix soul and promise her magic but Arabella must save Greyson, a vet that haunted by his past in the war. Together they try to heal each other wound, since Arabella too haunted by her horrible past, she once killed her loved ones and people in the village by her own magic. She also do not have idea what to do with her magic because it been dormant for a long time. While a sinister presence will threat anything that Ari hold dear.
I love The Last Awakening and imho, the best novella in this bundle. Ms Firasek writing improve a lot, a huge difference with its previous. I can feel Ari and Grey's pain, how they succumb to the grief and sorrow because what they did in the past and how they found each other in love. This novella also have more action and more plot. Ari's past also explained well compare to another two novella and I love Ari and Grey's relationship. Since there's no "I'm not worthy for you" ala Ice, I can said that Ari and Grey is the best couple from all the phoenixes
I give The Last Awakening : 4 stars
The Last Beginning is the last novella and also wrapped up the story about the phoenixes. Now it's Sadie's turn and readers will know what reason behind her turning. Not like Ice that grief over her child death and torture her people, not like Ari that haunted by her magic that go wrong and kill her entire village, Sadie's turn of reason is Osiris doing. More like Osiris selfish desire that want Sadie to be with him for eternity. Now Sadie is being danger because her body constantly release fire and she become weak. Osiris will do anything to ensure Sadie's safety and condition because the Egyptian God of the Underworld finally realize that his feeling to Sadie is.. love.
I'm so disappointed with this Novella, because Osiris is a big asshole. I can't accept his decision to change Sadie, since Sadie was innocent and not like both Ice and Ari. While I admire Sadie's strength, I'm seriously pissed off with Osiris. Glad that Ice (aka Isis) left him, because Osiris do not deserve either Ice or Sadie to loved him. The conclusion is a little bit "deus ex machina" and I think Sadie forgive Osiris too easily. I want Osiris to grovel, for many many centuries. Heck, he's not even hero material. Sadie deserve a better man :(
I give The Last Beginning : 2.5 stars
To sum it up, I give this bundle 3 stars. There a novella that I love, that I didn't like and just okay for me. But at last, Ms Firasek did well for her story about phoenixes, Egypt myth, redemption, forgiveness and love.
Thanks for Entangled for provide the copy for honest review(less)
When Entangled first send the list for ARC to be reviewed, I think that Deadly Chemistry is a PNR book (or Sci-Fi) just based on the cover and...more3 stars
When Entangled first send the list for ARC to be reviewed, I think that Deadly Chemistry is a PNR book (or Sci-Fi) just based on the cover and its title. Turn that the first installment of Sex, Lies and Science Geeks series and also Ms Stanley debut is romantic suspense. Beside PNR, RS is one of my favorite genre and so I request this. Aside from the yummy cover of course..
Deadly Chemistry is story about Lauren Kane, a scientist and Mike Gibson ex-cop turn to be maintenance man. Mike try to trace some drug that lead him into the university where Lauren's lab reside. Like the title, the chemistry here do not refer to Lauren and Mike's relationship but to drug that Lauren create that indeed deadly. There are some family drama, angst, chemical terms here and there and some suspense as well.
What I like is the background about drug and science. Also Mike's step sibling, Evan and Dylan. I think that Mike sometimes can be jerk, even he can be charming. But guy must loosen up a bit, for Mike while he just want to protect his little brothers, sometimes he have a hero complex. Like all weight in the world rest in his shoulder. Lauren sometimes can be cute, awkward. But I will not said that she is a nerd or geek. I mean, even it's normal for woman to lust after Jason Statham or The Rock, but as nerd, uhmm, nerd women will choose another option. And this is because I'm a nerd, so I can said about that, lol! I don't get what the appeal of The Rock and Jason Statham and believe me, I watch their movies.
Because Deadly Chemistry is book #1, I wonder if there will be book #2. I hope that Evan will have his own story, for I like his stoic and devil-may-care attitude. Make him more interesting than Mike that soo predictable. Deadly Chemistry is well written, even there are some cliche that kinda overused. Like why Lauren try to track her lost notebook, ALONE, after her lab had been vandalized. That make no sense for me, because if Lauren indeed smart, she will call police. Not try to investigate by herself (even she did have a reason. But still). The ending also kinda cliche, but still imho, well written.
I will recommend Deadly Chemistry if you search for a fun, light RS with a little bit family drama.
e-ARC provided by Entangled for honest review(less)
Queen of Wands is the second installment of Sanctify series, and after read it, imo, this one is better than its predecessor, Queen of Swords....more4 stars
Queen of Wands is the second installment of Sanctify series, and after read it, imo, this one is better than its predecessor, Queen of Swords. Less confusing world building, no plotholes and still action packed. Actually you might want to read Queen of Swords first, because both h/H, Jenny O'Kierna and Mac Flannery already introduced in QoS. Jenny even play a big role in Ophelia and Boone's story while Mac just barely mentioned.
The story is continued after QoS, so this review will contain minor spoiler. So, Boone now become a King of Hansarda after the event of QoS and he with Ophelia welcome their child. But their sworn enemy, Sanctify and its new High Priest are hot in their neck and Sanctify's next target is Ophelia's friend, Mac Flannery, for his genius mind is a valuable asset for both parties. That's why Ophelia ask Jenny to save Mac. But well, Mac is not a hero in distress, even he's a geek. Because soon Jenny find herself fallin hard for Mac, while they dodging every laser and pursuit by their enemy.
From QoS, I already like Jenny with her wacko and I-don't-give-a-damn attitude. She's still crazy and happy go lucky in her own book, but we will get glimpse to her own wound. How she mask her vulnerability with her cocky demeanor. Sometimes she can be bitchy, like cursed with word "motherfucker" near Mac, while Mac already have a horrible past with his Mom murdered in front of him. But after that Jenny ask for sorry to Mac, show that she, can be mature. Even, of course for the rest of this book, she's sometimes act so stubborn and don't care with her own life.
Mac, well, he can be categorized into beta hero. But he also alpha to the core, especially between the sheet. He can see through the mask that Jenny wield, shield her real self from another people that know her. Mac do not cower under Jenny's badassm, instead he accept Jenny for all her craziness. Also his geeky side come in handy and help Jenny with her crew to avoid their enemy.
The story still fast packed and full of action. There's some little twist in the end of the story and like QoS, someone died. That's what I like from Ms Robert, since she do not hesitant to kill her character (beside the villain). Alas, like QoS, the ending kinda wrapped up to quickly. The worldbuilding not as confusing as the first book maybe because I already read QoS. Sadly, the Tarot aspect not heavily included because Jenny is not Diviner like Ophelia, even Ophelia still give her insight to warn Jenny. Instead, in each chapter, there are images from any Tarot Major and Minor Arcana. I just hope that those images have explanation for I just can guess the meaning for some cards, but the rest make me confused.
I do have a little complaint for the cover. I know that the cover for Queen of Wands is sexy, but it's doesn't show how Jenny and Mac relationship work. I want Jenny look badass, not submit like that. Also, since I read the e-ARC version, I'm a little bit disappointed because there's no bonus material. Maybe the bonus will be included in the final version.
I will recommend Queen of Wands if you love your science fiction to be action packed with an ass kick heroine and a beta hero that will melt your heart. Add it with a good world building and you will enjoy the ride through the galaxy. (less)