Rating: 4 stars
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #2
I devoured this book. Read it all in one sitting. It was different than the usual type of Ilona Andrews book. The lighthearted and fun vibe of Clean Sweep was replaced with a pervasive feeling of melancholy and sometimes anger. Dina was on her own. Hosting the summit came with a large amount of responsibility. As the summit progressed it felt like everyone was using her in one way or another which made her lonely and wistful for the past.
Although this was different and wasn’t my favorite Ilona Andrews book, I still really liked it. I thought Dina was easy to relate to for me anyway. I have a lot of my own issues with missing family either because they’re dead or living far away, so her loneliness made sense to me. Growing up with a close knit family and losing it is hard.
At first I was so happy to see George from the Edge series, but George grew up to be an asshole. Now that he’s an adult, he’s an arbitrator, so he was in charge of the summit. The reasons he did what he did made perfect sense, but he operated under the philosophy of the ends justify the means. I was pissed at the end because there weren’t severe consequences for what he did.
Sean who was MIA for most of the book was greatly missed both by me and Dina. Their relationship didn’t get the chance to develop, but hopefully it’ll be better for the two of them in the next book. The other potential love interest from Clean Sweep, Arland was around because of the summit. The vibe between him and Dina was totally different this time. He was there in professional capacity only.
Most of the humor came from two side characters: Caldenia and Orro. Caldenia is the inn’s permanent resident. She is hilarious and a bad ass. I desperately want to know more about her. Orro was a new character. Dina needed a chef for the inn, and he was the only qualified person she could find for a cheap price. Orro cracked me up. His monologue in the kitchen was one of my favorite scenes in the whole book.
There was an overabundance of recapping. I reread Clean Sweep right before reading this so maybe too much was fresh on my mind and it felt unnecessary to have it all rehashed again. Not much new was discovered about Dina’s family. Even some hints would be nice because WTF happened to her parents? Things were definitely looking up at the end, so I can’t wait to see where things are headed.
Rating: 2.5 stars
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Cinder was a cyborg, and cyborgs were a degenerate group of humans according to the “normal” humans. Cyborgs were hated for being cyborgs. No valid reason was given. Haters gonna hate so apparently no backstory was necessary. This didn’t fly with me. Cyborgs were made after a critical injury that otherwise would have killed the person. It seems like saving lives should be a good thing, and if cyborgs were inferior why keep making them? It all boils down to extremely shitty world building.
All of the major plot points were incredibly predictable. Early on in the book Cinder was forced into a situation that killed all other cyborgs. What? Was I actually supposed to believe that the main fucking character was just a regular joe who would die? Yeah, well, it didn’t work. The special MC trope is overused and isn’t hard to spot. And the memories from the early part of Cinder’s life were missing. Shortly after it was mentioned that a person vital to saving the world had been missing. Hmmm… I wonder what that could mean?
Now onto the highlight of this amazingly original tale: the romance. Cinder and the prince met. Then they had several chance encounters after that. No witty banter ensued nor any in depth conversations, but yet they were drawn to each other. Why? I don’t get it. It’s not like the chemistry was oozing off the page.
The characters needed work. Cinder was okay but did a few things that were obviously going to backfire. Prince Kai seemed like an average teenage kid. I expected him to be more refined and sophisticated. Apparently he didn’t learn much from his father about being king. Diplomacy was not his forte. He had poor self control in regards to controlling his emotions. Being an effective king involves knowing when and when not to say what you really think. The lunar queen was just pure evil but not in an interesting way. She bored me.
There isn’t really much else to say about this. I didn’t hate it. I wasn’t bored, but I don’t want to read the next one either.
Rating: 4 stars
I was sucked into the story from the start. The suspense was killing me. I had to know what was going to happen next, so I pulled an all nighter to finish it. Basically this was a revenge romance. Michael and Rika never really had a relationship, but the two of them were just drawn to each other. The sparks flew when they were together even when they weren’t being nice. No matter what the fuck was going on I found myself shipping them.
The sex scenes were hot and a little edgy. One particular scene may be a deal breaker for some people, but I don’t think it was in the story just for shock value. It totally fit with the game Michael and Rika had going on. The point was to up the game, to push the boundaries, and they did that. It was glorious.
