Mini Review: Nightfall by Ellen Conner

May Contain Spoilers

I loved the action, but struggled with the protagonists. They aren’t particularly likable, or rational, which made me doubt they would, indeed, survive the end of the world.  Jenna, in particular, behaves with extreme immaturity, which both grated and made me wish, even for a moment, that she would be the next victim of the demon dogs.  She is more upset that Mason freezes her out emotionally than she’s mad that he kidnapped her, tying her up and tossing her in the trunk of her car before driving her to his isolated cabin in the woods.  He only does it to “save” her from the end of the world, but since she doesn’t believe that the end of the world is nigh, she should have been a lot more pissed at him than she was about that incident.

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Review and Giveaway: City of Light by Keri Arthur

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I am a big fan of Keri Arthur’s Souls of Fire series, so I was excited to check out City of Light.  This is the start of her Outcast series, which has a futuristic, post-apocalyptic feel.  The main character is a déchet, an artificially conceived super-solider with both shifter and vampire DNA, and she’s been trained to seduce enemy shifters to divulge their deepest secrets.  She can alter her image, she’s immune to poison, and she can talk to ghosts.  She’s also pretty kick ass in a fight, and can better than hold her own in most instances.  She has one major weakness, and it’s almost her downfall several times during the story.  Tiger was in charge of the nursery in one of the déchet bunkers, and after the shifters won the war and attempted to eradicate all traces of her kind, she was forced to watch all of her young charges, as well as every other individual in the bunker, die horrible deaths when toxins were pumped into the structure.  When she learns that a child is in danger, she drops everything to save her and ends up leaping from the frying pan into the fire.

It’s been over a hundred years since the end of the war, and Tiger has spent most of that time hiding in the bunker.  The shifters dumped cement into the bunker to permanently seal it off, but luckily for Tiger, it only filled the top levels, leaving the rest of the structure intact.  There are secret entrances that she makes use of to steal in and out of her home, which is populated with the ghosts of her young wards, as well as the deceased warriors that inhabited the lower levels.  This was one of the largest plot holes for me, because it make zero sense that the victors of the war would completely overlook the fact that the military bunker had more ways in than the ones they sealed.  Especially when it was so close to their city.  They were so confident that they killed everyone in the bunker that it was inconceivable to them that someone actually survived.  With all of the times Tiger entered and exited her home, it was inconceivable to me that nobody noticed.

After the shifters dropped bombs to end the war, their weapons tore rifts between this world and the next, letting in monsters more terrifying than those they fought during the war.  Now blood-thirsty monsters dominate the night, causing the city dwellers to live under perpetual artificial light. Not only do the humans and shifters have to worry about vampires, but the Others from beyond the rifts also hunt during the night.  It’s during a monster infested night that Tiger’s ghosts send her out into the darkness.  There is a child out there, unprotected, soon to be a snack for the vampires.  Without a second thought, Tiger races out to save her, and also finds an injured ranger, a shifter that specialized in the murder of déchets.  Tiger manages to save both of them, and turns her quiet life on its ear.

There’s a lot of action and near death episodes in City of Light, and that kept me engaged in the story.  Tiger can’t trust anyone – not her new acquaintances, not an old friend she’s been reunited with.  There’s something off about everyone, some darkness she can’t quite place her finger on.  When she learns that someone is kidnapping young children for unknown, but most assuredly nefarious purposes, she begins to suspect government ties to the crimes.  With time running our, she knows she only has herself and her ghosts to rely on.

I thought some of the world building was a little weak.  I didn’t think this post-war world was sufficiently fleshed out, especially when it came to the government structure and the ruling hierarchy.  Some of the supporting characters also felt flat and one-dimensional.  The lead up to a few of the action sequences seemed drawn out, leaving me to hope that the battles would soon begin.  These are typical gripes I have at the start of a new series, and I’m hoping some of my concerns will be expanded on later in the series.  I did enjoy the book, and I’m looking forward to the next title in the Outcast series. 

