Tag Archives: Book Reviews

Blood Heir (Aurelia Ryder #1) – Book Review

Publishing Date: January 12, 2021

Publishing Co.: NYLA

Pages: 359

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Eight years after the end of the Kate Daniels saga, we return to a much different Atlanta under the disguise of a stranger. Or least, that’s how it appears. Really the person with a different face, different voice, different scent, different name, is Julie, Kate’s adopted daughter. She gallops into town on her carnivorous horse, Tulip. A prophecy has been foretold of Kate’s death at the hands of a newly resurrected god and if Kate knows that Julie is in Atlanta, the future becomes more certain, Kate will die.

Julie has spent the last eight years becoming as powerful as she possibly can to protect those she loves and those who need it most. She has spent the last four of those eight years doing everything she can to change the results of the prophecy. This is her last chance. If she fails, the woman who saved her from the streets will perish from this world forever.

Trying to stop a god, in your hometown, without being noticed, has it’s problems. Not everyone can be fooled by her disguise no matter the precautions she takes, and those people threaten to blow her cover. The last person she needs to find out about her return home is the man she loved, but it’s harder than hell to hide things from a werewolf.

I am not disappointed. Kate Daniels left big shoes to fill and her predecessor jumped into both boots, ax swinging and power words on her lips. Where’s book two?

Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) – Book Review

Published Date: August 28, 2018

Publishing Co.: ACE

Pages: 336

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The triumphant (see what I did there) conclusion to one of my favorite urban fantasy series of all time.

As if it’s not bad enough that you’re about to go to war with your own father, another heavy hitter with a personal vendetta against your family shows up and demands his very own war on your world. Plus, your thirteen month old son is beginning to express his potential magic. Such is the life of Kate and her soulmate Curran.

These two separate but equally deadly wars will take everything they have in their arsenal to keep their son alive and save the people they love, but the opposing armies are massive and Atlanta is going to have to come together if it wants to survive. Enemies must become allies or face certain annihilation.

It has been a long, exciting journey to this ending and I was so pleased that it finished on a great note. I don’t expect that it will be the very last we’ll see of Kate and Curran as their world is expanding to other series and for that I’m grateful. This has been some of the best world building I’ve seen in any urban fantasy universe. The characters were addicting and the magic system equally enticing. Ilona Andrews are a dynamite writing couple. They have yet to fail me and I suspect I’ll be running off to purchase their latest release that continues Julie’s narrative.

Best Books of 2020

If nothing else, this year was decent for reading. Even though I took time off of reviewing, I remained a pretty strict rater. Not a lot of books made 5 stars for me this past year. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading more by not forcing myself to do any challenges, not pushing myself to review anything, and just going with whatever my mood called for. I am a mood reader and I must accept that and stop forcing myself to into any reading boxes.

In no particular order, here are my favorites from 2020:

I’m almost done with Dune Messiah, I plan to finish it tomorrow night, and I am just going to go ahead and name my top two books of 2020 as such:

What were some of your top reads of 2020?

November 2020 in Books

My little black Christmas tree went up yesterday. It’s prelit with white lights but I added green to give it a Type O Negative kind of vibe. 😀

This past week has been very rocky. My coworker tested positive with Covid-19. He feels okay other than getting tired very easily. The rest of us tested negative at this time, but we’re all worried that it’s just the incubation period. We will see what this next week brings.

Onto books!

5 out of 5 stars – I went into this with little expectation given things I had heard and came out on the other end absolutely loving this book. If you don’t like political intrigue, I could see how you would say that this is boring or drawn out. However, if you’re like me and you dig that sort of thing, baby dive on in!

4 out of 5 stars – One of my favorite space opera series. The character building is always so great and the world encompassing those characters is always original. I feel like it may have been overshadowed by Dune but I still had a good time reading it.

Science Fiction unrelated to books:

Mr. C&M and I endulged in HBO’s Lovecraft Country. Other than there being plenty of horror, there was also quite a bit of science fiction. This series is incredibly brutal and gorey for anyone not into that sort of thing. We found it absolutely fascinating.

How was your November? Science fiction related or otherwise.

Fourth Week of October

Ah, the grand finale of what proved to be the best month of 2020. In my opinion at least, although, the rest of 2020 hasn’t left much for comparison. :3

5 out of 5 stars – I forgot to include this in my books last week so here it is. I took this book to leave at work every day back in March and I finally finished it. (I didn’t feel like reading every day on my lunch.) This was a great account of the women who shaped the frontier of Kansas through their own words. I learned new things about frontier life that I didn’t previously know and enjoyed the random pictures to accentuate the stories. Especially the picture of turkeys in harnesses pulling a child’s carriage that had zero accompanying information.

