Category Archives: Fantasy

Feast, by Merrie Destefano


From the Publishing Blurb:   Release date June 28th, 2011

ARC from Netgalley

Madeline MacFadden (“Mad Mac” to fans of her bestselling magical stories) spent blissful childhood summers in Ticonderoga Falls. And this is where she wants to be now that her adult life is falling apart. The dense surrounding forest holds many memories, some joyous, some tantalizingly only half-remembered. And she’s always believed there was something living in these wooded hills.

But Maddie doesn’t remember the dark parts — and knows nothing of the mountain legend that holds the area’s terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the strange and magnificent creature who once saved her life as a child, even though it is the destiny of his kind to prey upon humanity. And soon it will be the Harvest. . . the time to feast.

Once again Maddie’s dreams — and her soul — are in grave danger. But magic runs deep during Harvest. Even a spinner of enchanted tales has wondrous powers of her own

 

Rating :  C –  or about 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Sounds good right?  It should be better, and I hope some more editing before the release will help.

I had a very hard time with this novel.  I’m not even sure how to start this review.

It was all so confusing.  First, I guess I’ll start with some questions for the author, then some points.

1) What is a Darkling?  How did they come to be, where do they come from, and what the freaking heck are they!!

~After reading this novel, I STILL HAVE NO IDEA!!! That is not good.  This novel needs tighter editing, more information available for the reader, and to plug the major plot holes that are pretty glaring.

2) What is a Guardian, why are they necessary, what exactly was this Curse, and what did it entail. The details were sketchy at best.  We really need more information.

~Ash is the Guardian of Ticonderoga Falls.  OK. Good for him.  What does this mean?  What is his job, why is he there, what does he do?

3) What is this legend Keeper Business?

~The term was just tossed out there, and we were expected to understand.  With no concept of what the Darklings even are, how can we fathom what a Legend Keeper is?  Also, When Joe is Telling Maddie the Legend, WHY did you do it off-screen?  That would have answered SO many questions for the reader!!

4) What exactly is FEASTING.  How do the Darklings harvest dreams?  This is not explained and the readers have to try to extrapolate the information between the lines, and it is difficult with so much conflicting information. 

~They are not vampires?  Why does the Sheriff point out the two holes on the neck, and a seemingly empty body that is ‘flat”.  OK, so these Darklings–do they use their fangs to drink the blood, and with the blood they also get dreams, hopes and aspirations from their victims?  The blood is incidental?  If so, it would be nice to know that. There was too much telling, and absolutely no showing of how this works.  It went like this “We harvest the dreams.”  “Mmm I am harvesting” “Oh, I harvested too much, now he/she is dead” 

5) Pretty much each chapter was in a different point of view.  From every character in the novel.  EVERY. ONE.  Maddie, Ash, Thane, River, Elspeth, Sage, Sienna, Joe, The sheriff, The dog, It was a revolving door of characters, and took away my interest. 

~ Since we had so many story lines being interwoven, it was hard to connect to any one character.

6) There really is no love in this novel.  I didn’t feel the romance.  At all.  I’m sorry, but it didn’t work for me.  It came out of left field, at the very end, and it wasn’t believable.  This aspect of the story needs work.  The interest needs to be throughout the novel. 

The writing style was nice, I liked how Merrie Destefano writes.  Her words are poetic, and lyrical.  She paints a vivid picture.  But this picture just didn’t work for me.

Game of Thrones ~ HBO


OK ya’ll, who watches Game of Thrones on HBO.  I’m currently reading the novels, but I am enjoying HBO’s version so much!  God I really hate the Freaking Queen and her Incestuous family.  I’m only up to episode three.  Well, I’ve watched through three, I’m up to four.  I’ll watch that one tomorrow night.  I can only watch after the kids go to bed, and then I only watch one episode because I need my beauty sleep.  So who wants to discuss the series/show?

Try to keep in mind spoilers from future books if possible.  Do you think HBO is doing an adequate job (If you have read the books?)  So far I love it!

HAH!  Game of Thrones on HBO Becomes GOT HBO =)  Niiiiice one!

