Petra Dee is a woman running from the past and all the memories that haunt her dreams. She seeks distraction in the form of sMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Petra Dee is a woman running from the past and all the memories that haunt her dreams. She seeks distraction in the form of small-town Temperance, Wyoming where her father was last heard of years past and she intends on searching for him. This small-town is far from ordinary and she quickly realizes that law enforcement has no hold on the town but instead local land owner Sal Rutherford seems to be the one in control. There’s another powerful man that goes by the name of The Alchemist who seems to aid in the areas drug habit. Petra quickly ends up right in the dangerous path of both Sal and The Alchemist when she uncovers a magical artifact that is somehow tied to both men and the mysterious story behind the origins of this mysterious small-town.
Alchemy is the reason surrounding this strange towns existence and involves a mysterious figure by the name of Lascaris that during the Gold Rush, as rumor has it, figured out how to transform simple rocks into gold. His experiments were conducted in secret and he was never questioned since he was the sole reason the town was thriving, so why question anything when it’s working so well? After his supposed death in a mysterious fire, new figures rose in hope to take his place. Sal Rutherford, who currently owns the land where The Lunaria, the Alchemical Tree of Life, resides (in addition to the undead ranch hands that call themselves The Hanged Men) and Stroud/The Alchemist, a man that can trace his lineage back to Lascaris himself. The aspects of alchemy were explained sufficiently and incorporated well into the story, however, as the story drew to a close it lacked a necessary conviction when it came time for solid answers.
This one generated a lot of discussion for me when all was said and done and there is much to love but also much that left me in confusion. First and foremost, Sig the coyote, Petra’s “animal familiar” was the true highlight of this story for me. Sig possessed more personality than some of the side characters without having to say a single word. He was her first ally in Temperance and he quickly took to her and became her self-appointed guardian before she even knew she needed help. He became incredibly docile by the end and as much as I loved his addition to the story it did seem incredibly unlikely. Still, this story would not have been the same without Sig. There were many other additional loose ends that I felt should have been addressed, most are spoilery so I’ll avoid going into detail. Whether this is because the author wanted to leave some things in the ‘unknown’ so as to maybe turn the story into a series I’m not sure but this being the start of a new series seems like a definite possibility.
Possessing an interesting blend of mystery and magic, Dark Alchemy is an eerie and most inventive tale that kept me completely spellbound.
I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review....more
‘Sure, I was good at a lot of stuff. How many girls my age could kill a dude with her bare hands in under fourteen seconds?My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
‘Sure, I was good at a lot of stuff. How many girls my age could kill a dude with her bare hands in under fourteen seconds? That’s a skill, and one that’d get me places in life, but it didn’t help me here. All the combat training in the world couldn’t make being a normal teenager any easier.’
Being a teenager is hard. Being a teenager is even more difficult when your only interaction with that age group is via the television. Seventeen year old Maggie has been home-schooled by her single mother who also happens to be a monster hunter (think Van Helsing in the modern age.) Maggie has been trained since she was young to do the job as well and is completely content with the cards that life has dealt her with one small issue: becoming a full-fledged, licensed monster hunter requires her to lose her virginity. Easier said than done.
Okay, not to be totally lame, but this really was awesome. And extremely hilarious. Not only was Maggie fantastically snarky, and sure oftentimes undignified and more than a bit crass, but she was such an amazingly confident character that you cannot help but love her. She’s realistically awkward when it comes to her “first time” but honestly the best thing about it is how awesome the topic of virginity was handled. (Yes, I know, I’ve already said awesome twice. It’s FITTING though.) It’s all displayed in such a non-shaming way and I loved the comfortableness between Maggie and her mother in how the topic broached. There wasn’t any awkwardness and her mother was straight up and honest with her about using protection and about being confident and comfortable with her body. While the summary implies that the sole focus of the story is Maggie losing her virginity, it’s actually so much more and bottom line, the relationship between Maggie and her mother is the very best.
“You’ll go on that date tomorrow, and before you get all pissy-pants over the suggestion, listen to me, Margaret Jane. […] I tell you that because life goes on despite our jobs. It’s too short not to have fun while we can. Sitting at home with guns and silver expecting the worst is no way to live. Trust me on that. I know.”
The relationship/friendship between Maggie and her mom reminded me a lot of my relationship with my mom, except alas, we don’t go out hunting vampires and other night beasties together. My mom was also one of those awesome women that didn’t tread lightly around the topic of sex and seeing how vastly different other parents handle that subject makes me forever thankful to her for that. It’s a natural thing that shouldn’t have a taboo placed around it. It’s something I feel should be openly discussed because having someone to answer those difficult questions will only lead to smart decisions in the future. Seeing the topic of sex addressed in that way and a parental relationship like that is rare in fiction, but shouldn’t be so.
The Awesome takes Maggie on a hilariously snarky, undead adventure that will leave you eager for more. While satisfying enough as a stand-alone, this still has definite room to grow, and I definitely want more.
I received this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review....more
I spent a long, long time deciding whether I wanted to read this and continue to tarnish the memory of the original Fever series. I read Iced last yeaI spent a long, long time deciding whether I wanted to read this and continue to tarnish the memory of the original Fever series. I read Iced last year and was so completely horrified at what this series had become that the thought of any future books had me going:
But, clearly I caved. I completed my second re-read of the original five and loved them even more than I thought possible. And I toyed with the idea that because Burned goes back to Mac’s point of view that it wouldn’t be that bad… right? Well, it wasn’t nearly as horrible as Iced but it still had its own set of issues. But backing up a bit regarding the switch-up from Iced being the first of the Dani O’Malley trilogy to simply Fever #6… seriously, what happened there? The summary literally says “…the first book in her hotly anticipated new urban paranormal trilogy.” You know, instead of “the hotly anticipated new installment in the bestselling Fever series!” A huge part of why I wasn’t a fan of Iced (aside from the pedos of course) was I have never actually liked Dani’s unique use of the English language. There were moments where I thought I was going to lose it if I read feck one more fucking time.
So, the switch up back to Mac was a bit of welcome news for me, unfortunately it felt like Burned was the bandaid book to all things readers found wrong with Iced because there was honestly very little plot progression. Just a whole lot of expounding on things that were already touched on but were now being explained in even more detail in order to “justify” things.
It was great seeing Mac and Barrons back together again but there’s something definitely missing from the whole thing, or mostly it just didn’t feel like anything fresh but simply re-used material that fans have already pored over in the previous installments. There wasn’t any development in their relationship minus some ridiculous soap opera drama that came completely out of nowhere and was utterly unnecessary. I was at first intrigued by the twist in what we all thought we knew about Mac and Barrons first introduction, but my excitement was short lived to say the least.
And then there’s Mac specifically. Mac has gone through some serious character development since her introduction in Darkfever but it really felt like we did a bit of backtracking in Burned. In KMM’s blog post she says, “I follow my muse and my muse put Mac where she is at this time for reasons. I understand that those reasons are not apparent to others because only I know where the story is going.” First off, KMM, a prolific and accomplished writer, should not still feel the need to justify her stories in such detail to her readers. I may have had issue with where she took Mac in the story, sure, and I may not be able to foresee the outcome she has planned for her, but that’s cool. We’ve all followed fictional characters down mysterious paths and you either are or aren’t along for the ride. So I’m going to reserve complete judgment on Mac’s reversal back to being a meek individual that hides in the shadows (view spoiler)[and the last half of the book where she is literally invisible (hide spoiler)]. I still have hope that KMM will turn it around, even if I’m leery about the path she’s chosen to take. So, fingers crossed.