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Monday, 5 April 2021

TEMPT THE STARS

Tempt The Stars by Karen Chance
Book 6 of the Cassandra Palmer series
Narrated by Tara Sands and Allyson Ryan
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback & audiobookAudiobook


About Tempt The Stars:
Being a goddess is a lot less fun than you might think. Especially when you’re only a half goddess, and you only found out about it recently, and you still don’t know what you’re doing half the time. And when you’ve just used your not-so-reliable powers to burglarize the booby-trapped office of a vampire mob boss.

Yeah, that part sucks.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Cassandra Palmer, aka the Pythia, the freshly minted chief seer of the supernatural world. After all, Cassie still has to save a friend from a fate worse than death, deal with an increasingly possessive master vampire, and prevent a party of her own acolytes from unleashing a storm of fury upon the world. Totally just your average day at the office, right?
Source: Info in the About Tempt The Stars was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12528745-tempt-the-stars on 29/11/2018.

Pritkin
My Thoughts:
It was hard getting into this book. I am an old fan of this series but my following of this series stopped with this book. Well, not really stopped but hit a considerable snag. So much so that it'd been donkeys' years since I read the book preceding this one and I have forgotten what happened in the story already. However I did remember that Pritkin got sucked back home. The force of that premise alone was the reason that this book got read at all! I wanted to know if there would still be a Pritkin in the subsequent books in this series. If not, I don't think I would be following this series still... Which is sad because some books in this series that I have read so far did gave me some laugh-out-loud moments. A rare thing in a lot of books I read. The pace did pick up about three quarters into the book, which is something. The plot is quite straightforward. Heroine is going from A to B, and that is exactly what happened. How she got there is the interesting part. Still, not much of a plot. The world building just got a little bit crazier. Opened up new angles into the story never before hitherto heard of and interesting possibilities blooms... And the ending while it closed the current story, it is also a cliffhanger and a titillation for the next book.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 3
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 1.5
Plot = 2
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries



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

Monday, 8 March 2021

BLOOD HEIR


Blood Heir by Ilona Andrews
Book 1 of the Aurelia Ryder series
Narrated by Suzanne Elise Freeman
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Blood Heir:
An all-new novel set in the Kate Daniels World and featuring Julie Lennart-Olsen, Kate and Curran's ward.

Atlanta was always a dangerous city. Now, as waves of magic and technology compete for supremacy, it’s a place caught in a slow apocalypse, where monsters spawn among the crumbling skyscrapers and supernatural factions struggle for power and survival.

Eight years ago, Julie Lennart left Atlanta to find out who she was. Now she’s back with a new face, a new magic, and a new name — Aurelia Ryder — drawn by the urgent need to protect the family she left behind. An ancient power is stalking her adopted mother, Kate Daniels, an enemy unlike any other, and a string of horrifying murders is its opening gambit.

If Aurelia’s true identity is discovered, those closest to her will die. So her plan is simple: get in, solve the murders, prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, and get out without being recognized. She expected danger, but she never anticipated that the only man she'd ever loved could threaten everything.

One small misstep could lead to disaster. But for Aurelia, facing disaster is easy; it’s relationships that are hard.

Cover Art: Luisa Preissler
Source: Info in the About Blood Heir was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54561555-blood-heir on 13/01/2021.

Buy Link(s):
  Audible Books

My Thoughts:
In the dedication, it said, "To the fans of Kate Daniels World who refuse to let it go." — Dang right! I refuse to let it go!! And, thank you!!!

This book was bought as soon as it was available to buy, so there was no audiobook then, and I was trying to read this book very, very slowly. As slow as I could stretch it! Make it last! The book still finished too fast for me. The pace is therefore, a 5 out of 5.

I was used to the eagle being Abra, reading Turgan instead is a little bit disorienting...

When the audiobook came out, of course it also got bought! I didn't like the sing-song in Suzanne Elise Freeman's narration. But I soon forgot about it as I sunk deeper into the story.

As usual Ilona Andrews delivers and I had a wonderful time reading this book! Now, it is post-great-book-depression waiting for the next book to come out .


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

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries


Meet The Author

About Ilona Andrews:
Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge.


Meet The Narrator

About Suzanne Elise Freeman:
Audiobook narrator and voiceover artist narrating books in multiple genres, including Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult, Mystery, and Romance.



FTC Disclosure:
The ebook and audiobook copies of the book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Friday, 5 March 2021

RELENTLESS

Relentless by Karen Lynch
Book 1 of the Relentless series
Read by Caitlin Greer
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Relentless:
Sara Grey’s world shattered ten years ago when her father was brutally murdered. Now at seventeen, she is still haunted by memories of that day and driven by the need to understand why it happened. She lives a life full of secrets and her family and friends have no idea of the supernatural world she is immersed in or of Sara’s own very powerful gift.

In her quest for answers about her father’s death, Sara takes risks that expose her and her friends to danger and puts herself into the sights of a sadistic vampire. On the same fateful night she meets Nikolas, a warrior who turns Sara’s world upside down and is determined to protect her even if it’s the last thing she wants.

Sara’s life starts to spin out of control as she is hunted by an obsessed vampire, learns that her friends have secrets of their own and reels from the truth about her own ancestry. Sara has always been fiercely independent but in order to survive now she must open herself to others, to reveal her deepest secrets. And she must learn to trust the one person capable of breaking down the walls around her.
Source: Info in the About Relentless was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20427449-relentless on 28/07/2019.

Buy Link(s):


My Thoughts:
Promising start to a new-to-me series.