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison


Dragons! Yay Dragons!
Totally lived up to the hype.

Pia is on the run after being blackmailed by her loser ex-boyfriend into stealing one of the richest, and most dangerous dragon alive’s– treasure. Everyone knows, you don’t mess with a dragon’s treasure.

Dragos is bored. Life is boring. Wohoo, made more money. Business crisis, yada yada, yada, who cares. What is a bored dragon to do when he finds a piece of his treasure stolen? Take to the sky and smite yon buildings! It’s raining windows! Watch out! Roar!!!

Pia left him a note. Geez. You would think he was mad or something by the way she was lying on the cold ground after hearing the unearthly roar of the dragon from the air. She only took a penny! And she left him her own penny to replace it. And a note. She left a note. Why is he so mad?

On the run for her life, fearing she will be smited on the spot when she is found, she leaves her life behind and cashes in some favors and some of her secret identities and runs. She is a runner for sure. She has secrets. What girl doesn’t?

The book was great. The characters were entertaining and funny. The plot was decent, but wasn’t complicated. What really shines in this book are the secondary characters, and the romance between Dragos and Pia.

I have to say that I am not a huge fan of “Fated Mate” type books. It bothers me when they are sleeping together, professing love and marriage, all within a week of meeting. Now, it didn’t bother me so much in this novel. It was done pretty well actually.

I liked the world building. It was a cool world full of Elves, Fae, Gryphons, Goblins, and witches. I don’t know about Vampires, and there were shifters, called Wyres. Dragos is a Wyre Dragon, Rune {His best friend, first mate, and sentinel) is a Wyre Gryphon.

I have a secret love affair with these Gryphons 🙂 Can’t wait for more of them!

Not to say there weren’t any issues with the book, there were a few things that bothered me, and that weren’t explained at all. Such as what Pia’s True Name is. We should know this. She told Dragos, as readers, we should have heard it as well.

Some of the “OMG what did you do to me’s” towards the end of the book were annoying, but I understood poor Pia’s position.(heee, hee say that three times fast I dare you!)

Here are some quotes: Love it!

“I think you’re my hero,” she said. Only half kidding.
He stared at her, the picture of incredulity. “Most people,” he said, “think I am a very bad man.”
She studied his eyes to try and find out if that bothered him. He didn’t seem bothered by it. He seemed discomfited by her. “Well,” she said at last, “maybe you’re a very good dragon.”

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“I snarled at you. I didn’t mean it.”
“Don’t be ridiculous; of course you did.” She stroked his hair and pressed a kiss to his cheek.
“You cringed from me. Don’t ever cringe from me again.”
“Dragos,” she said in a sensible voice. “If you turn on me and snarl like a wild animal when I’m not expecting it, I think I might cringe again. Call me a girly girl if you want, but that’s just how it is.”

“I won’t do it again,” he whispered.

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“You’re not afraid of me at all anymore are you?
“so what if I’m not?”
“I think if you’re not it’s a very good thing. It gives me all kinds of license to to do bad things to you. With you. On you. In you.”

When we do find out what Pia is, I was all fan girl and yelling awesome!! We don’t see THAT much in books nowadays! Woot!

There were also a few teary places in this novel. Namely when Pia and Dragos are captured by the Goblins, and he is telling her what to expect from them. They will hurt her, and they do. It was sad.

I liked Pia a lot. Dragos too.

Can’t wait for Rune and Gray’s book. I saw that Tiphon and Tricks’s book are next!

Paranormal Romance fans, and fans of dragons, hot hero’s, awesome world building, wicked awesome characters, and did I mention DRAGONS!!!

Oh, and to cement my love of Dragos:

It means, you stupid woman, that I am learning too.  Now you listen to me.  I never stop thinking about you.  You’re with me everywhere I go but I miss you when we’re apart.  I’ve already shown that I will kill for you.  I would also die for you. You make me laugh.  You make me happy.  You’re  my miracle and my home.  If you as much as twitch, I get a hardon.  I will always come for you, always want you, and always need you. We clear?”

