Title: Shadows of the Stone Benders Author: K. Patrick Donoghue Series: Anlon Cully Chronicles, #1 Pages: 316 Publisher: Leaping Leopard Enterprises Date:Title: Shadows of the Stone Benders Author: K. Patrick Donoghue Series: Anlon Cully Chronicles, #1 Pages: 316 Publisher: Leaping Leopard Enterprises Date: May 14, 2016
World-renowned scientist Anlon Cully is unexpectedly swept into the thick of a suspense-riddled adventure when his archaeologist uncle, Devlin Wilson, dies under suspicious circumstances.
Prior to his “accidental” fall off a New Hampshire mountain trail, Devlin made the discovery of a lifetime – unearthing undeniable proof that a technologically advanced society thrived on Earth long before archaeologists thought possible!
The key to this shocking evidence lies in a set of mysterious stones forged by a long forgotten race of ancient mariners. Instilled with formidable powers to build, communicate, fight and heal, the stones draw the ruthless attention of villainous thieves hell bent on their acquisition by any means possible…including murder.
Aided by friend Pebbles McCarver and police detective Jennifer Stevens, Anlon follows traces of bewildering clues left by his uncle in a dangerous chase to unravel the stones’ secrets before the killer strikes again and escapes with the priceless artifacts.
Peppered with the thought provoking intrigue of a Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child thriller, Shadows of the Stone Benders leaves readers questioning the technological prowess of modern man and the belief that Neolithic humans were nothing more than unsophisticated cave dwellers.
This is a hard one to review. I really liked the plot. It was out there, but this is a science fiction novel, so out there is good. There is a romance, but it is definitely a subplot - important, but not critical to the story line.
This is the first book in the series, so I was concerned there might be a cliffhanger ending. I hate cliffhangers, but no, the author does an excellent job of bringing everything together while leaving room for the next book.
So, why did I give it only two stars.
It was the over-the-top dialogue. The personalities of the characters were established and then the author would have them react in this dramatic fashion. Not just once, but throughout the book.
For example, one of the characters, Eleanor/Pebbles, has just figured out something about the black stone. Now, she and Jennifer, a police detective, have just met. Jennifer’s response is “Way to go Eleanor!” shouted Jennifer. She shouted, not stated, not exclaimed, but shouted. It just didn’t fit the personality that had already been established for Jennifer.
Later on, Jennifer has been interviewing a bank president. He is Asian and she is knowledgeable enough to know how to address him properly and respect his culture. However, at the end of the interview, when he has given her some much needed information, she says, “Min-Jun, you da man!”
This is to an older Asian gentleman!
And it goes on. It’s not just Jennifer’s part either. The same thing happens with Pebbles and to a certain extent with Anlon - the male lead.
I couldn’t get past it.
The plot is good. Without the dialogue issues, I would have probably given this book a 3.5 at least. I do know this is a debut novel, so surely the author will get better. I just don’t know that I’m willing to give him another chance.
This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review....more
Title: A Perilous Undertaking Author: Deanna Raybourn Series: Veronica Speedwell, #2 Pages: 352 Publisher: Berkley Books Date: January 10, 2017
"LonTitle: A Perilous Undertaking Author: Deanna Raybourn Series: Veronica Speedwell, #2 Pages: 352 Publisher: Berkley Books Date: January 10, 2017
Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman’s noose in a week’s time if Veronica cannot find the real killer.
But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of the many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer, a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia’s life in cold blood but is happy to see Ramsforth hang for the crime. From a Bohemian artists colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed...."
I loved the first book in this series, A Curious Beginning, and this one was just as entertaining. The mystery is good, and no, I had no idea who the “bad guy” was until the reveal. That’s unusual for me. I read so many books, I generally have a good idea who the culprit is before the end of the book. Not knowing makes this an exceptional book.
Regardless of the mystery though, it is the relationship between Veronica and Stoker that I really enjoy. They like each other, and maybe a little more, but they had much rather argue than carry on a civil conversation. Veronica likes to enrage Stoker because it pulls him out of the dumps. At least, that’s what she says. Actually, she just enjoys arguing.