5 out of 5 stars – I felt the need to read a non-fiction book while trying to stay in the spooky lane and that brought me to serial killers. I only owned one book that fit the bill. This was my first Harold Schechter full length novel. He comes highly recommended by Marcus of Last Podcast on the Left, so of course, that peaked my interest. I was not disappointed. It was thoroughly researched and yet the writing style kept it fresh, avoiding boring explanations. This was the first ebook I’ve read with scrolling pictures and animation, which made it all the more fun.

Up until Halloween, we backed off of movies to check out:

Let me say that this was very well written and enjoyable in one aspect, however, we did not find it spooky in the slightest. It was actually incredibly DEPRESSING more than anything. So you’ve been forewarned if you decide to move forward with watching this.

Halloween is Mr. C&M and I’s wedding anniversary. Without needing to say it but saying it anyway, Covid has made things different. Trick or treating was not canceled here but we decided to not hand out candy this year anyway. No virus-y little kid hands here, thank you.

Instead, we started the day off with pumpkin cinnamon rolls and our favorite horror movies;

We then made our way to the cidermill, with the intention that, should there be too many people we would bail. Luckily, there were only around 10 people on the entire property, so we snagged our donuts and apple cider, feed a few animals some grain and headed home.

We got carry out later from one of our favorite breweries that we are lucky enough to live by and then preceeded to stream on Mr. C&M’s Twitch channel a full run of Castle Crashers. I’ve never sat down and beat a game from start to finish, and to do that with my husband was a lot of fun.

Lesson here is, the holidays are going to be weird this year, just make the most of them. There are still plenty of ways to make great memories. Get creative!

How was your overall October experience?

Second Week of October

Welcome back ghouls and ghosts to the next stop in the October train of fun! Spooky movies, tasty treats and autumn adventures were had!

2 out of 5 stars – This novel frequently comes up on horror story lists so I read a sample, it seemed like it might be something so I bought it. Ultimately, it was kind of a dud. It’s not bad but it’s not much to write home about. The ending made little sense. So all-in-all, I would avoid this one if you’re looking for a spooky read.

I also purchased Malice of Crows for $1.99 in ebook format.

Mr. C&M and I hit the movies hard this week and it’s been great:

We’re both huge Chucky fans and only sick curiosity and the fact it was free on Prime got us to watch this. That being said, it wasn’t the train wreck that we had expected. It’s an alright movie but it’s no original.

Somehow, in all my life, I’ve never heard of this movie. It’s 80’s horror perfection and I loved every second of it. Highly recommend.

Another classic 80’s horror movie that I had somehow missed. (This whole endeavor has made me realize that I may have to continue this horror movie extravaganza far past Halloween.) I also thoroughly enjoyed this one and would recommend it.

For all the years that I have been with Mr. C&M, he’s talked about an edition of this movie with Type O Negative music over-layed it. This year he finally tracked down a copy and purchased it. (Only later to find out that it was on YouTube for free. Doh!) Again, I had never seen this, original or Type O version. It was fun.

That can of pumpkin was nagging at me from the cupboard so before heading out to see a couple of people, I whipped up some pumpkin cookies with cream cheese frosting. It’s a recipe that never fails and you can find it here.

We ended the week with a nice hike through some local trails with a friend and his dog that are moving out of state soon. The day started off very cold but it warmed up while we were on the trails. It was a beautiful day and we hiked 2.5 miles. We thought this might actually wear Samus out but she took a nap and woke up ready to play again. :3

How has the last week treated you??

September 2020 in Books

September proved to be a busy little beaver of a month. October is looking much the same. I did manage to squeeze in 2 books for September. (I probably could have fit another in but with a planned trip in our near future, I didn’t want to start anything quite yet.)

4 out of 5 stars – I FINALLY caught up on this duology thanks to my BFF. I thoroughly enjoyed myself until the end, in which they had to do something to royally piss me off. Not in a bad ending way, just something I did NOT want to happen. This didn’t quite feel like an ending to me though. I feel like the author could easily pick up the story again and add onto it as she felt necessary.

3 out of 5 stars – The world building and even some of the characters were actually very promising and could have possibly kept me going with the series. However, this is one of those series where each book is based on a different couple and those just tend to lose me. LOTS of cheesy sex descriptions in this one. Throbbing members and molten cores and what not.

Books Purchased:

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse – $1.99

TOTAL: $1.99

I’m hoping to post more in October. It’s my favorite month of the year and I had fun posting weekly updates last year. The intention is there to do this, now hopefully will power follows through. It’s 2020, I just can’t promise anything. 😛

We’re off to spend a few days for bow season with my dad. I’m so excited to get away I can barely flocus at work. :3

What are your plans for October??

August 2020 in Books

Three books is far better than the 1 book I read all of July. 😛

What can I say of August? Not a whole hell of a lot really. I’m ready and willing to head straight into autumn now thank you.

The first weekend in September will have me seeing my BFF FINALLY after 5 months of not seeing her other than on FaceTime.