Badlands by Seleste DeLaney


For a Novella, this was great. I would LOVE to see this world explored more fully. I am completely interested in learning more about the Badlands. The majority of this novel took place aboard the Dark Hawk Ship, manned by Captain Spencer Pierce. Amongst the crew; Henri {Medic} Zeke {Warrior/Weapons} Noah {Mechanic}.

This novel made subtle references to steam punk, it wasn’t all gadgets, gizmos and glorified steam engines.

Moreover, this novel was more Romance based. I liked Ever. She was very strong, and loyal to her lands and queen. The problem I had with Ever lay with Zeke, but you can read for yourself to see how things play out.

Spencer was great for such a short novel. I liked his calm, steadfast mindset.

The romance between Spencer and Ever was believable.

I liked the twists the author threw at us at the end.

Thank goodness for an epilogue!

I hope Seleste DeLaney writes more in this world.

The Greyfriar, by Clay and Susan Griffith


From the Publisher:

Vampire predators run wild in this exciting steampunk adventure, the first in an alternate history trilogy that is already attracting attention. In 1870, monsters rise up and conquer the northern lands, As great cities are swallowed up by carnage and disease, landowners and other elite flee south to escape their blood-thirsty wrath. One hundred fifty years later, the great divide still exists; fangs on one side of the border, worried defenders on the other. This fragile equilibrium is threatened, then crumbles after a single young princess becomes almost hopelessly lost in the hostile territory. At first, she has only one defender: a mysterious Greyfriar who roams freely in dangerous vampire regions.

 

 

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Hm. 3.5/5 but I’m rounding up to 4 stars.

I loved the cats!!

The world was interesting, and I enjoyed the take on history, vampires, and the technology humans had to re-create after the great killing in 1850ish.

I enjoyed the characters, Adele, the Heroine was strong, capable, and an intriguing woman. She has a quiet inner strength I admired, and I liked how she grew throughout the book.

Greyfriar was awesome. Sure he’s a bit cliche albeit a cross between Zorro and robin hood, but I liked him, and his secret life.

The political ramifications were cool and interesting. As were the steampunk elements. They were well done, without being in your face and all Whoohoo I’m a steampunk Novel!

Senator Clark… I’m not entirely sure I like him 😉 He is the Heroine Adele’s intended. She has never met him, only heard tales of his American Vampire Kills, and as part of the politics to unite the two empires, her father arranged the marriage. He could care less about her, only ruling the massive empire.

The vampires were pretty darn awesome. Flay was ruthlessly vicious and cool.

Overall, it was pretty good. I did have an issue with some of the wording the authors used, they seemed to change names a lot. It was written in third person, so sometimes they would refer to Adele as Adele, then in the next paragraph as the princess, or the girl, the young woman etc. It was confusing and I wished they had just stayed with Adele.

The Girl in the Steel Corset, by Kady Cross


Review Below!

From the Publisher: Release Date May 24th, 2011

She thought there was something wrong with her. She was right.
Finley Jayne has known for quite some time that she isn’t ‘normal,’ but when she beats up the son of her employer and is forced to flee, she stumbles into a world where there are bigger freaks than her. They take her in, treat her like family and demand her trust. How can Finley trust them when she can’t trust herself? And why is she drawn to the powerful Griffin as well as the dangerous Jack? She has to get herself under control before she gets into trouble she can’t get out of.

Griffin King is one of the most powerful men in Britain but he couldn’t save his best friend from almost dying. He is determined to save Finley and help her become the person he knows she can be, but there’s evil afoot in London. Machines have attacked humans under the orders of a nefarious criminal called The Machinist. He has sworn to protect his country against such a threat, but he’s never faced any foe like this. However, when he discovers The Machinist’s connection to his past, Griffin vows to end the villain once and for all — but he’ll need the help of all his friends, including the beautiful Finley Jayne – the girl in the steel corset

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3.5/5 (I downgraded after thinking about this novel some more)
This book was totally cool, interesting and compelling. The steam punk aspects were fantastic, integrated well, and weren’t trite.

