3.5 stars, and basically the same review for the last three or four books in the series.
Neill has her formula down well: come up with a mystery that o3.5 stars, and basically the same review for the last three or four books in the series.
Neill has her formula down well: come up with a mystery that only Merit is capable of solving, then stretch out the final who done it till the end, all while building up bigger and bigger piles of vampire politics. You're definitely too far along in the series for a new reader to start out here, but she does a good job of reminding returning readers about important events at the moment that you need to remember that information. A solidly entertaining series, if not an amazing one. ...more
'blameness' corrects most of the issues of the disappointing 'changeless' by simply having the heroine run off to italy to avoid all sorts of unpleasa'blameness' corrects most of the issues of the disappointing 'changeless' by simply having the heroine run off to italy to avoid all sorts of unpleasantness at home (being drug through the gossip rags, abandonment, murder attempts, etc), and therefore neatly avoiding her idiot husband. it's a fun romp through one wacky cliffhanger escape after another, and you don't even realize that nothing actually happened until the end. ...more
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 iswell. 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. ...more
A particularly strong UF series opener, Neill's heroine neither spends the entire book freaking out about how none of this can be real (to quote one oA particularly strong UF series opener, Neill's heroine neither spends the entire book freaking out about how none of this can be real (to quote one of the characters, "all this is happening in a post-harry potter universe"), nor tumbling into bed with the first supernatural hottie she meets. though not all the tropes are gone, of course - there are plenty of supernatural hotties to go around, and at some point she does end up in a suitably ass-kicking sort of leather outfit. still, it's refreshing to spend the first book setting up the world and the rules and building some interesting character tensions, rather than have our girl bungling through solving the mystery. i liked it enough (and wanted more) that i'm jumping right on into the 2nd one....more
starts off as eye-rollingly silly as the blurb makes it sound, but manages to very quickly get right on track as a snappy-paced swashbuckler of a UF/astarts off as eye-rollingly silly as the blurb makes it sound, but manages to very quickly get right on track as a snappy-paced swashbuckler of a UF/alternate history. massive bonus points for having both male and female main characters be actual well-rounded characters, not just stock-issued love interests or generic ass kickers.
random PSA for the day: this is SO not steampunk, guys. they may be wearing corsets and outdated fashion for the whims of their centuries-old undead monarch, but they have cell phones and cars, not dirigibles and clockwork....more
it is entirely possible that Bishop has only one book (series) in her. i've heard some less-than-lovely reviews of anything of hers that's not her debit is entirely possible that Bishop has only one book (series) in her. i've heard some less-than-lovely reviews of anything of hers that's not her debut, The Black Jewels Trilogy: Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, Queen of the Darkness, and if 'written in red' is indicative of the rest, well, yep.
the world here is all kinds of interesting - there are hints that it's a sort of alternate-history, that it takes place in an america of feral shapeshifters, where civilization as we know it never really happened. the social interactions of various flavors of non-humans is likewise interesting, and best of all, we get the suggestions of barracks of enslaved human prophets that can see the future within their own blood, sold to the highest bidder.
but the characters, GAH! we're told repeatedly that all the shapeshifters are dark and ominous and rule the earth like kings crushing puny humans beneath their heels...and this story is about the monsters tenderly protecting their stray lamb of an innocent girl. it's far too much like the set-up for a cheez romance novel wherein the male lead is a Bad Boy (tm) who becomes good only for his true luv. thankfully, this book doesn't veer into romance territory, but even worse, it doesn't richly explore a whole lot of the actually very interesting things it sets up. ultimately, therefore, a bit bland and a bit frustrating....more
Tara was a talented student of magic until she managed to simultaneously graduate and get kicked out of the hidden schools. living back home with momTara was a talented student of magic until she managed to simultaneously graduate and get kicked out of the hidden schools. living back home with mom & dad just isn't going to work out, but fortunately an opportunity to work with a very prestigious firm opens up when the god of a foreign city dies under mysterious circumstances.
after reading some fairly mediocre stuff on airplanes lately, i was hoping for a comfort-food-type actioner UF thingy, and got this twisty little mystery instead. i was caught up in the story right from the prologue (read those few pages as a sample, they're very representative of what you're in for), and thoroughly enjoyed it. throughout the first 1/3 of the book, Gladstone tosses in shiny little gems of ideas, seemingly as brief gee-whiz moments, only to pick them back up as more developed plot threads several chapters later. in this way, you're steadily braided into the rich worldbuilding, and this is indeed a fantastic world to get lost in. characters are multi-layered, occasionally morally ambiguous, and all kinds of interesting.
i'll definitely be checking out what Tara's doing next....more
your average UF book is about a wizard/witch/spellcaster of whatever flavor that's a little bit badass, going to battle for the forces of good and allyour average UF book is about a wizard/witch/spellcaster of whatever flavor that's a little bit badass, going to battle for the forces of good and all. i love a good hero/ine as much as the next girl, but i've read that story enough times that it's nicely refreshing to come across one with an entirely different approach.
Edie is a nurse, about a year out of school, worried about everyday mundane things like where her student loan payments are going to come from and how she's going to get back that furniture that her junkie brother pawned last week. she ends up working the night shift at a secret hospital ward that cares for supernatural patients; shenanigans (e.g., warring vampire courts) ensue. Edie is refreshingly "normal" - her problems and her responses to crazy things happening are completely relatable - so she makes a great window into this world. it doesn't hurt that my mom is a nurse, so i could have fun imagining a younger version of her bandaging up a zombie. bonus points for the lingo peppered throughout this book being dead-on accurate....more