Hunter's claim by S.E. Smith
Meet Hunter -- an overly large, cat-humanoid-alien dude who is a warrior for his alien species (aka the Trivators) who have recently occupied Earth. Unfortunately, he and his friends (like Dagger and Razor) are really crappy warriors and they fail at just about every mission they go on. It's through one of these failed missions that Hunter is captured and it's up to scrappy, survivalist Jesse to rescue him from his captors.
As thanks (?) for rescuing him, Hunter takes Jesse as Amate (note that it's not as "a mate"...but as "Amate". Original, yes?) which bonds him to her for the rest of his life. He can't seek relief from anyone else...not even from himself (in a so-called "relief room")...except from her. Nice to know that he asked her if she even wanted to be rescued and bonded to him forever before he did it, eh? Oh wait...he didn't ask. He just claimed her as his own and then started walking around naked.
But wait...there's more, folks. Hunter and crew take Jesse and her two sisters (convenient that Hunter has two friends and Jesse has two sisters, isn't it?) to the Trivators' home world...which is pretty much the USA. But in space. At least it seems to be...sadly, not much worldbuilding is done to really set up the Trivators' home world. So we are left to assume it's pretty much like Earth...just with big cat-humanoids and a male-centric society. But good thing everybody speaks English! And good thing there's no culture-shock after being essentially abducted and plopped down in an alien world!
I could go on...but I shan't...just in case you want to read the story. There are a few plot points that I could spoil, so I shall refrain. It's a bad book. It's so bad that it might be entertaining if you are in the mood for a campy read.
It seems as though the Kindle edition wasn't proofed at all. Spelling errors and awkward sentences abound...
I'm definitely disappointed...I was in the mood for a fun "Alien Meets Human" book. Not sure what I got instead...
Divine by Mistake by P.C. cast
Oh...I so wanted to like this book. Diving by Mistake is my second foray into P.C. Cast's writing...and it's the second time I've had to put a P.C. Cast book down (the first book was Goddess of Spring).
It's not that I didn't like the story...I mean, check out the back cover blurb:
The most excitement teacher Shannon Parker expected on her summer vacation was a little shopping. But then her latest purchase--a vase with the Celtic goddess Epona on it--somehow switches her into the world of Partholon, where she's treated like a goddess. A very temperamental goddess... It seems that Shannon has stepped into another's role as the Goddess Incarnate of Epona. And while it has some very appealing moments--what woman doesn't like a little pampering now and then?--it also comes with a ritual marriage to a centaur and the threat of war against the evil Fomorians. Oh, and everyone disliking her because they think she's her double.
Somehow Shannon needs to figure out how to get back to Oklahoma without being killed, married to a horse or losing her mind...
I mean...sounds interesting, right? I thought so. Definitely not your run of the mill marriage-to-a-horse (turns out to be not as creepy as it sounds) romances. Plus, I've seen Cast's writing style compared to Anne Bishop's as well...and since Bishop is one of my favorites, I definitely wanted to check Cast out. Well, there are similarities between the two...namely the strong female lead (but Bishop writes stronger leads), sense of humor and fondness for animals. But Cast's book didn't catch me like Bishop's books do.
With this book and with the previous Cast book I tried to read...I just couldn't finish it. Not that the writing was painful and not that the plot was bad. In fact, I started this book reading at a furious pace because it was funny, clever and really interesting. Then it went from 80 mph to a standstill in about five pages flat. It's like the book was stuck in mud spinning its wheels. The switch from "I care about this character" to "yeah...whatever" happened almost as instantaneously as well. What's weird is that the same exact thing happened with Goddess of Spring as well.
I have a feeling that the story/writing/everything picks back up eventually (because there's a lot of plot out there that needs to be wrapped up)...but I just couldn't make myself wade through the mire to get there.
So...had to put this one down. I would say, though...if the synopsis looks interesting to you then definitely check it out because you may not find the middle part to be sloggish like I did. Maybe I just picked up her books at the wrong time? Even though I didn't finish this one...still giving it two stars because of how much I did enjoy that first bit.
Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
I think I've realized that the back cover blurb (BCB) on the back of the Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB)books are only nominally descriptive. See, if we were to go by the BCB of this BDB book, we would expect a book dedicated to Vishous. And when a huge revelation about Vishous is discovered within the first fifty pages or so...you realize that yes Vishous needs an entire book to explore his background and progression within the main story arc.