In this book, we find out a little more about Veronica’s past, but we really learn some things about Stoker. It’s not enough. It only whets my appetite for more information. It’s not like there are cliffhangers or anything. I hate those. We are just given tidbits to entice us. And man, did that work. I cannot wait for the next book.
To keep you going until this book’s release, here are a few quotes to entertain.
Veronica in Chapter 1: Men, I had observed, were never happier than when they believed they were imparting wisdom.
Stoker in Chapter 12: Veronica, you have a substantial intellect. Perhaps you could trouble yourself to use it occasionally.
Veronica in the same chapter referring to Stoker: That was the true measure of his character; even at the height of his irritation he would never let me fall.
Also, in the same chapter (and why would Stoker ever be irritated with Veronica), Stoker is trying to get Veronica to promise to run to safety if things go bad. : “For once, do as I ask. Promise me.”
“Very well. I promise,” I said, crossing my fingers behind my back.
Again, in Chapter 12. I had not realized what a great chapter that was. I am not going to give you any context for this quote. I’m just throwing it out. : “Good heavens! I have never seen so many penises in one place,”
Veronica in Chapter 16: It has been my experience in dealing with the male of the species that the easiest way to get one to do as you wish is to encourage him to do precisely the opposite.
You know, I am fairly certain my mother taught me this exact same thing.
And I’ll leave you with an exchange between Veronica and Stoker: “... That is a stroke of brilliance.”
He preened. “It is, isn’t it? I think I shall bask in this for a little while. I do like being right.”
And don’t we all. I hate that the book is not being released until January of 2017. I have no idea why it has been delayed for so long. It is well worth the wait though and I hope you enjoy it.
This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. ...more
Whether it’s fast cars or fast women, Stefano Ferraro gets what he wants. When he’s not fodder for the paparazzi, he commands Ferraro family businesses—both legitimate and illegitimate.
While their criminal activity is simply a rumor yet to be proven, no one knows the real truth. The Ferraros are a family of shadow riders capable of manipulating light and dark, an ability Stefano thought ran in his family alone—until now…
With little left to her name, Francesca Cappello has come to Chicago in hopes of a new life. She wasn’t expecting to attract the attention of a man with primal hunger in his eyes, driven to claim her as his to protect and to please. And if he discovers her secret, it could ruin her…
Any fan of Christine Feehan knows she does not write “light” books. Her most famous (to me) series is even called Dark, although I always think of it as The Carpathians. Her Ghostwalker series is even more intense and even the Drake sisters is more dark than happy.
The new Shadow series is no exception. It definitely leans (and sometimes falls over) to the dark side . . . and I love it.
I have to admit it started out slow. I understand that any new series is going to have some world building, but I swear I was a third of the way through the book before I figured out where it was going. That is the reason I only gave it three stars. It was well worth the time though.
Stefano takes the whole alpha male/protector personality to an extreme . . . sometimes too much for me and definitely too much for Francesca. He could be hard to like. After his family background is explained, he becomes, if not more likeable, definitely more understandable.
I did not like the fact that the Shadow Riders could only mate/breed with someone who has Shadow Rider blood. There is only one actually mate for a Rider, although they can breed with another with the right bloodline. The one mate thing was not really the problem (Carpathians, anyone?); it was the fact that they also had to be of the Shadow Rider line as well. I guess that leaves me out.
The other thing that bothered me was not with the book itself, but with this blurb which is on Goodreads.
The #1 New York Times bestselling “queen of paranormal romance”* is back with a sexy new series starring a Chicago crime family that hides a dark, mystical secret…
The Shadow Riders are NOT criminals. They are assassins, and yes, in my world there is a difference. They only go after the bad guys that the law can’t touch.
I think this is a great beginning to a new series and I can’t wait for the next one. Hopefully, since the author is so prolific it won’t be long in coming.
This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. ...more