By the way, I highly recommend drinking and FaceTime weekly with your favorite friend. It is the perfect way to finish out a week.

Anywho, onto the books!

4 out of 5 stars – This was a fun comic about villains and sidekicks. Nimona was a very fun, feisty character who found her way into many shenanigans.

4 out of 5 stars – I went into this not expecting much despite all the hype surrounding it and found myself pleasantly surprised. I found some scenes a bit hard to follow but I’m not sure it wasn’t just my attention span at the time. I will check out the next book.

5 out of 5 stars – The winning book of the month. I really enjoyed my time exploring this world and learning the beginning of Drizzt. I think I may just hop directly into the next book.

Books Purchased:

Roar by Cora Carmack – $1.00

Tarnished City by Vic James – $1.00

TOTAL: $2.12

I ALMOST made it all of August not buying a single book, but alas, I just had to walk by the book section of the dollar store. I’m always surprised when I find familiar books there and absolutely cannot resist picking them up. I MEAN THEY’RE ONLY $1. I haven’t even read the first book by Vic James BUT I own it and know I would be mad at myself for not picking the second book up for so cheap especially if I end up liking the series.

BOOK WYRM PROBLEMS.

What treasures have you found at the dollar store lately?

July 2020 in Books

And another and another and another….

Evening folks! I tried to make this post a few days ago but I apparently choose a time when WP decided it would not be working. This, of course, was after I had written the entire post and then could not save it for later. Good times!

I read ONE WHOLE book all of July!

I would like to pretend that it was a whopper to make myself feel better, HOWEVER, I’ve read much bigger so lying to myself doesn’t do me any good. :3

He he he.

4 out of 5 stars – Sentient spiders versus the last of humanity. Does one really need more of a description? If you’re looking for light and fluffy, feel good reads to help get you through current times, don’t read this. This is dark and makes you contemplate your own death numerous times. Or at least it did for me.

Books Purchased:

Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell – $1

Total spent: $1.06

August plans: In general, I’m looking to lay low and not do a whole lot. One of the girls at work is leaving and we haven’t hired a replacement yet. Plus, multiple other people are going on vacation so it’s looking to be QUITE busy at the pharmacy for the next month.

What are your plans for August??

June 2020 in Books

A surprising amount of reading happened in June. Granted, many of them were smaller books, they still count!

4 out of 5 stars – I actually finished this the very last day of May but I had already done my May books post. If there is a strong female lead in an urban fantasy series, you bet your sweet honey ass I’m going to give it a go. I read the first book in this series years ago and enjoyed it, but it wasn’t something I was dying to get the next book. After book two, I feel much the same. I enjoy it, I’ll pick it up when it’s on sale, but I’m not rushing to purchase the next installment.

5 out of 5 stars – I couldn’t decide what I felt like reading so Ignited Moth kindly decided for me. This book has been sitting on my TBR shelf for roughly 6 years. I am so glad that I finally made the time to read it because it was splendid. Have you ever heard me call a book ‘splendid’? Probably means you should read it ASAP.

3 out of 5 stars – During this pandemic, I decided to bring a book for lunch reading that just stays as work to lower any chance of someone putting their filthy virus hands on it. (I’ve decided on all selections being something I’m not in a rush to read.) This is an easy, peasy read that I have described as a “cozy Southern murder mystery.”

4 out of 5 stars – Not my favorite Alpha & Omega installment but I still thoroughly enjoyed myself and the drama of Bran’s disappearance was riveting, since he’s never bailed on the pack before.

Rants From the Hill (Pictured above)

4 out of 5 stars – An educational, fun essay collection from an environmentalist who lives out in the high desert of the United States. It’s a different world out there but the author manages to make it sound magical and just as important as all other ecosystems out there that have better reputations.

4 out of 5 stars – Dina is forced (kind of) to host an intergalactic summit at her inn. The inn requires guests to thrive and so she must accept a deal that no other inn on Earth would. She’s not sure she’s powerful enough to keep the peace between three warring factions from another planet, but her little dog Beast is there to help her try.

4 out of 5 stars – The inn’s latest guests are a race of aliens who have been hunted to near extinction by another close by planet. If there is one thing Dina can’t resist, it’s helping out the underdog. Not to mention, rescuing her sister and niece from a barren planet exiled from the rest of the galaxy. Just another week at the inn.

Books Purchased:

Succubus On Top b y Rachel Mead $1.99

Imprudence by Gail Carriger $1.00

Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne & Delilah S Dawson $1.99

Total Spent: $5.04 (Only $1.06 came out of my actual pocket. The rest were still on my amazon giftcard that has lasted me forever.)

I’m currently at 25 out of 30 books for my Goodreads 2020 Challenge. I see no reason I won’t get 5 more books in by the end of the year.

How are you doing on your 2020 bookish goals??