This book is a coming-of-age story told subtly that it does not seem to be that at the first instance. Then it becomes obvious as the story goes along. I like Karen Lynch's author's voice. It is compelling enough to make me want to follow this series. The world building is believable and beautiful. So glad I stumbled into this series!

A Reader adds another layer of complexity to the story whether we like it or not. In my experience, a good Narrator can bring the story to life and make the listener experience the story with an additional texture that reading alone may not have given the story. The Narrator therefore has a great influence on the story for the listener. A bad Narrator can ruin a perfectly good book like Jonathan Oliver did to Perdido Street Station by China Miéville. Caitlin Greer did not exactly ruin this book. In fact, for the most part she did a good job. However, when she reads "ten" in the same tone as the rest of the sentence/paragraph and tells the listener that the "ten" was supposed to be squeaked, it leaves a lot to be desired.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4
Cover art = 3.5
Pace = 4
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 3

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


Meet The Author

About Karen Lynch:
Karen Lynch is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

She grew up in Newfoundland, Canada - a place rich in colorful people and folklore to which she attributes her love of the supernatural and her vivid imagination. She moved to Charlotte, North Carolina years ago and was immediately charmed by the southern people but she says she will always be a newfie.

Though she loves supernatural fiction, she has a soft spot for Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austin. She is a fan of classic rock, country and classical music but her favorite music is the sound of a good thunderstorm or a howling blizzard. Two of her favorite past times are baking artisan breads for her friends and spending quality time with her two German Shepherds.



FTC Disclosure:
The ebook and audiobook copies of the book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Saturday, 27 February 2021

TRINA


Trina by Sherry Foster
Book 2 in the Safe Haven Wolves series
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook


About Trina:
Trina is done hiding.

Jaden is done hunting.

Desperate to find a mate, but longing to track down her sister, Trina's journey begins. She had no idea the turn her life would take once her twin left home. The events that led up to her family going into hiding haven't changed. Because female shifters are rare, to be procured at all cost, Trina and her family remain on the run from those who would detain her. However, she is determined that her freedom is her own. She belongs to no one until she and her wolf both agree upon a mate. But the list of people after her has just gotten larger.

Jaden has no doubt the woman in saw in the dojo that day is his mate. For months now his wolf has been tearing up his insides in a need to claim her. The problem is, all traces of the girl disappeared the day they met. After exhausting every possible resource he has to find her, a glimmer of hope appears in the news in the form of wedding photos. Enraged to find his mate married to another he vows to make her a widow.

Will Jaden cross the wrong people in his journey to get his mate?

Can Trina stay free long enough to find Gabby?

Will their journeys bring them together or destroy any chance of them finding each other?

Pick up your copy and find out.
Source: Info in the About Trina was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40859421-trina on 03/11/2019.

Trina
My Thoughts:
I imagine Trina as someone like the Black Widow, only bristling with more weapons...

I don't like it when authors break their own magic rules. It destroys the "believability" factor in the story. It creates a "disconnect" to the rhythm or flow of the story. This book made me abandon this series for a long while. Which is sad because this book should have been the best in the series yet, because the heroine is bad-ass! She decided she is done with being hunted and started hunting the hunters! Really bad-ass!

I probably have said much of what I have to say about this book with my review of the previous book. However, it bears repeating that the story telling quality of this book is quite good! Good enough that I finished reading this book, despite my ire. Plus, I really like the premise of this series! Gammon gotta be my favourite bad-ass!

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 3.5
Story itself = 3.5
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 3.5
World building = 4
Cover art = 3
Pace = 2.5
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 cherries


Meet The Author

About Sherry Foster:
Sherry fell in love with reading when she was young and never lost her love of words on a page. She enjoys fantasy and science fiction along with a few other genres. She has two grown children and eight grandchildren who keep her on her toes.

She writes fantasy but has plans to branch out into other genres eventually.




FTC Disclosure:
The different formats of this book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Friday, 5 February 2021

DIAMOND FIRE

Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews
Book 3.5 of the Hidden Legacy series
Read by Renee Raudman and Emily Rankin
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobook


About Diamond Fire:
Nevada Frida Baylor and Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden.

Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan's extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.

To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn't do for her sister's happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done
Source: Info in the About Diamond Fire was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39320167-diamond-fire on 17/11/2018.

Buy Link(s):
 


My Thoughts:
Catalina has always been the quite one and it seems like we don't really see much of her. So it was interesting to read the story from her perspective... I wanted the story to be still about Nevada and Rogan, but I understand that, that story arc is now done. But, maybe this tangent story arc wouldn't be so bad... As usual, the story telling quality is compelling. The world building has been established a long time ago with book 1, and the wonderfulness of it is carried through in this book too. This book being a novella, is too short a read. So the pace is quite quick. The plot is thicker than I expected of an urban fantasy book, and a novella at that. Not much room to get twisty. Yet the author accomplished a thicker plot, which is a great bunos!

I've never listened to Emily Rankin before and I like the way she reads Catalina. Her young voice fits Catalina too. Her and Renee Raudman's performance is awesome!! Looking forward to listening to the next book in this series.

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

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 cherries


Hidden Legacy Books:
BURN FOR ME Book 2: WHITE HOT Book 3: WILDFIRE Book 3.5: DIAMOND FIRE Book 4: SAPPHIRE FLAMES Book 4.1: A MISUNDERSTANDING Book 4.2: PAY ME Book 5: EMERALD BLAZE Book 5.1: COOL AUNT Book 6: RUBY FEVER



FTC Disclosure:
The different formats of this book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 
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