I liked getting to see Verity's parents meet Dominic when they finally arrived in Oregon. Dominic is awesome. The lengths this family goes to in orderI liked getting to see Verity's parents meet Dominic when they finally arrived in Oregon. Dominic is awesome. The lengths this family goes to in order to ensure their anonymity and security sometimes amazes me. It also makes me a little sad that they have to go through all of this....more
Only read Sleepover by Seanan McGuire (InCryptid #5.1).
Ever since I first met Elsinore (the lesbian succubus that is cousin to Verity, Antimony, and AOnly read Sleepover by Seanan McGuire (InCryptid #5.1).
Ever since I first met Elsinore (the lesbian succubus that is cousin to Verity, Antimony, and Alex), I was excited to get more from her - and this story is completely from her point of view. I really enjoyed it, and like getting to know all the Price-Healys from a bunch of different perspectives.
I was so mad at her ex though. Carlotta was ridiculous - and I kind of hope that someone teaches everyone that mistreated Elsie here a lesson in why it's a bad idea to go after people that are just trying to live their lives....more
I only read Tailed by Seanan McGuire and Kelley Armstrong, featuring Verity Price from SM's InCryptid series and Elena from KA's Otherworld series. ThI only read Tailed by Seanan McGuire and Kelley Armstrong, featuring Verity Price from SM's InCryptid series and Elena from KA's Otherworld series. This story takes place in the InCryptid world fairly early on, but it appears to take place quite a bit later in the storyline of the Otherworld series (I've not read that series to know).
I enjoyed this quick story, Verity is out looking for a poacher in upstate New York and Elena is on a field trip in the same woods. Their paths cross nearly or closely a few times and in actuality only once for a couple of moments.
I was actually looking a bit more forward to how exactly Elena would be understood by Verity, but I guess the conclusion she came to was the only one possible, as werewolves (as we know them) in the InCryptid series is not compatible with the wolves of the Otherworld series.
All in all, fun and I enjoyed Verity here more than Elena, but that's probably because I'm more invested in her world and character....more
I asked for recommendations for contemporary romances with excellent banter - and this was recommended by 2 separate people. All of my frienDNF at 25%
I asked for recommendations for contemporary romances with excellent banter - and this was recommended by 2 separate people. All of my friends that have read this have rated it 4-5 stars. It's obviously very well liked.
Except by me. The conversations feel forced. The characters' motivations feel weird. I don't buy any chemistry between them. And I'm rolling my eyes hardcore almost every other page.
Here's an example of a conversation (taking place while they're making out - and it's so un-sexy I can't even):
"You're not supposed to be this sexy," she said.
"I accept your apology."
"I'll never do it again."
"See that you don't."
"Do you want to take your shirt off?"
"That's not fair. I only have a bra on under my shirt. You had a T-shirt on under yours."
Chris sighed, a put-upon sigh. Then he took his T-shirt off.
"Much, much better."
**kissing, petting, etc**
"You feel amazing," he whispered. "And you smell amazing."
"What do I smell like?"
"Like you did in high school. Like cookies."
She laughed as he nipped at her neck. "It's my perfume. It's vanilla-scented. In high school I just used vanilla extract. I couldn't afford perfume."
"You smell good enough to eat. You always did."
"I'm not going to say it. You're not going to make me say it."
I just finished. And I feel broken. I'll get to that at the end, but just know that it colors everything I think and feel about this book, and this seI just finished. And I feel broken. I'll get to that at the end, but just know that it colors everything I think and feel about this book, and this series.
Everything I loved about the first book is here, and more. The characters are absolutely amazing, they are who they are and they make no apologies for it. Impossibly, I grew to love them even more than I had. Kaz, Inej, Matthias, Nina....and now I added Jesper and Wylan to the mix as we got to know them even better. These six mean so much to me. I celebrated with them, I planned with them, and I suffered with them. And boy did they (and I) suffer.
"Zoya used to say that fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return."
