This came through my subscription to Pixel of Ink, otherwise I don't think I might have discovered it. I was instantly intrigued by the synopsis. It d...moreThis came through my subscription to Pixel of Ink, otherwise I don't think I might have discovered it. I was instantly intrigued by the synopsis. It didn't seem like a typical romance novel. And as the author states in his notes in the back, it really isn't--it's a love story.
What's the difference? Well... in a word: Winfield. He could write about math and I think I'd give it a go. He's that great at telling love without trivializing it with sappiness. He nails both the male and female POV, which is complicated and difficult to pull off. I wanted to hear what the MCs thought and I liked knowing. Usually first person is too flat for me to get a sense of what I want to feel while reading so Winfield scored large there. Others might not care but I loved the setting of Seattle and Bainbridge Island. I'm a native and Winfield knew the weather, sights, sounds, plants and everything down to the finest detail. I saw it all in his writing and enjoyed remembering through his eyes. He so obviously lives there.
Winfield perfectly captures the awkwardness, loss, guilt and reawakening of Jane when she loses her daughter in senseless tragedy. She soon discovers there's happiness for her if she's willing to own her fear and not let it command her. I loved Jane's bravery in this work. It's not showy, and sneaks up on her until she can't deny she'd rather have joy... than wonder if she could have. Caleb isn't bothered by their age difference. It's interesting that the portrayal of Caleb is more about a person, who regardless of their age, knows who they are and acts on their desires with a freshness that is not usually seen. It transcends age. He wanted Jane and it was crystal clear to him. It was a biting role-reversal that left me re-reading certain sections to experience that unusual shift the author put the reader through. And what was glorious was that a man wrote it. It's not a female author's wishful thinking of what SHE thinks a man should feel. But a male author who actually knows it's possible; brilliant.
I liked Winfield's writing so much I might snatch up something else from his catalog... and yeah, Jane's Harmony is a one-click. Try this story; I'm still thinking about it a few days later. If you like a unique love story about two human beings finding each other at the worst of times and coming together despite it, this is for you. A delicious novel. 5 Stars.(less)
Channing has a lot of great things going for this novel: cover, author name (kinda unintentionally awesome), title (!), engaging plot and that enigmat...moreChanning has a lot of great things going for this novel: cover, author name (kinda unintentionally awesome), title (!), engaging plot and that enigmatic "nailed it." If you dig paranormal vampire tales but are tired of the regurgitated fare that copy-cats like a puzzle piece that can't find its fit, WKM will hit the spot.
Axelia is living abroad in Italy with a foreign host family. Sugar plums dance in her head with the potential she feels the place holds; a blank canvas for adventure. When a exotically cute boy takes an interest in her, she shuns intuition in favor or recklessness. Soon her choice lands Axelia in a peril so final there seems to be no hope. Then the extraordinary happens and she becomes the thing that hunted her.
Axelia is not a weak heroine in need of rescuing and I normally don't dig that. I like the woman-in-peril gets saved by hunk-o-love scenario. However, Channing has such a way of writing to allow the MC's vulnerabilities to shine through and not make this story read like every other urban fantasy tale that needs a kick @ss heroine to make it. Our girl is tough but has a fragile edge that causes the reader to root for her. If you like a multi-dimensional heroine then you'll like this. Also, though the MC is almost 18, this doesn't have that "young" adult feel. It's more of the YA crossover/Mature YA and could easily progress into the New Adult realm with book number two. Addressing age-appropriateness, this book is multi-genre with elements of both dark urban fantasy (a sub-genre of horror) and paranormal romance. There are some fairly horrific things happening with a decent amount of violence. I'd think high school and above on this.
This is a 4.5 star read that centered between very good and outstanding so it was easy to round up to a five star. Channing has worked as a journalist and her skills for tight prose, a narrative voice that paints scenes and hard-core pacing shines in this short novel. I look forward to reading more of her work. Fans of Tammy Blackwell, JL Bryan, SM Reine and Dannika Dark should like this work.(less)
Absolutely Five BIG @SS stars; gritty, smart writing, different narrative voice all rolled into hot sex scenes and hard-to-the-wall pacing. Loved it....moreAbsolutely Five BIG @SS stars; gritty, smart writing, different narrative voice all rolled into hot sex scenes and hard-to-the-wall pacing. Loved it. No formula writing!(less)
Okay... so anyone that follows my reviews understands that I'm a DIE HARD Mageri fan and think Dark is a terrific writer. So prejudiced- SO. Read on a...moreOkay... so anyone that follows my reviews understands that I'm a DIE HARD Mageri fan and think Dark is a terrific writer. So prejudiced- SO. Read on anyway....
You know how you get the first book of the series and each subsequent one continues to degrade until it's just words on a page? We see it happen all the time. This is not the case with Dark's work. Like a fine wine, her books grow broader and better with the telling, each installment deeper and more succulent than the last. As a big serial reader, I just never want that book to end. If you're like me and love a series, and one that is written in multi-genres such as the following: dark fantasy, paranormal/urban romance with a dash of horror and suspense, there is not a better choice than Mageri. Further, if you like edgy adult urban fantasy from authors: Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs and Stacia Kane... you'll love Dark's work.
Whenever a book provokes deep emotion while I'm reading I know it's a hit, a re-read, a five star, a: I'm-going-to-read-everything-by-this-author-even-if-it's-a-Math-Book. Yeah. GRAVITY is that book, that good, that: OMGosh I'm going to murder the imaginary villain, save the heroine and take up sword fighting.
Silver returns as a strong woman who believes loyal sacrifice is the superior choice, regardless of the consequence to herself. This pivotal deliberate decision, causes her world to turn upside down and every person who thought they knew her takes pause. I love the turmoil that Dark weaves into this story and the way my stomach felt in a few of the violent scenes, they're so real, I feel as though I'm in the book. It's a creepy, fly on the wall perspective that is disquieting and so vividly alive nothing can compare.
Dark had readers guessing about Silver's true origins and some suspicions I had were confirmed; I can't wait for the unveiling of even more in the final installment.
This is a strong 3.5 but a "4 star" is me liking it a lot and getting book #2 and I just couldn't endorse it that strongly. There wasn't enough romanc...moreThis is a strong 3.5 but a "4 star" is me liking it a lot and getting book #2 and I just couldn't endorse it that strongly. There wasn't enough romance for starters and although it was well-written with that dark vibe that generally draws me in, there was that spark missing that will usually propel me to progress with the series. I especially disliked Mac as the main character, I couldn't warm up to her superficiality. Maybe I'll try Moning's highlander series....(less)