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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

ETCHED IN BONE


The Others #5: ETCHED IN BONE
Etched In Bone by Anne Bishop
Book 5 of The Others series
Read by Alexandra Harris
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: hardback, ebook, & audiobookAudiobook


About Etched In Bone:
After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders — a primitive and lethal form of the Others — the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders — and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end — with her standing beside a grave…
Source: Info in the About Etched In Bone was taken from http://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/2016/06/23/etched-in-bone-cover-reveal-excerpt-anne-bishop on 25/06/2016.

Excerpt :
Windsday, Messis 1

Eager to join his friends for an early morning run, Simon Wolfgard, leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, hurried toward the terra indigene Wolves who were using trees and shrubs for camouflage as they watched the paved road that looped the Courtyard. Actually, they were watching the man who was riding on the road at an easy pace.

[It’s Kowalski,] Blair growled. It was a soft growl, but the human suddenly scanned the area as if his little ears had caught the sound.

[On a bicycle,] Nathan added.

[We gave him permission to ride on the paved roads,] Simon said, a little concerned about their focused attention on a human they knew fairly well.

Karl Kowalski was one of the human police officers who worked directly with the terra indigene to minimize conflicts between humans and Others. Because of that, he had been labeled a Wolf lover and had had his share of conflicts with other humans. The latest incident happened last week when a car “accidentally” swerved and almost hit Kowalski while he was taking a bicycle ride before work. Because the terra indigene viewed that as a threat to a member of their human pack, Simon, Vladimir Sanguinati, and Henry Beargard—members of the Courtyard’s Business Association—decided to allow the human pack to ride on the Courtyard’s paved roads.

Simon had thought all the Wolves had been told about the Business Association’s decision—especially Nathan, who was the watch Wolf at the Liaison’s Office, and Blair, who was the Courtyard’s dominant enforcer—but this was the first time any of the humans had ventured to ride on a road that still had “Trespassers Will Be Eaten” signs posted as a warning.

[Bicycle, Simon,] Blair’s growl wasn’t as soft this time.

Must have been loud enough for human ears because Kowalski started to pedal a little faster.

Oh. Bicycle. Now Simon understood the real focus of the Wolves’ attention and excitement. Humans had ridden bicycles up to the Green Complex as well as a few other places in the Courtyard, and the Wolves had been intrigued by the two-wheeled vehicles. But those instances had been about transportation to or from a task. This could be something else.

[A game of chase?] Jane, the Wolfgard bodywalker, asked hopefully.

[Kowalski could be play-prey,] Nathan said.

[Does he know how to play chase?] Blair asked.

[He’s a police officer,] Nathan replied. [He chases other humans all the time.]

[Doesn’t mean he understands our game.] Simon thought Nathan’s opinion of police work was skewed more toward hopeful than accurate. Still, they could offer to play. If Kowalski didn’t accept, they would just enjoy a run. But…bicycle. Simon really wanted to chase one. [Let’s find out.]

The Wolves charged up the road, Simon and Blair in the lead as they swiftly closed the distance between the pack and their play-prey. But would they have a game?

Kowalski looked back. His eyes widened—and he pedaled faster.

Yes!

[We don’t catch, only chase,] Simon said.

[He’s fast!] Jane surged ahead of the males, pulling up alongside the bicycle’s back wheel in seconds.

[Don’t grab the wheels,] Nathan said. [If you catch a tooth in the spokes you could break your jaw or worse.]

[I was listening when Officer Karl told the puppies about the dangers of biting wheels,] Jane snapped, clearly offended by Nathan’s unwanted warning. She moved up a little more, now in position to play-bite Kowalski’s calf.

Kowalski glanced at Jane and pedaled faster. Instead of going over the bridge that would take them into the Hawkgard section—and commit the human to the big loop within the Courtyard’s three hundred acres—Kowalski turned onto the road that ran alongside the Elementals’ lake, heading back toward the Green Complex.