As you read further, however, you realize that the BCB wasn't helpful at all. Yes, you do learn some more about Vishous. But an equal (if not more?) amount of time is spent on Phury and John. While I am looking forward to both of their books...this was a book about Vishous and I wanted to read about him. Instead, it seemed as though Vishous was relegated to the background for a lot of the book.
Because V seemed to be a "background character" at some points, his romance with Jane seemed about as deep as a parking lot puddle. And because the romance seemed contrived and based solely on lust (and, despite Jane's opinion otherwise, there may have been some Stockholm Syndrome at play here...), the big twist in their relationship at the end was kind of weird.
I don't mind that Ward tells a huge story in each of her books. And I understand that the books are going to feature all of the Brothers to some extent. I just wish that more time had been spent on V. Even compared to the earlier books...this installment seemed less focused and more of a filler novel.
And while I am looking forward to the next book which features Phury...I feel as though most of his story has already been told in Lover Unbound which makes me wonder if Phury's book will do the same as this one - focus on everyone but him.
The King by J.r. Ward
Available for purchase NOW.
Ok, so this one eeked through into the Weekly Newbie column. Just coming out this week, The King is J.R. Ward's latest installment in the extremely popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series.
Here's the Back Cover Blurb on this one (not really spoilery unless you haven't ready any of the BDB books...):
J.R. Ward's # 1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood continues as a royal bloodline is compromised by a grave threat to the throne.
Long live the King…
After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle--with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything--and everyone--at risk.
Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response--or the distance it creates between them.
The question is, will true love win out... or tortured legacy take over?
I picked this as the Weekly Newbie since I am currently immersed in Lover Unbound (the tale of Vishous - son of the Bloodletter) and am trying to catch up in this series. Obviously I have quite a long way to go as I am on book 5 and book 12 just came out...but I'm giving it a shot. It seems the general consensus is that readers are glad Ward is returning to the original BDB members. I'm not sure how it will be returning back to Wrath...are we coming completely back around now? Time to tackle generation number two? Not sure where Ward is taking this...but then again I am only on book five. Can't wait to...at some point...get to this one!
Whelp, it's been a pretty slow reading week. Ok, not really...but, I've been re-reading Anne Bishop's Written in Red since the new one in "The Others" series (Murder of Crows) just came out this Tuesday. While I wish Bishop would also revisit her "Black Jewels" series, her new urban fantasy series is setting up to be almost as great. Anyway...on to today's TBT post. Since the weather around here has been crazy these past few months (80+ degrees yesterday...but back down to the 40s today? Gotta be kidding me.(), this seemed like a fitting choice.
ill wind by Rachel Caine
Have you ever looked up at the sky (or shaken your fist at the Weather Channel) wondering what's up with the weather these days? Well, Rachel Caine gives you the explanation you were looking for: a select group of humans (called Wardens) who can control the various elements (like Weather, Fire, and Earth) are embroiled in a battle against themselves and Mother Nature as they try to regulate Nature's wrath upon the earth. Oh, and they harness the power of the aether (where they do their Warden-y stuff) with the help of captive Djinn, of course.
So, what happens when one Weather Warden, Joanne, discovers that she's been corrupted with a Demon Mark (which, as you may have guessed, is bad news for anyone let alone a Warden)? She seeks out the strongest Warden of them all - Lewis - who happens to be the only Warden who can harness all the elements, rather than just one. When her plans go awry, however, Jo stumbles across a mysterious hitchhiker named David and the two of them embark on a journey to not only save Jo from a certain death-by-demon-mark, but to also save the world.
Ok, so that's obviously a hugely generalized summary. I'm writing this review having read several books into the series and I don't want to give any future spoilers, so I will just stop there with the plot.
But, what a fun concept for a book/series. Caine does a great job with the world building...it comes across as the "real world" - especially since the average person doesn't realize that the Wardens are responsible for holding back Nature's wrath. Once she set up the general populace's ignorance, Caine was free to expand the Warden and the Djinn universe and she does so perfectly. From the aether to the Djinn to the crappy politics within the Warden's world, it comes across as just realistic enough to make it believable.
I found the Djinn concept to be really interesting as well. I'm glad Caine stayed away from the stereotypical genie (ie. Aladdin's genie or the like). These Djinn are more forbidding, more dangerous. Their enslavement to their Warden masters is an interesting element and puts a pall on the Wardens actions and will certainly be something Caine will address as the series progresses.
The writing style is a bit light and tad fluffy. If you are looking for an epic urban fantasy, this is probably not going to scratch that itch. This is pure escapist fiction and will probably be a quick read...but sometimes that is just the book you need.