Michael and Rika had a long, complicated history, but on devil’s night 3 years ago things went horribly wrong. Rika wanted to move on with her life, but Michael and his friends couldn’t let go of the past and wanted Rika to pay. There were two concurrent storylines: one in the past and one in the present. For quite a while I had no clue what was going on in either of them. The past and present was also told from both Michael and Rika’s perspective. I loved getting glimpses into both of their heads but Michaels in particular. What was going on in his head was often totally different than how he acted. Sometimes I loved Michael and other times I hated him.
This would have been a 5 star book if there had been a mindfuck at the end. I kept waiting for it, and it never happened. I didn’t have everything figured out, but I thought the person who caused all the chaos on devil’s night was obvious. The bad guy was too transparent, but it didn’t ruin anything for me. The only other thing that could have been better was how Rika handled things after the big reveal. She was too forgiving way too fast. Aside from those minor issues the story was damn good.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: Everything I Left Unsaid #2
I liked this more than the first one. Dylan and Annie actually had time together and really got to know each other as opposed to the first book where most of their interactions were via text or the phone. It was irritating that they both went back and forth about whether they really loved each other or not all because of self doubt.
As much as I liked Annie, she didn’t always make the best choices. It was understandable that she didn’t want to completely rely on Dylan at the very beginning of their relationship, but by refusing to leave the trailer park she put herself in a lot of danger. If she had the common sense to have moved away, most of the drama and danger wouldn’t have been necessary.
I would have liked this more but everything was too perfect at the end. Dylan’s family was filled with nothing but troubled people. All of their issues were resolved in a calmer manner than I was expecting, and it was far too unrealistic. Some people may consider this dark since the characters had issues, but truly dark novels usually have more of a twisted ending.
I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 5 stars
Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #1
I love this book! It even has a love triangle, and you know what? I’m okay with that. It fucking worked. Not many authors are talented enough to have a love triangle and make me like it, but Ilona Andrews can. Anyway Clean Sweep is truly original. I’ve read a lot of UF, and none of it is anything like this. It has a sci-fi twist, which normally isn’t something I’d like, but once again it fucking worked.
Dina is an innkeeper but not the usual kind. She and the inn have a symbiotic, magical relationship. And the guests they aren’t human, most of them aren’t even from Earth. Remaining neutral and protecting guests are some of the most important duties an innkeeper. Dina is awesome! She’s tough, strong, and independent. She’ll kick some ass when she needs to but isn’t the type to go looking for violence. Sometimes the crazy guests bring trouble to her door. Although Dina has magic and her life is chaotic at times, she is normal in many ways.
Werewolves aren’t usually my thing, but Sean is great. I fell for him practically from the start. He was a bit of an ass at first, but that quickly changed. Being an alpha, he was prone to being bossy but wasn’t controlling, which I really liked about him. Sean is a great blend of macho male and nice guy. I absolutely loved his sense of humor.
The other guy in the love triangle was Arland. Normally I’d like him best since he was a vampire. This time I didn’t. Maybe it was because he isn’t the standard type of vampire. I did like Arland. He was charming, suave, wealthy, and good looking. He had it all. I’m not sure why I didn’t like him more than I did. There wasn’t anything wrong with him.
The romance was not the focus of the story. All of the characters were united to fight a common enemy. The world Ilona Andrews created for this story was unique. This was UF, and although it had vampires and weres they didn’t operate by the normal rules or have the usual backstory for them. The story was rounded out with memorable side characters. Caldenia was my favorite side character, managing to be both disturbing and hilarious at the same time. If you haven’t read this read it now. You won’t regret it.
Rating: 4 stars
Series: Rogue Winter #2
This is the second and final book in the Rogue Winter series. Stevie and Zane investigated another murder in Solitude. They discovered a link between this murder and the one Carly and Seth investigated in Tracks of Her Tears. Solving the murder would prove to harder than they thought when things go awry with their primary suspect.
The mystery tied up the loose ends from the prior book. The killer wasn’t obvious, but I was very satisfied with who it was. I liked this one more than Tracks of Her Tears, and it was probably because of Stevie and Zane. I find them to be more relatable than Carly and Seth. Serving justice is important to them, but they also know the value of having a personal life. Stevie and Zane fans will be happy with the development of their relationship.
I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.