Tag Archives: fantasy

The Desert Spear (Demon Cycle #2) – Book Review

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Published Date: April 13, 2010

Publishing Co.: Del Rey

Pages: 579

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Warded Man – Book Review

Trigger warning.

Yeah, I’ve never done that in a review. Ever. It needs to be done though because dear God was there a lot of rape in this. In the first 275 pages, rape either happens to someone or a past rape is mentioned at least six times. About half way through the book I almost quit, despite everything else being very well written and intriguing with a kick ass magic system, because man was I tired of reading about rape.

If I pretend like I didn’t have to read about all the rape, the world building continues to be incredible in this series. In this book, we’re given a look at another character’s world at the beginning. (Granted it’s this character’s POV that provides the majority of the rape.) While a lot of readers complained about not liking Jardir’s POV and wanted to get back to their favorites, I enjoyed this side of the world. (Minus all the rape.) I had the luxury of having read the first book almost two years ago though, so I wasn’t itching to be back with the OGs. I can understand the irritation if you jump right from book one to book two. This side of the world provided an Arab-infused fantasy style that was truly different to read.

Here, both sides travel closer to war. One side believing themselves divine and uniting the tribes in order to destroy all demons together in the coming ‘holy’ war. The other side is trying to avoid war with a people who believe them all lesser because they don’t commit their lives to destroying demons. (Although thanks to Arlen, are becoming much more proficient in dealing with demons, not just hiding behind wards during the night.)

I’m invested. Despite my complaints, I need to know what ultimately happens in this world. Hopefully next time I don’t have to read through a bunch of rape to find out. Seriously, this book would have been so much stronger without all of that. Using rape as a plot device for character growth (for almost every main character) just screams amateur hour.

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Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) – Book Review

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Published Date: September 20, 2016

Publishing Co.: Ace

Pages: 328

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Good man. Only two kinds of people drink their coffee black: cops and serial killers. Sit, sit.”

I wanted fun, adventurous and snarky to start the new year off right and as usual, a Kate Daniels novel always delivers.

The witch oracle is seeing visions of the future. A dark future that Kate is willing to do anything to stop. If she marries Curran, her father kills him. If she doesn’t marry Curran, her father kills their future son. Adding to her stress, her father is frequently poking their uneasy truce. Kidnapping people when they leave Atlanta, teaching Julie how to become a Herald and eventually a Warlord for Kate, making demands on the wedding, etc. The presence of war is a constant companion to Kate, all the while her best friend is about to give birth and Roman is constantly bugging her to pick things out for the wedding. Kate is a volcano of anxiety.

As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Which means, doing some things that Curran won’t approve of and can’t know about because they’re so dangerous, he would definitely try to stop her. There are no lengths that Kate won’t go to to save his and their future son’s lives, and this means testing the magnitudes of her power while almost being consumed and controlled by it. She has to hang on to her humanity while fighting with every ounce of strength to stop her father.

As if that isn’t enough for one person to handle, there is also the personal truth that she wishes she didn’t have to kill her father, but when it comes down to him versus Curran, she’ll choose Curran every time. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a deep seeded sadness around the decision.

The emotional turmoil embedded with the happiness of the ones you love surrounding you and willing to come to your aid is real in this installation of the series. I can’t imagine the punch the last book in the series is going to have, while at the same time, I never want it to end.

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Best Books of 2018

Happy New Year friends and fellow book fiends! Each year I usually end up with a list of top reads only about 5 books long, 2018 brought a year of at least 10 to make the top so let’s get to it shall we?!

These are in no particular order because this girl can’t see fit to place any one of these above another:

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If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a dozen times that Ilona Andrews is the way to go for Urban Fantasy. I was SO excited when I found out that this series would be longer than originally expected.

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A sub-genre of fantasy called flintlock fantasy, which I find that I like very much. Interesting world building and compelling characters.

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My favorite debut author of 2018. This was a side of fantasy you don’t see too often and the plot was riveting. How many times when the characters are stuck in one location do you start to become bored? Not here. It adds to the layer of desperation the characters are feeling and the political intrigue will make you forget that they never leave the city.

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My other favorite debut author of the year. I can’t push this book enough. Imagine cowboys but they ride hippos. Also, imagine an all inclusive cast of people you don’t see a lot of in any genre.

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This wins the award for DARKEST read of the year. If you’ve been hanging around this blog for awhile, you’ll know that I love dark. Not only is it darkest read of the year, it may just be darkest read YET.