The Wolves ran, maintaining their distance even when Kowalski slowed down while going up a rise. They took turns pacing the bicycle and pushing their prey to run and run. Or pedal and pedal. As they reached the intersection with the Courtyard’s main road, Kowalski swung left toward the Green Complex instead of turning right toward the Market Square.

Most of the pack, having slowed to a trot as their prey tired, circled back toward the Wolfgard complex. Nathan headed for the Market Square and the Liaison’s Office where he would keep track of the deliverymen and guard Meg Corbyn, the Courtyard’s Human Liaison. Simon and Blair followed Kowalski until they reached the Green Complex. Then Blair continued on to the Utilities Complex while Simon dashed for the water trough in the common area that formed the open center of the Courtyard’s only multispecies complex. He lapped water, then shifted to his human form and dunked his head, flinging water as he stood up and tossed his dark hair away from his face. He splashed his arms and chest, then grinned when Kowalski parked the bicycle and approached the trough warily.

“That was a great game of chase!” Simon said happily. “You understand how to be play-prey.”

“I do?”

“Yes.” Simon cocked his head, puzzled by the human’s wariness. Hadn’t they just played, had fun? “Want some water?”

“Thanks.” Kowalski splashed water on his face and neck, then on his arms. But he didn’t drink.

Simon pondered the not drinking for a moment. Humans were clever, invasive predators who had recently shown the terra indigene once again why they could never be fully trusted—not even by each other. But physically they were so much weaker than other kinds of predators. This not drinking, for example. Nothing wrong with the water in the trough. Someone had already drained yesterday’s water, using it on the potted tree and other plants in the open area, and refilled the trough with fresh water for drinking and splashing. Humans would drink water pumped from the well if it was in a glass or a bucket or some other small container but couldn’t drink the same water from a shared outdoor container?

It made him wonder how they had survived as a species long enough to become such a problem.

“So who doesn’t understand about play-prey?” Kowalski asked, rubbing a hand over his face.

“The female pack. Every time we invited them to play, they stopped riding their bicycles and asked if they could help.” Simon spread his arms in a what’s that all about? gesture. Then he pointed at Kowalski. “But you invited us to play, and we all had a good run.”

Kowalski snorted a soft laugh. “Well, I sure had a good run.”

“Since the females can’t pedal as far or as fast as you, maybe they could play chase with the puppies.” The pups would learn how to run as a pack without the risk of being kicked by real prey.

Simon studied Kowalski, who studied him in turn.

“I’ll talk to Ruthie,” Kowalski finally said.

They both heard the clink of glassware and looked toward the screened summer room below Meg Corbyn’s apartment.

“Must be later than I realized,” Kowalski said. “I’d better go home and get cleaned up for work.”

Simon watched the man walk toward the bicycle—and the summer room. For a moment, it looked like Kowalski was going to go in and talk to Meg, and Simon felt his teeth lengthen to Wolf size as his lips pulled back in a silent snarl. But Kowalski just raised a hand in greeting, said, “Morning, Meg,” and rode away.

Simon walked around the trough, then stopped suddenly when he realized he was naked in his human form. It had never mattered until Meg came to live in the Courtyard. But humans reacted in various ways to seeing each other without clothing, even when clothing wasn’t needed for protection or warmth. Meg had adjusted pretty well to friends shifting to human form to give her a message or answer a question before shifting back to their preferred furred or feathered form, but it was different with him—maybe because their friendship was different from any other she had with humans or terra indigene.

Most nights, he slept with her in his Wolf form. They had their own apartments, but those places were connected by the summer room and a back upstairs hallway, and more and more it was becoming one den instead of two. But they weren’t mates in the same way Kowalski and Ruthie were mates. Then again, terra indigene Wolves only mated once a year when females came into season. Meg did the bleeding typical of human females but she hadn’t shown any physical interest in having a mate. Except…

She’d asked him to go skinny-dipping with her a couple of weeks ago. Both of them naked, in human form. She’d been nervous about being in the water with him, and she seemed scared after he’d kissed the scar along the right side of her jaw—a scar made by the cut that had saved the Wolfgard in Lakeside as well as many other Wolves throughout the Northeast Region and even beyond.

