Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

517og9tlzml-_sx308_bo1204203200_Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: Alex Craft #2

Although there were parts of this book that I loved, it was really lacking in some ways. The P.I./mystery part of it was good, but it got dragged out way too long. It was boring after a while. Constructs tried to attack Alex and her friends one too many times. If a hard to beat enemy is going to pop up frequently, someone needs to die as a result or have some severe consequences from it. It’s lame when no one’s really in danger.

The last 30% of the book was awesome! The journey into faerie was enlightening. Alex learned more about how magic works there. She discovered some interesting things about her family. The fae are fascinating because it’s damn hard to know who to trust. All of them wanted Alex because of her abilities and because she is unaligned.

I really like this series because of the characters. Alex handled herself well considering she wandered around blind both literally and figuratively. No one has bothered to fill her in on how to deal with the fae. Death didn’t get a lot of page time, so nothing much in the way of character development happened with him. In Grave Witch, I thought Falin was an ass. His reasons for acting the way he did were explained. He’s really in a shitty situation.

Both Death and Falin were vying for Alex’s attention. I’d really be okay with her ending up with either guy. Falin seems like the more logical choice considering he’s alive, but his deep ties to faerie don’t make him reliable. I love Death! He’s very protective. Although he has his own rules to follow as a reaper, he is willing to break them when it comes to Alex. It may be the concept of Death that I like more than the actual character. He and Alex together would be an interesting HEA because it wouldn’t be easy.

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Gifted Thief by Helen Harper

26794855Rating: 4 stars

Series: Highland Magic #1

Integrity was an orphan. The other fae treated her poorly. Eventually she ran away and met Taylor. He gave her a home and taught her his profession, which was thievery. After many years, the fae contacted Integrity. She planned to flee, but bad things began happening to those she loved. She had to figure out who was after them and why.

Integrity despite being a thief managed to live up to her name. She would steal without batting an eye, but she had a moral code. She didn’t want to take anything that would have sentimental value. It was almost hard to believe she was a thief because she was too caring, but she was raised to do it. It was all she knew. Her life was all about taking risks, but the decisions she made weren’t dumb. She was mouthy and had an attitude sometimes, but she also knew when it was wise to shut up. Integrity does have the potential to become a special snowflake. Her magical abilities haven’t thoroughly been explored, but they definitely are unique.

Byron was the equivalent of a fae prince. He could be charming, sweet, and seductive. He also knew how to be manipulative. I got the vibe that he’s a good guy at heart. I really liked him although I didn’t agree with everything he did. There was strong chemistry with him and Integrity, so a romance may happen later on.

The side characters needed more work. Taylor was Integrity’s surrogate dad. Her 3 partners in crime Lexie, Speck, and Brochan were also like family to Integrity. It was explained why those people were important to her, but it wasn’t shown. They didn’t get enough page to feel the bond between them. For a group of thieves they were incredibly loyal to each other, which wasn’t realistic. Some of the fae side characters were more dynamic, but there hadn’t been time to determine their motives.

In this world the fae were divided into 4 clans. Something crazy happened, and Integrity was the only surviving member of hers. There were other fae who were clanless. They were considered insignificant. Humans were aware of the fae, but the interactions amongst the clans, the clanless, and humans wasn’t thoroughly explained. Some hints were given about what happened in Clan Adair and to Integrity’s parents. I can’t wait to read the next book to find out more!

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Hunt by Donna Augustine

51w2plebq2bl-_sx311_bo1204203200_Rating: 2 stars

Series: The Wilds #2

Well this was a disappointment. Not much happened to further the overarching plot. Some stuff about magic and some other people and creatures in the Wilds was explored, but not enough to satisfy my curiosity. This was about a young girl who was kidnapped and their attempts to get her back. It was all rather boring and anticlimactic.

Dax told Dahlia his biggest secret at the end of the last book. I thought it would have made them closer, but Dax was just as closed off as ever, maybe even more so. They were together most of the time, but he only spoke on a need to know basis. He spoke so little that there wasn’t even a chance for witty banter. I had been expecting more character development for him. There wasn’t any character development for the side characters either.