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Historical fiction + pirates + kick ass heroine + paranormal = damn good time.

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My Kick Ass Sci-Fi Heroine of the Year award goes to Hail Bristol. Femme fatale queen of interplanetary war.

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My surprise favorite of the year. I expected to like it but not as much as I did. If lady scientist fighting against sexism while studying dragons doesn’t interest you than stay the fuck away from this book.

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Once a fan of the Red Rising universe, always a fan.

Did you read any of the books on this list? If so, what did you think? What books made your top list of the year?

 

Early Christmas Book Haul

Mr. Cupcakes & Machetes isn’t very good at holding out when it comes to giving presents. To be fair though, he had me pick out the books so it’s not like I didn’t already know what I was getting. I’ll consider myself lucky that I don’t have to wait to dig into one of these bad boys if I so choose. Bookoutlet.com was having a 30% off sale on Black Friday and I was drooling in front of the screen so he kindly said, “Buy all the books!”

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Books I’m Thankful For

Well isn’t that a hard list to whittle down?! I’m jumping on the thankful for books bandwagon because really, can you thank books enough? I think not.

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I have accepted the fact that the only way I’m going to know how this story ends is via the tv show. I still have to thank GRRM though for getting me into epic fantasy. This one series has lead me to so many wonderful books that it would be supremely rude to ignore it just because I’m bitter that the next book still isn’t out.

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This isn’t the first Chuck Palahniuk book I read, but it is my favorite. The wonderful world of Palahniuk can’t be described, it can only be experienced.

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The first book in the series is not my favorite BUT this series is my absolute favorite Urban Fantasy world. This was also my introduction to the Ilona Andrews world and that is not something this girl regrets.

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From the start to finish, this is an excellent trilogy. It was also my introduction to Brandon Sanderson and he’s now on my Must Read Everything By This Author list.

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I am thankful for this book for it’s ability to be both wonderful fantasy and light, fluffy fun. The fact that it hardcore reminds me of World of Warcraft helps too.

Well that’s my list book fiends! What books are you most thankful for??

C&M’s Favorite Paranormal Novels of Past

This is going to be a little more eclectic collection of novels. Some of them could also be considered horror but they’re getting slapped on my paranormal list. I’ve started my first horror novel of the season, Dracula, because believe it or not, I haven’t read it.

 

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Yeah, I know, I won’t shut up about this series,

“Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker’s wife belongs to a secret order of assassins. And a shady saloon owner, whose fingers are in everyone’s business, may know more about the town’s true origins than he’s letting on.

A haven for the blessed and the damned, Golgotha has known many strange events, but nothing like the primordial darkness stirring in the abandoned silver mine overlooking the town. Bleeding midnight, an ancient evil is spilling into the world, and unless the sheriff and his posse can saddle up in time, Golgotha will have seen its last dawn…and so will all of Creation.”

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Continue reading C&M’s Favorite Paranormal Novels of Past

A Natural History of Dragons (The Memoirs of Lady Trent #1) -Book Review

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Published Date: February 5, 2013

Publishing Co.: Tor

Pages: 334

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Humans have yet to scientifically study dragons. Yes, they do exist but little is known about them. There are various species and many have theorized about them and their habits but none have mounted an expedition to do the actual research.

Isabella has been obsessed with dragons since a young age, even narrowly escaping the wrath of one has never deterred her from her fascination. Trapped by her gender, the most her father hopes for her is that she’ll find a decent husband who will let her read books. (Holy fucking shit is that a depressing thought.) She is lucky enough to attract a husband who also likes dragons and has little interest in keeping a wife on a leash. (Pheeew!)

They befriend an earl who is putting together an expedition to study a breed of dragons called Vastryan rock wyrms. Again, luck is in Isabella’s corner and the earl likes feisty women and sees no difference in women’s intelligence compared to men. He also happens to be fond of Isabella’s husband, Jacob, and invites Jacob along on the journey. Clever girl that she is, Isabella convinces them to bring her along for her organizational and drawing skills.

Thus, begins their first adventure in studying dragons for science. It is fraught with peril, strange lands, bizarrely behaving dragons, and hostile villagers.

This is the first memoir written by Isabella years after she has proved herself a notorious scientist. People know the basics of her grand adventures but here, she gives a more detailed and honest account of how these things happened.

I enjoyed this more than I expected to. I was in the mood for dragons and feisty women and this definitely delivered. The artwork mixed throughout the novel was charming. If I had the second book on hand, I would have jumped right in.

