Jade has just moved in to an inexpensive apartment over a strip club (hey, it's bourbon street, there's plenty of 'em) that's conveniently owned by th...moreJade has just moved in to an inexpensive apartment over a strip club (hey, it's bourbon street, there's plenty of 'em) that's conveniently owned by the same team that runs the coffee shop she works at next door. keeping tenants in the joint is difficult due to rumors of ghosts in the place, which ultimately turn out to be true. by the end of this story, Jade has to figure out who the ghost is and why it's bugging her, and what she's going to do about hottie landlord.
one of the most solidly written freebies i've come across, this book has clearly seen the blessed red pen of an editor. the story works very well, being neither the comedic fluffy romance you'd expect with the back-of-book blurb, nor a horrific tale of poltergeist harassment, but with a generally nice balance between the two. characters tend to be messy and nuanced, not cardboard good guys. there are actual friendships between women, not just catty chick cut-downs (crazily enough for a romance novel, this book passes the Bechdel test!!). if it wasn't for the eye-rolling insta-romance and the suddenly silly ending, it'd be a solid 4* read.(less)
well. this whole thing is a hot mess, and exactly the sort of story people would point to when asked why they think a traditional publishing model is...morewell. this whole thing is a hot mess, and exactly the sort of story people would point to when asked why they think a traditional publishing model is alive and well in this age of easy self-publishing. the only reasons i slogged through to the end were a)i read most of it on a lazy sunday where relaxing with something brainless was a reasonable pursuit and b)sheer stubbornness of not wanting to DNF something at 70% complete.
on the plus side, this ebook was mainly typo-free, which has been an pretty frequent issue with SP books. the cover also appears to be pretty professional and all.
on the minus side... alexa is a werewolf, self-declared as the alpha of her pack. the male alpha is the only person over 20-something in said pack. with these two as examples, apparently, the sole qualification to be alpha here has nothing to do with charisma, leadership, natural dominance, or animal cunning, nope - you just gotta be a brash, selfish idiot. she works in an office where she & the gang openly take hits on secretive creatures of the night, under no kind of charter from the supernatural community (as in, other than a paycheck, i can't figure out why they feel the need to kill some murdering bloodsuckers and go out the bar with others, and i can't figure out why the hit-ees don't just bomb the joint). the plot (such as it is) keeps happening TO her, rather than the other way around. there's an obligatory love triangle that appears to be set up for the sole purpose of having alexa reluctantly-at-first-but-hey-sparks-fly-anyway shag 2 different man friends.
an unlikable protagonist is a real kiss of death for me, and this girl has the mindset of a 22 year old mall bimbo, complete with what all ass-kicking alpha werewolves go "huntressing" in: a wardrobe of playboy bunny baby tees. since a plot doesn't bother to show up until 2/3 of the way through, there's really nothing to entice you to stay in alexa's suburban world. (less)
this may be the ultimate of all wish-fulfillment fantasy books. yeah, fiction offers the opportunity to be picked for hogwarts, or travel through a wa...morethis may be the ultimate of all wish-fulfillment fantasy books. yeah, fiction offers the opportunity to be picked for hogwarts, or travel through a wardrobe to narnia, OR have a super best friend bond with your highly intelligent talking (literate!) flying dragon. there's a clear winner there.
the back of book blurb tells you everything you need to know: the napoleonic wars are being fought adragonback as much as asea, and a naval captain has to abruptly switch from the latter to the former. i can't come up with much genuinely unique plot elements here, and that should drive me bonkers - it certainly did with the somewhat similar but much more juvenile Eragon - but it's so delightfully put together that it feels like it's borrowing the best of inspiration from good things, rather than wantonly pirating from common ones. there's an old-fashioned "boy's own adventure" flavor to this Horatio-Hornblower-with-wings that ensures a snappy pace and likable characters (plus, i sobbed like a baby at the sad bits), without it being actually only about boys.
way fun, and most definitely worth the praise heaped on it.(less)
i love stories that take old mythology or fairy tales and see how those creatures or gods or beings would adapt to living in this modern world. instea...morei love stories that take old mythology or fairy tales and see how those creatures or gods or beings would adapt to living in this modern world. instead of putting our characters up on a pedestal and gazing up at ancient ideals, McBride has them get dirty and live & breathe. a wonderful short, and i really wish she'll feel the need to expand on this snapshot into a full novel.(less)