Invisible Prison by Mary Buckham

Rating: 3 stars

Series: Invisible Recruits #0.5

I had high hopes for this and expected to love it because of all of the great reviews, but something about it fell flat. First of all since this was a novella, after introducing the characters and laying down the basic set up for the world building, there wasn’t a lot of room for developing the characters and making the mystery complex. It was good, but there wasn’t enough story there to make me love it.

Invisible Prison is the first in a series and is self published. For an indie author, the writing was excellent. There weren’t any glaring typos or any of the other myriad of errors that can occur which often make the reader wonder how on Earth it was possible that no one caught it before it was published. This appeared to be edited by someone with some know how.

Alex was the main character and the only one with any real depth. Still I didn’t get attached to the character either. There were a few characters that died during the story, but they were all so inconsequential during the story that their deaths had little impact. Basically I didn’t connect with any of the characters. At the heart of every story especially a series, strong characters matter.

FYI this did not have any kind of romantic angle. That doesn’t bother me if the story is done right, but a romance along with the mystery might have improved things. I’d probably enjoy the next book. Honestly nothing about this one was memorable, so reading the next one may never happen.

The Witch with No Name by Kim Harrison

Rating: 2 stars

Series: Hollows #13

Vampire drama was the focus of this story. The vampires are for the most part are selfish, heartless, and ruthless, so needing to save their souls wasn’t an endearing storyline. Going to Landon for help with the vamp soul issue was insane! It was so obvious he was going to use her and spin her problem to his advantage.

Aside from that I’ve always hated Ivy. She has been there for Rachel when she’s needed it, but she had no personality and seemed cold. Ivy and her girlfriend Nina were prominently featured in this installment much to my dismay. I feel the same way about Nina as I do Ivy except Nina has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Rachel’s desire to ensure Ivy’s happiness and survival caused her to act like an idiot on several occasions. Rachel is selfless and will do anything to protect those she loves; that’s why she put herself at risk for her. I get that. It’s who Rachel is, but couldn’t she have thought things through before acting on them? It would have saved her some trouble.

I really struggled to get through this book. It was agonizing. Regardless I had to finish the series, but to do that it was like I had to accept the ship was sinking and I was going down with it. Any attempt to save myself from this misery would have meant abandoning the book.

Rachel’s self doubt and insecurity was aggravating. This was the end of the series. I wanted at least some growth and maturity. Instead all I got was moaning and bitching about if Trent loved her enough to stay every 2 fucking pages. Why was she suddenly acting as if Trent was a saint? She questioned often if she was holding Trent back from his true potential as if he would be a better person without her. Trent was a self absorbed asshole (although I loved him that way) before Rachel came into his life. She is the one that made him a better man, so quit bitching!
Oh Trent! What happened to him? I loved him since book 1. I wanted to throw book 4 against the wall (partly) because he wasn’t in it. He was strong, confident, and independent. He was a bad ass. Why did being in a relationship turn him into a sap? It’s not fun now that Trent’s sole purpose is to support Rachel. It’s good that he supported her, but he needed to find the balls to be his own man too. IDK what it was but he wasn’t as charming as before. I wasn’t drawn to him. He’s still a great character and will always be one of my top book boyfriends, but this was the first time I ever felt meh about him.

The story did pick up somewhat around 75%. That’s when problems with the ever after, demons, and elves finally tied in with the vampire storyline. It did tie up nicely. The suffering I endured en route to the happy ending is more prevalent in my mind than the ending. The last chapter was more like an epilogue. I really could have lived without that. I prefer it when my urban fantasy doesn’t end with every character in domestic bliss or professional success. This was not a favorite of mine in the series, but this was not bad enough or so out of sync that it has altered my perception of the rest of the series. Since this was the final book, I was hoping for something more spectacular.