Tag Archives: fantasy

Chasing Graves (Chasing Graves #1) – Book Review

Published Date: December 7, 2018

Publishing Co.: Bengalley.com (self-published)

Pages: 301

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

You call me Krass as an insult and yet you forget what that means to me. Our mothers don’t push when we’re ready to meet the world. We have to claw our way out, so we’re born fighting.”

There is supposed to be peace in death. Not in the city of Araxes. Your death is only beginning when you die here. Souls are bound and forced into indenturement, the pretty word for slavery. Living in such a city is cut throat, you either rise to power or die and make someone else more powerful, because in this city, the more shades you own, the more powerful you become. Thus, murder is a rampant way of life. There is money to be made in the selling of ghosts and there are rules about such things, but the whole city pretty much just flips a big middle finger to that.

Caltro Basalt arrives to the city in hopes of a lucrative lock picking job and is promptly murdered just minutes after stepping off the boat. However, Caltro won’t go quietly into servitude. He’ll bide his time and plot his freedom and revenge.

Nilith travels the desert, dragging her husband’s corpse to the city in order to bind him. Not out of love. His ghosts dogs her footsteps, bitching every step of the way.

Sisine is the Emperor’s daughter. The emperor has sealed himself away in the room he calls The Sanctuary as he doesn’t trust anyone not to kill him. Which is a valid worry as Sisine is desperately seeking more power and the seat he sits on.

I choose this book randomly while in a funk. I strayed from my TBR list and browsed ebooks, finally settling on this. I hadn’t heard much about it, there are pretty of glowing reviews, and I just wanted something I wasn’t expecting much from. I loved the concept and enjoyed my reading while never really falling in love with it. The ending isn’t exactly a cliffhanger so there are plenty of unanswered questions and much more to the story. Maybe one day I’ll pick up the next book and find out but currently, I’m not rushing to get it. I still think it’s a promising series.

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Book Review

Published Date: July 31, 2016

Publishing Co.: Little Brown

Pages: 343

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A Friday night well spent. (Yeah, I party hard. Who’s asking?)

Nineteen years after the ending of the original Harry Potter series, we’re thrust back in with our favorite characters, all still friends, all struggling at being parents. A new, or perhaps not so new, darkness is rising and this time, the new kids on the block are the ones fighting it. (Dating myself with that reference.)

I’ve never read a play before that wasn’t Shakespeare. (I’m cultured now.) For most of the story, I forgot that I was reading a play and not one of my favored books. Despite lacking the usual detail of a novel, I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I liked seeing Ron, Hermione, Harry and Ginny as parents and seeing how their children turned out. I have to say that I’m more than a bit disappointed in Rose Granger-Weasley, bit of a twat that one.

A quick and easy dose of the Potter-verse.

Bloody Rose (The Band #2) – Book Review

Published Date: August 28, 2018

Publishing Co.: Orbit

Pages: 515

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

https://cupcakesandmachetes.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/kings-of-the-wyld-book-review/

Owlbears, centaurs and satyrs, oh my!

Keeping the World of Warcraft theme from the first review going here.

Brune = shaman

Cura = warlock

Freecloud = paladin

Rose = warrior

Tam = hunter (minus the pet. Pretty much just the bow thing.)

What can I say but that I bloody love Bloody fucking Rose. Her and all the characters surrounding her. Tam Hashford was an excellent main character and I’m a sucker for a story from the bard’s point of view.

Newly appointed bard, Tam Hashford has barely ever left the town she was born in to her ex-mercenary parents. They were legends once but now Tam’s father refuses to let her do anything dangerous after her mother’s death, or anything much at all besides work. He doesn’t really even want to her to work at the tavern, but she makes good money so he grumbles to himself about it. What he doesn’t know is that the tavern and all the characters in it, her coworkers and all the mercenaries traveling through, are only inspiring her to go on her own grand adventure. With the unwanted help of her drunk, mercenary uncle, she unexpectedly becomes the new bard for the legendary band Fable.

There is another Horde forming, threatening to take out humanity and every band is heading in that direction to fight. Except Fable. They’ve got a contract somewhere else and a tour to finish and everyone is pissed that Bloody Rose isn’t going to fight for the good cause. Tam’s the new kid so she’s pretty much just along for the ride, there to witness anything legendary they might do and sing to the world about it later.

But sitting on the sidelines isn’t really Tam’s style. Sure, she’s happy to follow in her bard mother’s footsteps, but she’s half mercenary too. Where there is adventure, there are risks and risks lead to epic stories. This is Tam’s.

Eames impressed me with his first set of characters in KotW. I loved them all and they’ll never leave me, but the same goes with this new set. He’s just that good at creating characters. He’s good at everything really. Creature creations, descriptions, world building, epic writing, goofy references. The icing on the cake, appearances by some familiar faces.

Where’s book three?

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.

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.

tenor