Monday, August 26, 2013

Review: Charming - "A vampire and a blonde walked into a bar..."

Charming (Pax Arcana, #1)Charming by Elliott James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

John Charming is a very interesting guy.
He is a bartender in a shabby small town in rural Virginia called Clayburg.
He is on the run from an order of Knights.
He has serious wolfy unresolved issues...
His life is about to get very VERY complicated (much more than it is already).

Charming, your story was fun to read! I was pleased with this book.

In sum, this was a book about a supernatural guy who is hiding from an order of Knights who wants to destroy him. He works as a bartender at a lonely pub, and lives a daily boring life with a stolen identity. However, a vampire and a beautiful woman walk one night during his shift in his bar, which causes havoc and adventure in his life.

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What got me into reading this story:
I was intrigued by the curious cover of this book: a red cross in Charming's shirt and his badass attitude.

What I liked:
The complexity of this world. I have to admit that it has been a while since I've read a book in which things are set up so detailed, clear and natural from the beginning.

The 'Pax Arcana'- basically the spell that makes us lowly humans unaware of all the magical and supernatural beings that are all around us. There is virtually an explanation and answer for every-single supernatural issue or question that might arise from this whole P.A. spell.

The set of characters! Stanislav, Choo, Parth and Molly. I really liked how vampires are portrayed here. They are scary cunning monsters with zero interest in humans beyond making a meal out of them muahahaha

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All the action scenes were beautifully described.

The titles on each chapter were so funny!

The plot & pace was very entertaining.

The narrative in which it is told: we get a scoop on things happening in the story, the background story and some stuff that John wishes it would happen... but nope, it won't. It never gets dull.

What I found Meh:
Sig's behaviour... I simply did not enjoy her... She is strong and intense, but for the life of me I did not feel any sympathy towards her. I wish John meets someone different I might volunteer.

I have mixed feelings about the detailed descriptions. On one hand, I enjoyed knowing so much about all the stuff that was happening, but on the other, there were times that it was a bit too much! For example, I'm in the middle of a big fight with a half-snake guy and then lots and lots and lots of explanations on why, who and what... I might have wanted more showing on this book rather than telling.
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What I disliked:
The abrupt ending... *crickets* after all that time invested in reading all those descriptions, explanations and what not, bam - THE END.... really??? I felt that there should have been a better closure. Yeah, I know this is the first of a series and, believe me, I've read a whole bunch of series, but this cut felt too abrupt,maybe the author run out of time or something. It really does not feel consistent with the pacing of the whole book.

Will I continue with this series:

I received this book from its publishers, Orbit Books/Hachette Book Group for an early reading and review through NetGalley. Thank you for allowing me the wonderful chance to read this story in advance!

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review: The Water Witch -- "Oh, wait... I just realized I don't care"

The Water Witch (Fairwick Chronicles, #2)The Water Witch by Juliet Dark
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Cailleach McFey is definitely a character whom I feel a complete lack of empathy...Her motivations and actions constantly made my eyes roll *sigh*... I gave this book a second chance, since I had started it a few months back, but then I was very distracted and it lost me.... However, again, I was bored and skimmed The Water Witch through the end.

I feel that the positive elements of this series are the world it creates and its long list of diverse and interesting characters (succubi, incubi, witches, fairies, Norse gods, vampires, etc), but for a book that advertises romance, it felt short! I am still not convinced of all the naïvety in Callie that reflects upon her actions.

After two tries, I don't know if I will have the enthusiasm to read the 3rd book.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Review: The Sparrow

The Sparrow
The Sparrow by Jason Mott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*Claps eagerly* Bravo!
What a sad, hopeful and sweet story! This were the best 40 minutes spent listening to another great free prequel for The Returned it's free over at Audible and ius superbly narrated! It made me cry!!!!!

This is about another Returned, Tatiana, a 10 year old girl who is found by a couple, Heather and Matt next to a busy street way. Here we get a very heartfelt glimpse of the circumstances that caused Tatiana's death 20 years ago.

I can't wait to start The Returned

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Review: The First (free short story)

The First
The First by Jason Mott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this very short story. I'm so intrigued to read the full book!
This was both free for Kindle at Amazon and as an audiobook at Audible.

I'm not even bothering to write a full review; the description of this little story is enough:

It's been just over a year since Edmund Blithe died, and just over a month since his fiancée, Emily, stopped wearing her engagement ring. Emily has finally begun to move on… Until Edmund mysteriously and inexplicably returns, sending the world—and Emily—into a tailspin.