Dahlia smartened up some. She finally learned to listen others with better judgement every once and a while, so she wasn’t as reckless. Instead of mouthing off all the time with no means to back it up, she was finally learning how to defend herself. She’s becoming a special snowflake with her special magical skills, and every guy she talked to fell head over heels in love with her. So much page time was focused on her thoughts about Dax: Did he like her? Was he using her? Blah blah blah. It got old after a while.

Why did a love triangle have to introduced? It ruined a perfectly good story. It’s a particularly shitty love triangle too. It’s so obvious Dahlia only really wants Dax. She’s convinced he isn’t interested in her because he isn’t talkative and is distant completely ignoring the fact that he spent way more time with her than anyone else. He told her his biggest secret. That should have given her a clue about how he felt. Rocky was a guy who lived in the village they were visiting. His role in the story was minimal. All I could really say about him is that he was nice. He expressed interest in Dahlia, and she actually considered it. She hated the village. Rocky asked her if she wanted to live there. She considered that as well. It didn’t make any sense. Who would consider moving to a place they don’t like for a guy they barely know? It was stupid. It made Dahlia seem attention hungry although she continually expressed that she didn’t need anyone.

The love triangle drama ruined the end. Dahlia ran off to try to save the kidnapped girl. Then Rocky and Dax got involved. Instead of focusing on saving a child who was kidnapped, the three of them stood there arguing about who Dahlia belonged to. What a bunch of macho bullshit.

Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning

12444298Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: Fever #8

I’m not writing off this series yet. Feverborn definitely exceeded my expectations, which were admittedly extremely low based on the prior two books in the series. The first half of this was so damn boring. It took a while to get the story going. I almost gave up on it. Although some developments in the second half were good, I still have my doubts about where this is going.

There wasn’t much of a plot. Everyone was working together to stop the black holes from destroying the world, but it was often forgotten about. Someone from Mac’s past unexpectedly showed up, and she spent a lot of time figuring out how to deal with that situation. I have mixed feelings about that storyline. Mainly the book focused on the characters. There were some good developments with a few of them.

The Characters:

Mac wasn’t nearly as irritating as she was in Burned. Sure she still rambled on endlessly. I just skimmed some of those parts. She was more bearable that way. Unlike in Burned, she was more focused on issues that actually mattered. She wasn’t obsessed with sex like before. She’s still highly sexual, but it didn’t consume every waking thought.

Ryodan is a bastard. He has some nice moments, but they are so few and far between that it doesn’t change how I feel about him in general. He’s too controlling and self centered. The only person he isn’t a complete dick with is Jada. I want to know why he’s always had a soft spot for her. Maybe it’s nothing, but I doubt he just felt sorry for her. He’s not the type.

Barrons is becoming secondary to Ryodan, which is bullshit. I’d love to see Barrons lose his cool with Ryodan when he mouths off and tells everyone what to do. I wish he would defy Ryodan and tell Mac some of the nines secrets. I could be wrong, but it seems like he gets less page time now. He’s way more interesting than Ryodan. At least he has some depth.

Jada finally became likable! I really hated her guts at the beginning. It was awkward how she referred to herself as a child and herself now as two different people. The silvers obviously traumatized her. She has a superiority complex, and she probably distances herself from Dani because she views her as weak. Although her behavior didn’t change much, the chapters from her POV were very insightful. She actually seemed normal with feelings and weaknesses instead of being heartless and calculating.

Christian wasn’t creepy or weird anymore. He was more like his old self again. I feel bad for him because he doesn’t really fit in anywhere anymore. Mac’s one of the few people that doesn’t treat him like a freak or an enemy.

Dancer is back! He’s so laid back compared to all of the other guys in the series. I love him! His interactions with Jada were so sweet. Emotionally he touched Jada in a way no one else did. My favorite scene in the book was one between them. He opened up in a way he never had before. I still have hope for a Jada and Dancer HEA.