He’d kissed her before—on the forehead once or twice. But when he’d kissed that scar, he’d felt a flutter of change inside him, and in the days that followed he began to understand on some instinctive level that he wasn’t quite the same as the rest of the Lakeside Wolfgard. Not anymore.

Maybe it wasn’t just for Meg’s sake that, after the kiss, he’d invited her to play a Wolf game despite their both looking human. Then she wasn’t afraid anymore. And since then… Well, it wasn’t lost on him that, in summer weather like this, human males wore next to nothing in and around their own dens and no one thought anything of it.

“It’s hot upstairs,” Meg said, not raising her voice because she didn’t need to. His ears might look human, but he was still a Wolf and could hear her just fine. “I brought some food down here for breakfast.”

“I’ll take a quick shower and join you.”

He hurried inside and up the stairs to the bathroom in his apartment. Washing his hair and body didn’t take long, but he stood under the shower, enjoying the cool water falling over him as he thought about the complication that was Meg Corbyn.

He had brought her into the Courtyard, offering her the job of Human Liaison before discovering that she was a blood prophet, a cassandra sangue—a breed of human females who saw visions of the future when their skin was cut. She had escaped from the man who had owned her and used her, and Simon and the rest of the terra indigene in Lakeside had taken her in.

That sounded simple but it wasn’t. Nothing about Meg was simple. She was the pebble dropped in a pond that was the Lakeside Courtyard, and the ripples of her presence had changed so many things, including the terra indigene who had befriended her. Because of Meg, the Courtyard’s residents interacted with humans in ways that were unprecedented—or, at least, hadn’t been considered in centuries. Because of Meg, the terra indigene throughout Thaisia had tried to save the rest of the blood prophets who had been tossed out like unwanted puppies by the humans who had owned them. Because of Meg, the Lakeside Courtyard had a human pack that provided an additional learning experience for terra indigene who had a human-centric education and needed to practice those skills with humans who wouldn’t take advantage of mistakes.

Because of Meg, he had the uncomfortable feeling that a little bit of being human had become attached and inseparable from his Wolf form.


The Others #5: ETCHED IN BONE audio
My Thoughts:
In the world of The Others series, the names of the continents of their world sounds much like our own world, i.e., Afrikah, Brittania, Australis... but, what the heck is Felidae?! Sounds to me like a land full of cats...??

I am not quite sure why this book is titled Etched In Bone, though. A theme which is starting to plague this series lately. Titles that don't really relate to the book! Whats that all about??! What in the world??...

I used to whinge about the narration of these books, and I still do, however this being book 5 in the series, I have already gotten used to it.... eventually. So that is probably why it is no longer as annoying as it used to be... probably...


Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 5
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 5
Narration = 3.5

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Others Series:
         


The Author
Anne Bishop
Anne Bishop lives in upstate New York where she enjoys gardening, music, and writing dark, romantic stories. She is the author of fourteen novels, including the award-winning Black Jewels Trilogy. Her most recent novel, Twilight’s Dawn, made the New York Times bestseller list. She is currently working on a new series, which is an urban dark fantasy with a bit of a twist.

Crawford Award (2000)


FTC Disclosure:
This book, in all its formats, were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Monday, 13 March 2017

SILENCE FALLEN


Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
Book 10 of the Mercy Thompson series
Read by Lorelei King and George Newbern
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Silence Fallen:
In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy's bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she'll learn what it truly means to be alone...

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise..
Source: Info in the About Silence Fallen was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30687916-silence-fallen on 12/03/2016.

My Thoughts:
This is the first time that I have heard a book in this series where there are two narrators and it suited this book well. I guess that is why they chose to do it so. It made listening to the book very pleasant indeed! It added a little bit of a different flavour to the story than I would have had if I just read the book. I also like the fact that the author added a little twist in the end! That made the plot of this book the best yet in this series. And then there is the fact that I am an old die hard fan of these books already so I might just end up fan raving in this review... great world building.... great characters.... compelling story telling quality....