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by Publisher

The first in an all-new futuristic fantasy series from Keri Arthur—the New York Times bestselling author of the Souls of Fire novels.

When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between this world and the next, they allowed entry to the Others—demons, wraiths, and death spirits who turned the shadows into their hunting grounds. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay….

As a déchet—a breed of humanoid super-soldiers almost eradicated by the war—Tiger has spent her life in hiding. But when she risks her life to save a little girl on the outskirts of Central City, she discovers that the child is one of many abducted in broad daylight by a wraith-like being—an impossibility with dangerous implications for everyone on earth.

Because if the light is no longer enough to protect them, nowhere is safe…

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Review: The Black Stallion by Walter Farley

 

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I am often reluctant to reread childhood faves, because as I’ve aged, my reading tastes have changed.  Since The Black Stallion was written almost 80 years ago, the age of the novel also gave me pause.  I impulsively checked it out of the library anyway (I do have an ancient hardcover copy somewhere in my own book collection, but it’s so much easier to read a digital copy).  I remember the first book in the series being one of my least favorites, but after finishing it again, a gazillion years after my first outing with the Black and Alec, I must have remembered incorrectly.  I can’t see how later books can top the excitement and adrenaline rush of this one.

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Review: Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I’m so glad my local library received this book so soon after release date!  I actually had an eARC, but a Kindle version wasn’t available, and I could not get the ePUB file to load on my iPad.  Talk about frustrating!  Vengeance Road was probably my most anticipated summer read, and having that broken file on my tablet was driving me nuts.  Turns out the library saved the day!  This book is so good, I urge you to run to your own library and borrow it right away!

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Review: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

My Mercy Thompson obsession continues.   Blood Bound picks up shortly after the events in Moon Called.  Mercy receives a late night call from Stefan, asking for her help.  Since she indebted herself to him while searching for Adam’s kidnapped daughter, she doesn’t really have much choice than to accompany him on an errand.  One of the things I love about Mercy is that her word is her bond, and she won’t go back on a promise or a debt unless dire circumstances force her to.

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Review: Dancing in the Moonlight by RaeAnne Thayne

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I enjoyed the first book in this series, so I decided to read more.  Dancing in the Moonlight is about Jake Dalton, the doctor (and the least interesting brother for me, at first glance, at least), and Maggie Cruz, a wounded vet returning home after being injured in Afghanistan.  Maggie is angry and wounded, pushing away the help offered to her by her concerned family and caring neighbors.  She is independent and wants to do everything for herself, even when it’s physically painful and not the smartest path to follow.  She’s determined to do everything on her own, but pesky Jake keeps interfering and getting under foot and on her nerves.  Maggie’s rage and her fears for the future are emotionally examined as she struggles to help her mother run their ranch.

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Review: Tempted by a Cowboy by Sarah M Anderson

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

This was an extremely challenging book for me.  I was drawn to the title because the heroine is a horse trainer, and I’ve had previous success with Sarah M Anderson’s books. Once I read “horse trainer” I didn’t read any further.  The plots of category romances can get pretty interchangeable. A prince here, a billionaire there, or a millionaire cowboy; sometimes it seems that the only thing that changes are the locations or the characters names.  Tempted by a Cowboy felt like a completely different read, and there were times I didn’t like it. 

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Review: Ransom Canyon by Jodi Thomas

 

This morning I have a review of Jodi Thomas’ Ransom Canyon, but first, Jodi dropped by the virtual offices with a special greeting for all of you!

Greeting from Jodi:

The idea for RANSOM CANYON came from living in the Texas Panhandle.  I wanted to write about the real west of today.  I wanted my people to be like the men and women I grew up with, honest and true.  Not the cowboy on a book cover who has never been on a horse, but the cowboy who gets up at five to load his own horse and make it to the ranch before dawn.  He doesn’t work by the hour, but by the day.

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