One of the things that I appreciated most is that these characters deal with incredibly hard realities - things that aren't easily resolved, like gambling addiction, drug withdrawals, and the after-effects of sexual abuse, not to mention Kaz's trauma that drives him. None of these are things that should be miraculously fixed. Trust me when I say they're not. My heart broke more than once as I saw these beloved characters struggle, push, work, and fight to find a way to healing. It's a long road, and the fact that they are even able to start down it is a triumph.
"I am grateful you're alive," he said. "I am grateful you're beside me. I am grateful that you're eating."
She rested her head on his shoulder. "You're better than waffles, Matthias Helvar."
A small smile curled the Fjerdan's lips. "Let's not say things we don't mean, my love."
I really felt it. Life isn't always easy, and I appreciated that their problems were handled in a more realistic manner, with struggle and strife, and showing that determination was needed to make it through. These are hard things to face and triumph over, and they don't go away with the wave of a magic wand, or by the power of true-love. This is a big part of what makes this book so dark. It's hard to read this and remember that none of these characters have yet reached the age of twenty.
"You've been in the red too long. We all have. This is the night we start paying our debts."
You know where we left off in Six of Crows, and I'm not going to spoil that even here, the story picks up right there. We're in the middle of everything, trying to recover that which has been taken. From the first page to nearly the last the pace moves at a breakneck speed. We're flying from one action to the next, one con to another. And I was thoroughly enjoying myself, loving every moment of intrigue and planning and the possibilities - despite the fact that I never knew if Kaz and Co. were going to be quite quick enough to stay ahead of the trouble, to come out the other side in one piece. The tension was shocking and pulled at my worry-strings more than once. I was on the edge of my seat.
"I would come for you," he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. "I would come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together...Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting."
Leigh Bardugo's writing is brilliant. The dialogue between characters, the expert painting of scenes and emotions. Not to mention the use of chapter-ending cliff-hangers, which was masterful. I hated leaving each character and was anxious to get back to them to ensure their safety, but I was also engrossed in all the other characters. There wasn't a single one that I didn't want to be with, and the drama was so intense that I had to be sure of all their safety - a hope that felt gossamer-thin at times.
"Is that--?" asked Wylan.
"Scheming face?" said Jesper.
Matthias nodded. "Definitely."
And then....it all came crashing down. Something so shocking and heart-breaking that I'm not sure I'll ever forgive Leigh Bardugo. I'm quite sure I'll never trust her again. Because I had trust, I believed. And now I have only a broken heart that bleeds all over all the good and happy feelings I had while reading this book. Despite the tension, despite the worry, and the difficulties, I was having fun watching these six characters struggle and remain determined, and persevere over nearly impossible odds. And suddenly it wasn't quite so much fun anymore.
"Do you know the Suli have no words to say 'I'm sorry'? ...When someone does wrong, when we make mistakes, we don't say we're sorry. We promise to make amends....Mati en sheva yelu. This action will have no echo. It means we won't repeat the same mistakes, that we won't continue to do harm."
You see, I read fiction to escape the real world for a little bit. I know, all too well, the misery and heart-break that permeate every-day life here. It hurts me on a daily basis. I read to get away from that. And even when characters are going through hell I can be there right beside them, struggling and worrying, and hurting with them. Because I believe that they're going to come out the other side, whole and better.
"No mourners, no funerals? Why not just say good luck or be safe?"
"We like to keep our expectations low."
Call me naive or optimistic or romantic. I don't know. I don't care. But I need that in my escapes. I don't need to read about how awful things can go. How horrible they can end. I don't need more of that. I need to know that triumph can happen, that "good" (and I know how ironic it is for me to call any of these characters "good") can win.
But that sense of accomplishment was taken from me with one - completely unnecessary - moment in the book. That triumphant moment was overshadowed by a moment that felt like it was there simply for the shock it would offer. And it did shock. I didn't expect it. In fact, after it happened I kept waiting to see how it, too, would be overcome - like so many other shocking and horrible moments in this series. But beyond that shock? It added nothing to the story. It felt anticlimactic. It was such a waste. It took everything and gave nothing back.
I loved every moment of this book up, hard as some of them were, until that one small scene - which broke me. It left me feeling both sad and angry. And maybe that's fitting in a series such as this, set in this unforgiving world. But it's not fitting for me.