Can't wait for next year and get my hands on the next book!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 5
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 5
Pace = 5
Plot = 5
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Mercy Thompson Series:
Click on the cover image to go to my review or to the GoodReads page of the book for more info.
                   

 
About Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a natural choice. Patricia graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German and she worked for a while as a substitute teacher. Currently, she lives in Montana with her husband, children and six horses and writes full-time, much to the delight of her fans.
www.patriciabriggs.com | facebook | twitter | goodreads | Amazon | Tumblr



FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

THE OGRE APPRENTICE (The Bowl Of Souls book 8)


The Ogre Apprentice by Trevor H. Cooley
Book 8 of The Bowl Of Souls series
Read by James Foster
Genre: epic fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About The Ogre Apprentice:
The Jharro Grove Saga: Part Three

Justan’s time in Malaroo isn’t going well. A deadly shape-shifting assassin seeks his life and he is struggling to win over Jhonate’s father.

Fist is the only ogre ever to train at the Mage School. He is determined to make the most of this opportunity, but his plans are derailed and his burgeoning powers tested when he receives a visit from the tribe he had long thought dead.

An army closes in on the grove, a new race of monsters emerges from the swamps, and a great evil grows in the mountains. The survival of the known lands may depend on the strength of The Ogre Apprentice.
Source: Info in the About The Ogre Apprentice was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25031213-the-ogre-apprentice on 06/03/2017.

My Thoughts:
Now Fist is my favouritest character. In The Ogre Apprentice we get to see a lot of Fist, and that made me very happy indeed! ... Then the book ended with a cliffhanger... of course....... but even that could not take away the joy of reading about my favourite ogre. Then there is the beautiful world building and I like the way the plot is going even though it followed the same formulaic pattern as the previous story arc... but I like it just the same. Kudos to the author for making it interesting despite being similar. Even the cliffhanger ending didn't bother me so much, maybe because of the fact that I already have the next book downloaded. The Ogre Apprentice, I believe is my favouritest in the series thus far.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4.5
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 4
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries


Books In The Bowl Of Souls Series:
Book 1: EYE OF THE MOONRAT Book: 1.5: HILT'S PRIDE Book 2: MESSENGER OF THE DARK PROPHET Book 3: HUNT OF THE BANDHAM Book 4: THE WAR OF STARDEON Book 5: MOTHER OF THE MOONRAT Book 6: TARAH WOODBLADE Book 7: PROTECTOR OF THE GROVE Book 8: THE OGRE APPRENTICE Book 9: THE TROLL KING Book 10: PRIESTESS OF WAR


The Author
Trevor H. Cooley
Since putting out his first book: Eye of the Moonrat in May of 2012, Trevor H. Cooley has sold over 200,000 copies of his books in ebook and audio formats.

He was born in South Carolina and has lived all around the United states, including Utah, New Mexico, Michigan and Tennessee.

His love of reading started in the second grade with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series. He couldn’t get enough and continued with David Eddings, Tolkein, Robert Jordan, Stephen King, and many others. Since then, all he wanted was to become a published writer.

The characters and concepts that eventually became the Bowl of Souls series started in his teens. He wrote short stories, kept notebooks full of ideas, and generally dreamed about the world constantly. There were several attempts at starting a novel over the years.

Not long after he was married, his wife told him to stop talking about the story and write it down. Many years and rewrites and submissions and rejection letters later, he finally put the books on Amazon. In August of 2013 he quit his day job and started writing full time.


The Narrator

James Foster
James Foster was born in Bj√∂rk’s house in Iceland and grew up on Easter Island, where his parents were giant stone heads. He has the ability to fire beams of tacos out of his hands and he can turn his legs into tigers. On Sundays, James enjoys reading Family Circus and traveling through time. His favorite color is greenish-transparent and his favorite movie is the one you just watched. James is in charge of uploading the staff bios to the website, and no one has checked over his work.



FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 
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