However, there were a lot of inconsistencies. Historical inconsistencies and character interaction inconsistencies. One such example would be Finley running around town (1800’s) alone and unchaperoned wearing pants and riding a motorcycle like object, sparring with a shirtless man, but when Griff shows her his tattoo, and wants to tattoo her she is all a flutter about impropriety and indecency!

One of my qualms? No romance. Not even a kiss between our Hero or Heroine. They did think about kissing though, so I guess that counts =)

Also, the characters were all in their teens and I think Griff may have been 20, but they all talked really old. I don’t think we are told Finley’s age either. That bugs me now.

However, I don’t think this novel has exactly ONE hero or ONE heroine. All the characters were pretty darn fantastic! A metal man, a genius, a dual natured ass kicking chic, a telepath, and an aether wielder = AWESOME!

So, if you are a fan of steam punk and YA, put this on your buy list!
If you are a fan of awesome characters who remind you of X-men, the League of Extraordinary Gentleman and the Wild, Wild West, then put this on your buy list!

Spice ‘n’ Solace, by K.C Burns


From the Publisher:

Every year, Jathan One-Moon faces increasing pressure that he marry and have children. What Jathan really wants is a male mate that can enjoy both playful sex and his more dominant nature. To tame his stress, Jathan orders a male escort from Spice ‘n’ Solace, the premier male brothel in the Galactic Alliance—and is thrilled to be sent a man whose air of innocence and obvious desire for Jathan arouse him like never before.

Jathan doesn’t know he has mistaken Kazha Deinos, the owner of Spice ‘n’ Solace, as his escort. Kaz doesn’t intend to pleasure Jathan personally, but his powerful masculinity is irresistible. Kaz has dreamed of a man who’d take charge and indulge his hidden cravings—a man just like Jathan.

With their explosive passion and unexpected tenderness, Jathan and Kaz soon want to stay together—if Jathan’s position and Kaz’s secrets don’t tear them apart…

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Occasionally, I find myself needing something different to read.  Something without vampires, werewolves, or funny and witty dialogue.  I saw this book listed on http://www.netgalley.com and decided to give it a go.  I’m glad that I did.  I have never read a Male-Male romance, but it wasn’t all that different from reading straight erotica/romance.  At least to me.  Love is love. Regardless of who is doing the sexing.

4 Stars for most of the book, but about 2 stars for the rushed ending.
The plot and pacing were well done, the characters were well drawn and I enjoyed reading about them. I was invested in their happiness. Kaz and Jathan were hot as hell.  I loved Jathan’s dominating ways, and so did Kaz.

This was a novella, so the world wasn’t as deep as it could have been, but the side characters were surprisingly well thought out for such short roles.

I just wish the ending wasn’t so easily attained and rushed for their HEA (Happily Ever After) . This was a darker, more sinister world, and the ending was much to rainbow for me.

However, I would read more by this author, and I hope that she re-visits this world.

The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss


The Kingkiller Chronicles #1

5/5 Stars!!

I cannot believe that this book is a debut from Patrick Rothfuss. I don’t normally read pure fantasy, I generally like a little more romance, a little more fantastical beasts (Vampires, Were’s, Paranormal) but something about this book drew me in before I even read it. I found the description here at Goodreads and was intrigued, so I went out and bought it.
I am not sure where to even start. I was definitely impressed with the quality of writing. I was most definitely impressed with the world that Patrick created.
It was a fantasy novel, that didn’t feel like fantasy. The characters were so well realized, the magic so well rooted and described, the action was terrific, the sorrow was real. The pace was excellent.
You feel everything Kvothe feels, see everything he sees, are there right along with him on his many journeys, triumphs, challenges and horrors.
You learn along side him, weep along with him and cheer with the Eloidin Crowd for him.
The journey is dark, but the story is heroic.
I look forward to the second installment,  The Wise Man’s Fear, due out in stores March 1, 2011

Kingkiller Chronicles #2

The much anticipated Sequel is due out in March of 2011.  Patrick, I read your blog often, and I think you are funny, and a gifted writer.  That being said, I really hope it comes out in March =)  I’ll be rip roarin’ mad if the date changes again.

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