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The Court of Broken Knives (Empire of Dust #1) – Book Review

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Published Date: June 27, 2017

Publishing Co.: Orbit

Pages: 512

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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I’m probably going to over simplify the fuck out of this as I’m having a hard time deciding how to review it.

The plot line is pretty straight forward. Sellswords are hired to kill the Emperor. They either succeed or they fail. (I’m not going to ruin any twists.) After which, they create a new plan to make lots of money next. There is betrayal and an epic battle.

When you step away from the plot, the characters are fairly complex. It’s hard to get to know them because no one is safe in this story. Many times they die just when you’re starting to figure them out. Marith, the main character, has secrets upon secrets. He’s a prince disguised as a mercenary, running away from his past. His past being the most intriguing thing about him. I struggled through the first 27% but when Marith started losing control, things got better.

The writing style can be off putting at first, very repetitive, but you do adjust and eventually it just flows.

There was an inconclusive ending, which I found to be the most disappointing part of the novel. I don’t expect to have all the answers to a series at the end of the first book, but I felt I was left with nothing and no cliffhanger to keep me wondering what happens next. (Look at me, complaining about a lack of cliffhangers. I must not be feeling well.)

Overall, I found it to be a pretty solid read.

Three Things Tag!

Judas Priest, I have not felt like blogging lately. I sat down to do this last night and promptly decided, fuck that. My reading has been slow and I’ve had a damn hard time finding the supplies for my new hobby I’m trying to take up and it’s all making me incredibly grouchy.

Anywho, enough grouchin’. Onto this fun tag that Ignited Moth shared.

3 READ ONCE & LOVED AUTHORS:

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Patricia Briggs. This lady writes one of my favorite urban fantasies. The Mercy Thompson series. She also has a few other epic fantasy novels that I’m slowly working on. When I started the Mercy series, I read everything that had been released back to back, which something I never do with series.

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R.S. Belcher. I feel like this author is not very well known and he so very deserves to be. When I read The Six-Gun Tarot – Book Review, it knocked me on my ass. 

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Debut author Sarah Gailey really struck a chord with me when I read American Hippo. I just cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. (Although, I so very hope it is in the American Hippo world!)

3 TITLES I’VE WATCHED BUT HAVEN’T READ:

 

3 CHARACTERS YOU LOVE:

Prince Jorg Ancrath from the Broken Empire trilogy by Mark Lawrence. He’s the extreme anti-hero. The very best anti-hero I’ve read thus far.

Maude Stapleton from the Golgotha series by R.S. Belcher. She belongs to a secret order of female bad asses.

Darrow from the Red Rising series. He’s such a conflicted character. He makes a lot of mistakes but he learns from them. Great character growth.

3 BINGED SERIES:

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I don’t binge read series often, there is usually something in between every book but these three series are probably the closest I’ve come.

3 UNPOPULAR BOOKISH OPINIONS

  1. I’m going to steal Ignited Moth’s answer here. I’ve never understood people’s problems with prologues. To me, it’s just another chapter, on with the story!
  2. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I understand the reasoning, I really do. I’ve read some great books with horrible cover art BUT I still judged it hard before I read it.
  3. Erotica sucks.

3 CURRENT FAVORITE BOOKS COVERS:

3 GOALS FOR THE YEAR

Ooof, that took a turn to un-book related territory.

One, save enough money for our vacation in December to really enjoy ourselves and not have to worry about the bank account.

Two, get my hands on some pallets so I can start this damn woodworking project I’ve been dying to get into.

Three, start planning my goals for next year. It’s right around the corner!

Okay kids, this is where  you tag yourself to have a little fun and spread the tag love.

Something Red (Something Red #1) – Book Review

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Published Date: June 18, 2013

Publishing Co.: Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Pages: 336

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

DNF @ page 93.

Since it’s such a short book, I really thought I could push through and write a full review. However, it was just so bland and generic fantasy (people traveling through the wild with something evil lurking about) that I had no interest in what happened. In fact, if the monster would have just hurried up and ate everyone and we were thrown to a different set of characters (ones who were much more interesting), I may have continued.

The best part of the section of the book that I read was the monk sanctuary where the characters stayed for a few days. Warrior monks, providing sanctuary for travelers in a dangerous forest would have been a better premise for the novel as well.

It still gets two stars because there is talent here and I can see how other people might enjoy it. For myself however, I had zero desire to sit down and read it. In fact, I had to force myself to get to page 93 and while I’m annoyed at myself because I could easily finish it, I just don’t want to waste anymore of my own time. I have better books waiting.