I have to admit that I didn’t finish “Hammered”, the previous book in this series, because it veered off into Canterbury Tales land and I lost interes...moreI have to admit that I didn’t finish “Hammered”, the previous book in this series, because it veered off into Canterbury Tales land and I lost interest. This book was a return to the first two books, where the focus of the story is on Atticus and his challenges and commitments.
As this book opens, Coyote helps Atticus fake his own death (because of events in the previous book) in return for a favor. That favor turns out to be two-fold: one thing upfront and one thing that Atticus is tricked into doing. Hence the title. Coyote claims he wants to do something meaningful for his people. He has decided that building renewable energy components and starting up a renewable energy power plant are the way to go. But the tribe needs money to do this, and his solution is that they will first open a gold mine, mine it out, and use the profits to start the renewable energy program. If you are scratching your head here, you’re with me--let’s rip up the environment before doing something meant to preserve it?
Coyote wants Atticus to talk to the Colorado elemental and have it move a large quantity of gold to a specific location that Coyote has already chosen. Oh, and he also wants Atticus to kill two shape-shifters that have been plaguing the area where Coyote intends to start up his mining-renewable energy project. The shape-shifters turn out to be the main problem that Atticus has to solve in this book.
I did like that this book focused more on Atticus and Granueil, his Druid apprentice who is forced to fake her own death as well. Granueil is my favorite character other than Atticus and I hope we get to see more of her in future books. Oberon is still too-smart for a dog, but he’s good comic relief, and he proves his bravery when Atticus’s vampire acquaintance Hal manipulates Atticus into solving a problem with a rival vampire. We also get to hear a bit more about how and when Atticus came to North America. All good stuff.
However, I found the eco-terrorism aspect of this story rather glib and hypocritical. As part of his efforts to persuade the Colorado elemental to move gold to where Coyote wants is, Atticus sabotages the local coal mine. Several times. He rationalizes this by thinking that the corporation has lots of money and it will be just fine for it to lose its operation. Little thought is given to all the middle-class workers that will be out of work; there is a throw-away line about how they can work at the new gold mine that the tribe will be starting, disregarding that it takes months to get a mine up and going. It’s also implied from the storyline that the tribe mining gold was OK economically and environmentally, but coal mining by others was not. My Kindle has lots of “WTF???” whenever this occurs.
Overall, 3 stars. It would easily have been a high four star if the environmental issues had been dealt with in a more thoughtful and intelligent manner. (less)
I'm coming in kind of late with a review here, but I just recently finished this series. Tainted is the first book in the Blood Lily Chronicles.
Lily...moreI'm coming in kind of late with a review here, but I just recently finished this series. Tainted is the first book in the Blood Lily Chronicles.
Lily Carlyle is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Her younger sister, Rose, is raped by a man named Lucas Johnson. When Johnson is released on a technicality and begins to stalk Rose, Lily takes matters into her own hands and kills Johnson. Unfortunately, Lily is also killed during the attack.
Lily wakes up in the body of Alice Purdue, a bar maid at the Bloody Tongue. The Bloody Tongue is owned by her uncle Egan, and, as it turns out, by Alice and Alice's sister Rachel. Lily is soon greeted by an odd creature who calls himself Clarence and who tells Lily that her mission is to assure that the Ninth Gate to Hell is locked before something called Convergence. At Convergence, which is imminent, the legions of Hell will be able to pass through to Earth. Part of what she will have to do is kill demons.
Lily begins her demon-killing training, but is curious about the life she has usurped. She begins to dig into Alice's background, all without giving away the fact that she is *not* Alice, and finds that Alice is an integral part of what is happening. Making things even more interesting is a demon named Deacon Camphire, who was originally befriended by Alice and who seems to have an intense interest in Lily-in-Alice's-body.
I thought this was an original take on urban fantasy. Lily was an engaging character. The story is told in the first person, typical of much UF, and although, Lily can be sarcastic, I still found that I liked her voice. She is smart and has a sensible knack for self-preservation.
I did think that Lily's acceptance of her new life came pretty quickly, but I can understand why she was ready to leave her old life -- except for Rose -- behind. I also wasn't completely sold on the seemingly instant transformation of Lily into a demon-fighting super-girl. Fighting is a skill acquired through practice -- lots and lots of practice -- and it seemed to come too quickly to Lily to be realistic.
The secondary characters were interesting. Deacon is a enigma, who we get to know better over the course or the series. I like that his secrets are revealed slowly. Can't say too much here, because it would be a spoiler.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable read, and I would definitely try other books by this author. (less)
Turned is the third book in the Blood Lily Chronicles. It is impossible to review this book without including spoilers for the previous two books. The...moreTurned is the third book in the Blood Lily Chronicles. It is impossible to review this book without including spoilers for the previous two books. The plot summary will also make a lot more sense if the reader is familiar with the first two books.
At the opening of this book, Lily Carlyle has obtained the Oris Clef and now faces an agonizing decision about the coming convergence. Should she wield the Oris Clef and become the demon queen (and thereby attempt to avert the apocalypse even though giving herself over to evil) or should she sacrifice herself to an eternity of suffering by throwing herself into the portal to Hell when it opens, which according to the angel Gabriel will permanently seal the portal? Instead, in the days leading up to the portal opening, Lily and Deacon, a demon seeking redemption, search for another legendary key – one that can lock all nine of the portals to Hell.