The Romance:

The Jada/Ryodan/Dancer love triangle blows. Dancer is the only one who really gets her. IMO this book proved that he is the right man for her. Jada has lots of emotional issues. Someone like Ryodan isn’t capable of dealing with those in a way that would benefit Jada. He’s too harsh. I will always view him as a parental figure. I can’t ship a guy who loved a girl as a child. It’s too fucking creepy.

I like Mac and Barrons as a couple. The problem is 8 books into the series their relationship hasn’t evolved in quite a while. It’s defined by sex. I’m all for plenty of good sex scenes, but when people are in a relationship I expect more. They still can’t communicate with each other about simple things. Great sex is awesome, but if that’s all they’ve got going for them, their relationship is shitty.

Some interesting things were brought up:

The tribunal- Who the hell is it that controls the nines?
Shazam- What the hell is he?
The Unseelie King- Is he in danger?
What are the Sweepers trying to achieve?

The end of this book was awesome! Some scenes were very touching. Damn the cliffhanger! I felt duped at the end. My kindle was at 89%. Something crazy happened. And the story was over! The rest of the book was just a guide. Anyway I am looking forward to the next one. I want to know how all of this plays out.

 

The Wilds by Donna Augustine

26193300Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: The Wilds #1

I didn’t want to put this down although there were things about it I didn’t like. The setting was original. A plague had swept across the world and killed most of the population. Most of civilization had collapsed. Society was divided into smaller countries, and most of the USA was a massive forest called the Wilds. Strange beasts and dangerous people lived there.

Dahlia was a plaguer, which meant she was one of the few who had the plague and survived it. Plaguers had some special abilities. Because of that, they were either killed or locked up. Dahlia had been locked up for most of her life. She adjusted to life on the outside too well. I would have expected her to be slightly shell shocked since she was experiencing a bunch of new things at once. Her spunky and defiant behavior was irritating sometimes. It wasn’t bad enough that she was TSTL, but sometimes she just wasn’t smart enough to realize other people knew way more about the world than she did.

The character development was poor. Dahlia and Dax were the only characters with any level of depth. The other characters didn’t have much in the way of personality. None of the side characters had any background information revealed about them. Although I did like Dax, he was too distant. A little mystery is entertaining but too much is aggravating. He finally opened up at the very end of the book, but it felt like too little too late.

I am interested in learning more about the world. Only some info was divulged about the beasts. What the Dark Walkers are and their goals are unknown. They seemed creepy, but I want to know what the hell they can actually do. Although this took place in the Wilds, there are countries with governments. How the new governments operate in the post-plague world is a mystery. I want to read the next book to find some of this out.

Grave Witch by Kalayna Price

gravewitchRating: 4 stars

Series: Alex Craft #1

Grave Witch isn’t the most original story ever, but I really liked it anyway. Alex Craft is special. She’s a grave witch but has abilities the average grave witch doesn’t. Her specialness didn’t bother me because it didn’t make everything about her life easier. Alex didn’t run head first into danger and put her life on the line frequently. She’s definitely not the TSTL type.

In this world the fae had come out of hiding 70 years earlier. Before then people didn’t believe in the fae anymore, so they were losing their power. Faerie expanded once people believed in them again. A lot of people didn’t like the them because of their abilities and their deceptive nature, so anti-fae political groups developed. Some people were against any kind of magic, which caused problems for people like Alex. I love stories about the fae because it’s hard to tell if they are being genuine or not.

This is the only series ever where I have actually liked the love triangle. Both of the men are appealing in their own ways. It’s easy to understand why Alex liked both of them. Death is a love interest. I think that’s so fucking cool! He’s not creepy or weird; he’s just a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy. The depiction of death and his role in the story is original. The other love interest is a cop named Falin Andrews. He can be an asshole but not enough to make me dislike him. He has some secrets which is always entertaining.

The end revealed a few important details. It seemed like too much too soon since this is the first book in the series. It’s not that big of a deal, but I like being kept in suspense for a little while in a series. Since I’ve already read the other books, I know there are way more details to be revealed about what Alex learned.