I was enthralled for the entirety of the last book; I dove into this one as soon as I could download it from NetGalley to my Kindle.
Unfortunately, witI was enthralled for the entirety of the last book; I dove into this one as soon as I could download it from NetGalley to my Kindle.
Unfortunately, within the first few pages it bit me hard. Cat's been keeping HUGE secrets for her whole life, it's not something that's changed despite her love for Griffin. I knew that he had to find out - it's one of the things that I was hoping for instead of more sex at the end of the last book - but the way that it all went down didn't work so well for me. Griffin finds out from someone else, and is FURIOUS. And all I could think while he was questioning Cat, and not really wanting to hear her answers, is that he was throwing a temper-tantrum. It seemed completely out of character for not only he-himself, but for his feelings for Cat. And it made me wonder, as it made Cat wonder, how powerful and all-encompassing those feelings were. Was their love really so fragile? He knew she was keeping secrets, and had to have guessed (as his men did, I might add) that it was big, but he flies apart when he learns it.
I needed this to be resolved soon. I'm not a fan on tension in a relationship - not of this sort. It reeked a little too much of a Big Misunderstanding. Thankfully, it was resolved soon, but I still feel that Griffin's response is way beyond the bounds of what I've come to expect from his character. As this all happens in the first couple of chapters, I don't really feel that I'm spoiling anything.
Then, my other big complaint for this book, the next 15% seems to be nothing but sex, thinking about sex, or more sex. I already said in my last review how much I'm really over the sex-for-sex-sake and I began to worry that the story was going to get lost in their bed. After that we spent up until around the 30% mark for the story to really get moving again.
But then IT DID. Thank the Gods. I was so worried that this was going to be one of those series that has an awesome, fun, interesting first book only to fall flat in the next. While the first 1/3 of the book does feel like a transitory-filler, the rest of the book picks up the pace, the stakes, and pushes these characters into new and terrifying directions. There's a lot of new things learned, some eye-popping moments, and plenty of mythology to wrap my head around. The action and adventure part of the story doesn't let up for the majority of the rest of the book, and I was turning pages just as fast as I could read them. I finished this book in a matter of hours - after starting it immediately upon awakening this morning.
I did spend some time comparing this book to one of my favorite series - it wasn't intentional, and it wasn't always in a positive light, but it was hard for it to not happen. When the Games came up, in an arena of sand, to fight to the death....well, I couldn't help but bring to mind Magic Strikes and Kate Daniels. And from there it's hard not to compare the main couple to my favorite Alpha couple: Kate and Curran. I will say that there isn't a couple I'd rank higher than Kate and Curran, so it's no real disparaging remark to say that Cat and Griffin don't either. They have a ways to go, but they're still young in their powers, still young in their relationship. I look forward to seeing how they grow going forward.
I'm fully invested in this story, these characters, and this world. I like how the mythology is so effortlessly woven in, and how the stakes continue to ratchet up. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the Gods involvement at this point - which is getting to be more and more direct - but I do like that it doesn't make everything a done-deal. Cat and Griffin and Company still have to face their destiny, face the future, and go into it. They have to make the choices, decisions, and take the risks. And even if the Gods, some or all, are occasionally there to help them along, it doesn't mean they can even begin to count on it.
With the biggest battle yet to come, I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the wait until the third, and final, book comes out. Heart on Fire is easily going to be one of my currently most anticipated books.
Through no fault of this book I stopped reading at 11%.
In fact, I suspect the book did everything it was supposed to do. Unfortunately, for me, it diThrough no fault of this book I stopped reading at 11%.
In fact, I suspect the book did everything it was supposed to do. Unfortunately, for me, it did it a little too well. You see, I'm not quite as healed from watching loved ones die as I thought I might have been.
It's been many years since I've sat at a bedside and tried to figure out the best way to say 'I love you' enough, before it's too late; to say 'Goodbye' before you ever expected to have to. Yes, it's been many years, but not enough. Never enough.