Deacon saves Lily and Rose, who is now in Kiera’s body, from Penemue, his former master, although he has to retake his demon form to do so. Lily is able to talk Deacon back to his human form, and together they go to Father Carleton’s (he was a character in the first book) church to see if one of his colleagues has any knowledge of the key. Lily does get a lead from an old monk, and in the days that follow, Lily finds out some shocking information about both Alice’s mother and her own father. In the end, she and Deacon face the opening of the portal and overcome the forces of Hell (that shouldn’t qualify as a spoiler; it was kind of a given that they would succeed).
I like that facts and elements of the story that were included/revealed in earlier books were relevant to the overall story and were tied into the action in this one. It made for a nice overall cohesive story, that was clearly well-thought out and well-plotted.
I also liked that all three of the female characters – Lily, Rose, and Rachel – faced their personal issues and overcame them during the course of the books. I find strong female characters very appealing.
I did have a slight problem with the consequences of Lily’s actions during the final battle; a very similar combination of action/consequence occurred on a popular TV show. While reading up to the final battle, I was really hoping that this book would not take the same route, and unfortunately it did.
I also wish that demon possession was better explained. How can they possess people? Is there any way to resist? There were times when having a demon possess one of the characters (if they could) would have been the smart thing for the demons to do, and yet they didn’t do it. They possessed others instead.
Overall, though, I very much enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking for other books by Julie Kenner. (less)
I really liked the originality and the world-building in the first book in this series, and this book is equally well-done....more****MILD SPOILER ALERT****
I really liked the originality and the world-building in the first book in this series, and this book is equally well-done. In this installment, Kit is hired by Banner to determine if/why her main squeeze, Damon, is killing other Council members. If he is, she needs to convince Banner that he has a legitimate reason for doing so; otherwise, Banner will put out a hit on him. Things are further complicated when Kit is put under a spell that prevents her from talking about her investigation to anyone. Damon eventually becomes suspicious, and their relationship is put to the test.
While I loved most of this book, I have to warn readers that the book ends on a down note. Kit is kidnapped and abused by a vampire. Although she is eventually rescued, the abuse leaves her...well, the title of the next book is "Broken Blade" if that tells you anything. I have read other books by Shiloh Walker--another pen name for the author writing here as J.C Daniels--and abuse and recovery from abuse seem to be a theme in her writing. The writing was well-done here, and heat wrenching at times--though not graphic.
I look forward to the next book in the series, as I want to see how Kit recovers from this and faces the next challenge.(less)
I read to about 63% and then this became a DNF for me. I liked that the book incorporated African and Egyptian mythology; so much (not all) of the urb...moreI read to about 63% and then this became a DNF for me. I liked that the book incorporated African and Egyptian mythology; so much (not all) of the urban fantasy and PNR that I've read uses European mythology, so this was a nice change of pace. However, I can't get past the Mary Sue-ish main character.
Kira is only 25 years old and yet she's the most bestest, smartest Shadowchaser the hero and his sidekick demigod friend have ever met. She can fight any baddie that comes along. The demigod--the most interesting character in the book--thinks she has "the spirit of the best warrior queens."
She fights effortlessly in a multitude of different styles, including "some [the hero] hadn't witnessed in a century or more". She claims to know capoeira, jiujitsu, and Krav Maga. According to the story, though, she had only five years of training to acquire the super-duper fighting skills, so nope, not believable. And I say this as someone who does have martial arts training in several disciplines.
Kira is also an antiquities expert with a master's degree. When did she have to do this? And how does become an expert within just a few years of completing a degree? If the character had even been ten tears older, I might have believed that she could have acquired all the skills attributed to her. But as is: no. (less)
I liked this book better than the first book in the series, although that's not saying much.
The Good: The characters were less cardboard cut-outs and...moreI liked this book better than the first book in the series, although that's not saying much.
The Good: The characters were less cardboard cut-outs and more developed. The ubiquitous name-brand-dropping that was so irritating in the first book is also, thankfully, gone.
The Bad: The book was fairly predictable. Also - and the big stumbling block for me - was that the villain(s) did one incredibly inept and stupid thing that allowed the good guys to find them. The good guys finding them happened fairly early on in the story, so the rest of the story essentially happened because of the TSTL moment. (less)
Others have provided synopses, so I won't rehash the story line here. I really liked Rob Thurman's Cal/Niko Leandros series, so I wanted to like this...moreOthers have provided synopses, so I won't rehash the story line here. I really liked Rob Thurman's Cal/Niko Leandros series, so I wanted to like this book as well. However, several things just didn't work for me:
The book is told in the first person (not necessarily bad), but the narrator, Trixa, is unrelentingly, annoyingly sarcastic. There were times when I wished I could reach into the book, shake her, and say "be serious for just *one* moment, please." I appreciate sarcasm, but all the time? It made her seem shallow, and I wasn't able to connect with her at all.
Griffin and Zeke seem like a gay, non-fraternal re-imaginging of Cal and Niko - the younger one, with a dark past and trouble adjusting, who is cared for by the older, handsome, competent one. This set-up didn't feel very...original.
The big surprise at the end, for the reader, is something that Trixa already knows - and has known all along. We've been in her head this whole time, and not once did she think about anything relating to the big surprise even though it was relevant to the story. As a reader, I feel deceived by Trixa, which only adds to my not liking her.
I don't know if there is going to be another book in this series, but I won't be reading it if Trixa remains as the narrator. I *am* looking forward to ROADKILL, the next in the Cal/Niko series. (less)