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: 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: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I’m late to the Mercy Thompson band wagon.  I don’t know why I avoided the series, but I just didn’t find them appealing, despite the kickbutt covers.  Then I started reading the Alpha and Omega series, and I decided to give them a chance.  I think a big stumbling block for me was the 1st person POV, which isn’t my favorite (I am learning to appreciate it, though).  However, after listening to part of the audio book, I jumped to an ebook copy during last week’s marathon of pre-surgical appointments.  The audio book was very entertaining, but not practical to listen to in either the doctor’s office or the hospital, and that is the only reason I switched versions.  I highly recommend the audio book if that is your preferred reading method.

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Audio Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I am not big on audio books, and prior to Hunting Ground, I could count the number I’ve listened to on one hand.  I had a long solo drive to a horse show, though, and thought that listening to a book would keep me alert and less stressed during the drive.  I picked this book because I loved Cry Wolf, but I haven’t had time to read any further in the Alpha and Omega series.  At first I was a little hesitant as I pulled out of the driveway and started my journey, but MY.GOODNESS!  I didn’t want the drive to end, I was that engaged in the story!

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Review: Frozen in Amber by Phyllis Ames

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Review:

I wanted to read Frozen in Amber because it’s about shifters, and I generally enjoy shifters stories.  Also, Phyllis Ames is a debut author, and I like discovering new authors right as they hit the ground running.  This book didn’t start successfully for me, but as I became more embroiled in shifter politics and the secrets Amber’s grandfather had been keeping, I found myself caught up in the story.  By the end I couldn’t put it down, and I thought the ending, despite some loose ends, was a perfect solution for Amber.

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Review and Giveaway: The Veil by Chloe Neill

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Review:

I wanted to read The Veil because it’s the first in a new series, and it’s written by Chloe Neill.  I haven’t had the pleasure of reading her yet, because the thought of jumping into her longer series is daunting, but then this came along.  I loved the dystopian New Orleans setting, and was curious to learn how the war with supernatural beings from beyond the Veil had changed life for the city’s inhabitants.  While I found the initial pacing slow due to all of the set up, the story did pick up and deliver a solid read.

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