I expected, a little, to be heartbroken while reading this account. Sometimes it's good to purge feelings through fiction and come out the other side feeling a little lighter, a little cleaner, and healthier. But I didn't expect to be thrust back to those moments, sitting by their beds, watching them become less vibrant versions of themselves - to the point where I barely recognized the loved ones I cherish.
I didn't expect to hurt so painfully much. It still hurts. And I realize, now, that I'm not strong enough to go back to that time. I moved on, I'm able to function, finally, so many years later, but only because I've locked the pain and heartbreak in a box in my heart. It lives there still, and I can't afford to let it out so thoroughly.
I can remember them, and miss them terribly, and it hurts, but it doesn't debilitate anymore. Going back to those moments, remembering the helplessness that I felt...it's too much. I can't do it. I know now that I'm still a little broken, and what I've read so far reminds of that. There is a hint, a small one, that there might be something more to this story, but I can't go back to that broken me long enough to find out.
Nalini Singh is one of the few authors that I count on to deliver when it comes to novellas and anthologies. She packs just as much emotion, heart, anNalini Singh is one of the few authors that I count on to deliver when it comes to novellas and anthologies. She packs just as much emotion, heart, and heat into a shorter story as she does her longer ones. Yes, the relationship development moves quickly, but that doesn't mean that a true connection is sacrificed. I never finish one of her anthology stories feeling anything but happy, with a smile on my face.
Echo of Silence I've never been such a fan of the human/xxx relationships in this series, until this book. Here we have Tazi, a human, pairing with Stefan, a psy. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it so much, but there was such a depth of character in both Tazi and Stefan that I couldn't help be become immersed in their dance towards each other.
I loved the introduction of Tazi's cultural values and how that affected the choices that she made - both in her career and life, and the relationship that she develops with Stefan. Stefan was just as fascinating, with more than a little heartbreak in his history. He's a psy that has been known to be broken, according to the Psy anyway, but he's left to manage it without rehabilitation - and this is just after Faith defected. Highly unexpected. Until you factor in his rare and valued psychic gift.
How they cared for each other made me so incredibly happy in this book. It was the care and caring that showed the depth of their feelings. And love left simmering is one of my favorite story-lines.
Dorian Let's be honest, who hasn't loved Dorian - the changeling that was latent - from the very start when we meet him? I know I was not immune to this broken man.My heart constantly went out to him, constantly found him fascinating, and always respected his strength.
As we already have Dorian's HEA story in Hostage to Pleasure, this was more a series of vignettes about Dorian's life - from the time he was a child, seeing his determination to never be less than his very best potential, his growth, and the immense changes that he goes through in life. I especially loved the fun, playful, challenging last scene with the rest of his Sentinel pack-mates. I couldn't help but grin.
Partners in Persuasion Dominant Female with a Submissive Male - this is a story that many have been hoping for for years.Many thought that we'd get it with Indigo, and we did...to a point. I won't really get into the argument here about it, but will say that the closeness of the dominance in that pairing is brought up in this novella.
I found this story incredibly satisfying. Dezi is definitely a strong, dominant female. And Felix is definitely submissive. Submissive doesn't mean weak though. And being the dominant in this type of relationship comes with some other things to be concerned about. Dominant/Submissive isn't something we get to see explored too often; usually it's different levels of dominance, but dominant all the same. In fact, I can only think of one other pairing on this scale, and that's Cooper and Grace. It's nice to see these issues explored from another angle.
I really liked how they were both so in tune with the other that they thought consciously about how to make sure they weren't hurting each other. They talked, took it slow when need be, and respected each other. I finished this story with a happy sigh.
Flirtation of Fate I've been enamoured of Kenji and Garnet's flirtations in the Lieteniut's meetings for years. Their sarcastic barbs back and forth was always so much fun to watch. Seeing them come together in this story was a lot more serious than I was expecting. There were some light-hearted moments, and some sarcastic teasing and flirting back and forth, but overall it was a pretty serious novella.
There was the murder, and the storm - with missing packmates - injuries, and years-old hurts buried beneath the previous joking. Though I guessed the source of the secrets, and the resolution of the murder-mystery, I still was desperate to see these two make it work. It's the only of the four stories in this anthology that brought tears to my eyes. I love Kenji and Garnet. They're perfect for each other, and I'm glad they finally both figured it out.