Edmund is only just the beginning. Around the world, people's loved ones are returning from beyond, seeking only to reenter the lives they left behind. As the world dives deep into uncertainty, Emily and Edmund are determined to find their way back to one another…even if it means risking everything.

Though, I just listened to it without reading the full synopsis and it was great!

If you have 34 minutes to spare, go ahead and listen to The First, it's very well narrated and it was free :-)

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Review: Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son
Prodigal Son by Debra Mullins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since this book will only be out in a few weeks (Pub. date: Oct 1st), I will briefly try to convey my enthusiasm over my experience while reading this book.
I craved entertainment, action and adventure and I got it all in Prodigal Son.

Let me start by swooning over Mr Rafael Montana, or Rafe for those of us who are more familiar with him...Aaaaaahhhh Rafe *sigh* he is such a hot badass! As an outcast Seer from a family of such, he is a Bounty Hunter in Las Vegas, with 'zero percent failure rate'. He has the super-powers to find people easily, discern when people tell the truth or lie and when in need, he can turn into a super-Hulk-like person an invite a 'Hunter' entity that is dormant inside him. Our dear tormented and loner Rafe ends up taking a mysterious yet simple case: to find a guy (Danny), who fled bail in connection to a car robbery. Because Danny is Cara's stepbrother, Cara inevitably crosses into Rafe's path.
Cara is strong, smart and extremely loyal towards those she cares. Even though she is a fictional character, her concerns and worries felt very real. I cheered for her!

Prodigal Son tells a great fast-paced urban fantasy romantic story.
All the good stuff I like in this genre is present: a cool setting (Las Vegas and a very detailed road trip), intricate plot, great chemistry between the two main characters and hot sexy scenes.

I would have liked a bit more of a background story in how Danny ends up in this whole mess, but perhaps it will just unnecessarily drag the story...

I devoured this book in two days and can't wait to see what Debra Mullins will do with this interesting world, mythology and characters in future stories. I am dying to know more about Mr. Gray...

I received this book from its publishers, Macmillan-Tor/Forge for an early reading and review through NetGalley. Thank you for allowing me the wonderful chance to read this story in advance!

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: Water - 'Oh Book. Don't take it personal, it's not me, is you'

Water by Terra Harmony

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was curious about this book's premise and cover art. It was enticing enough for me to be inclined to read it. However, I must say, I was utterly disappointed.
This book follows Kaitlin, a very undeveloped character, whose past, intentions, dreams and/or drive is unknown. She is a photographer and ends up kidnapped in an island by a group called The Seven who tell her she has some kind of superpowers, connected to earth's natural equilibrium and its elements.
As a story, it is very lineal, but it has some very few redeeming parts. Particularly those that focus on its environmental or ecological approach, as sustainability, renewal of resources and the sub-context around being conscious when using earth's resources.

But sadly, I was very dissatisfied with many things of this book.

I specially disliked the main character. Kaitlin is very forgettable, unlovable, shallow and inconsequential.
On one hand when she discovers she is 'Gaia' and all that it entails, her reaction is as bland as plain jello. Her newfound strength and powers from nature reflect in zero concern for ecological or sustainable approaches: 1)she wastes food 2) wastes water taking long showers 3) makes food fights... Yes! FOOD fights with raw fish... How un respectful of these resources (animal or not) is she?
Argh it hurts my 'crunchy granola heart'

The whole oh-you-kidnapped-me-but-it's-OK-now-I-will-give-up-my-old-life, taking everything she is told face value!! She doesn't question her captors beyond what they tell her. She doesn't suspect any wrongdoings. She is so naïve, it hurts my eyes just to read what she does/thinks. There is zero -nada- agency on this lady's actions Argh!!
Beyond her being annoying and boring to read, the plot is really meh.

Another issue that made me dislike this book is how her physical and psychological abuse is treated. I think it was very poorly handled and it bothered me. Without spoiling too much anything for potential readers, my main critique lays in the subjugated acceptance of Kaitlin's role. Her individuality gets shattered, her life (job, dreams and friends), personal things (apartment)and her own body is violently treated without her permission. She is forced to do things that she is not okay with, but then the next thing you know, she is drinking with her abuser or just chatting him up in an amicable way. Why didn't she leave the crazy Seven after all the abuse and intrusion in her personal life??? I'm baffled!

I personally will not continue reading this series. This was not a book I enjoyed or would recommend. Simply put: 'Oh Book. Don't take it personal, it's not me, is you'

This book was kindly given to me by Patchwork Press thought NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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