Overall, this anthology is a nice exploration of characters and their relationships that we wouldn't get in the main storyline. Though they're side-stories, they're no less important for being so. Each member in this world makes a difference, and as we read further and further into this series it becomes clearer each book how much interconnectedness there is in the world, and how important that is.
As always, I'll be waiting on tenterhooks for Nalini Singh's next forary into this world - and every other world.
If you've read the Kate Daniels series you'll instantly recognize the scene set here - of when she first meets Saiman. Though it'sApril 2016 Re-read.
If you've read the Kate Daniels series you'll instantly recognize the scene set here - of when she first meets Saiman. Though it's very short, and a quick read, there's plenty of ass kicking and snark.
"Really? What did I fall into?"
Kate's a merc, and when she takes a job for bodyguard detail she ends up getting more than she planned for.
But bodyguard detail was a couple's kind of dance. You had to work with the body you guarded, and in my experience, bodies proved uncooperative.
You get to see why Saiman is so fascinated with Kate - and it's not just because she says no the first time. As I love Kate, too, I can't really blame Saiman; even if he is a creepy bastard.
My paper said the client's name was Saiman. No indication if it was his last or first name. Perhaps he was like Batman, one of a kind.
I love anything to do with Kate Daniels, and I have a hard time thinking about anything but how much I love these books when I read this. This is a short story, so it's an incredibly quick read, but well worth it. Definitely recommended to anyone that enjoys the Kate Daniels series; and for those that aren't too sure about Kate after the first book (some of my friends, can you believe it?) I think this novella offers some additional intriguing insights into her character. Even though it is a prequel, you needn't read it before Magic Bites.
When I opened this up and it had this alternate cover, it made my day. Michael Turner (RIP) is one of my all-time favorite comic-book artists.
Who knewWhen I opened this up and it had this alternate cover, it made my day. Michael Turner (RIP) is one of my all-time favorite comic-book artists.
Who knew that I'd also end up adoring a story where the majority of super-heroes are dead? But that's exactly what happened here.
Fifty years after the villains got their shit together, and the super-heroes died (or disappeared), we catch up with Logan. We don't have any idea what happened, except it's gotta be bad as hell because he refuses to fight, not to protect himself, not to protect anyone. He takes beatings from people that he could wipe the floor with, without breaking a sweat, but he ends up face down on the ground more than once in this book.
I love Hawkeye - always have - but I was surprised by how much I loved him here. He's blind, and still kicks just as much ass as he did when he was first made an Avenger. He also, slowly, subtly, brings Logan back to reality, back to life. Something that I'm not sure anyone else could have done at this point.
And when we do learn what happened, I can understand why Logan decided to stop resorting to claws all the time.
The story here was great - set in this mix of post-apocalyptic, dystopian, western - with plenty of graphic violence and tons of action. I was eagerly turning pages, and upon finishing found myself wishing for more.
This cris-cross-country trip that Verity and Dominic are taking is one of the best things ever.
Not only do we get to know Dominic, outside of his CovThis cris-cross-country trip that Verity and Dominic are taking is one of the best things ever.
Not only do we get to know Dominic, outside of his Covenant-guilt-infused ways, but we also get to learn more history - however vaguely tantalizing - about the Prices and Healys. I'm especially enjoying learning how it all ties into the Covenant. Because despite having more than a dozen short stories dealing directly with Jonathan, son to Alexander and Enid, who defected from the Covenant, I don't think we ever really got a good idea of what it must have been like for them. And here we begin to understand, maybe, a little better.
The really great thing about these short stories focusing on Verity and Dominic, though, is that I am coming to absolutely adore Dominic. Before I felt vaguely like I could, maybe, perhaps, with some convincing, like him. These stories have so thoroughly brought me around that I'm quite happy with the way things are going - especially the end of this one.
I am really curious about how the Prices have managed to keep ownership of the houses in Buckley when the Covenant were supposed to have come and "wiped them out" from there...but there's so much interesting history in this family that I'll just wait - as patiently as possible - to learn it.