Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

51f1zspjt7l-_sx331_bo1204203200_Rating: 4.5 stars

Series: Every Heart a Doorway #1

Many doors to other worlds exist. Only a lucky few find those doors. Those brave enough to enter them find a world perfectly suited for them. When they leave those worlds they’re lost; they don’t fit into society anymore. Many of them end up at special boarding schools like Evelyn West’s Home for Wayward Children where everyone has been to another world.

As usual Seanan McGuire’s writing was phenomenal. I love her style. The story was unique. The concept of people going to other worlds has been done before but not in this way. In this world there are endless amounts of worlds. Some were dark and creepy. Others fun and bright. The focus wasn’t on the other worlds; it was about the loss of the thing that made them complete. Their experiences changed them permanently. There wasn’t much hope of living a normal life.

Although the school was filled with people who had been to other worlds, it was hard for them to relate since their experiences in other worlds were different. Nancy was the new kid. Her world was quiet but screams would be heard occasionally. It was still and calm, and the point was to blend in. Nancy wasn’t the most interesting character, but she was the product of the world she came from. She was a stark contrast to some of the energetic characters around her at the school.

Shortly after arriving at the school, people were being murdered. Of course many people were convinced it was Nancy. Others thought it was Jack the mad scientist. She was my favorite character and the most disturbing. Jack was unapologetic about her behavior. She knew she wasn’t liked by others but made no attempt to fit in. I figured out who the murderer was rather quickly, but it didn’t detract from enjoyment of the story. I really liked this. It was a great start to a new series although this can be read as a standalone. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next one. Several of these characters probably won’t be in the next book, but there are so many characters and worlds to explore that it doesn’t matter if most of the same people are in it or not.

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

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Ancient Magic by Linsey Hall

29554397Rating: 3 stars

Series: The Huntress #1

Cass and her sisters, Nix and Del, were firesouls. What they were had to remain a secret or they’d be thrown in jail because they had the ability to steal other people’s magic if they killed them. They didn’t want to hurt anybody. They just wanted to live their lives in peace. Aiden, the most powerful shifter alive, asked Cass for her help to find an object that could put her life in danger if in the wrong hands, so she couldn’t refuse the job.

I didn’t get attached to the characters. I liked them, but they just didn’t stand out. I wish Cass had more page time with her sisters to really get a feel of how they interacted. Their relationship was mostly explained rather than being shown what it was like. Nix and Del didn’t get enough page to to gauge what their personalities were like. Cass was loyal and tough. She did unnecessarily put herself in danger often. It was understandable that she didn’t want to use her magic, but it wasn’t smart to avoid using it when it could be used to protect her.

Aiden was the potential love interest. He was powerful, rich, good looking, and caring. He was a nice guy. There wasn’t anything to dislike about him, but I didn’t understand why almost everyone him liked him a lot. People were instantly drawn to him although they barely knew him. He just wasn’t charming or witty enough to garner that kind of attention. At least the romance wasn’t instalove.

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

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

16221851Rating: 2 stars

The beautiful cover, interesting title, and vague blurb made me want to read this. It had potential, but it didn’t live up to it. At first I thought it would be good. There were two cities, one dark and one light. Dark and light magicians depended on each other, but the light magicians oppressed the dark ones. Lucie had a secret past in the dark and was now dating Ethan who was from a powerful light family. Turns out Ethan had his own dark secret, but it all went downhill from there.

The first and last 20% were alright, but everything in between was boring. There was barely any action. A considerable amount of page time was spent on Lucie reminiscing about her past. It was repetitive and unnecessary since it had no impact on her actions. More time could have been used on world building. It was explained well enough for the story to make sense, but there was no history or deeper explanations for it.

The characters made this an epic failure. Lucie was in a unique position to try to right the wrongs of their society or at least bring public attention to those issues, but she did nothing. She avoided conflict at all costs, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but she did it to the point where she would not stand up for herself at all. Lucie said and did everything that was expected of her regardless of her personal beliefs. She abandoned some people without much regret to make her new life in the light easier. The good things about her were not enough to offset her faults.

Ethan had to be the dullest character ever! He had about as much personality as a pet rock. Since he was so lame, it was all the more irritating when Lucie constantly reminisced about how perfect and wonderful he was. Ethan was a good guy but was so boring. Lucie and Ethan were supposed to be some kind of epic love, but it was hard to believe since they both withheld important info from the other.

The only other character with significant page time was Carwyn. He was Ethan’s doppleganger. I should have known right then and there this was going to be disastrous. In my experience dopplegangers aren’t a good thing, and this book did nothing to dissuade me of that notion. Carwyn was the only character with any personality. At first he was a smart ass, but I liked him. Then he just turned into a dick, and by the end of the book he changed again. The changes in him didn’t make sense and were weird. Carwyn was the only character with any appeal.

I am glad I actually finished this because the end was decent. I really enjoyed Carwyn’s role. Some things tied together in an unexpected way. If I had been invested in the characters throughout the book, the ending would have had a deeper impact.

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

Waylaid by Kim Harrison

waylaidRating: 4 stars

Series: Peri Reed Chronicles & The Hollows

Rachel Morgan is back! She and Peri made an awesome team. Peri is serious, and it was fun to see her work with someone as quirky as Rachel. The blending of their two worlds worked out well. Rachel was summoned into Peri’s alternate reality, and there wasn’t enough magic for Rachel to get back to her own world. Each of them had to use their own talents to devise a way to help Rachel. I just wish this had been a novel. I would have loved to get a glimpse into Rachel’s mind while in Peri’s world. Although this was from Peri’s POV, it isn’t necessary to read The Drafter before this. Waylaid is a good intro to Peri’s world.

Netgalley gave me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Scryer by Sinden West

25361744Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: Scryer #1

Ivy was a scryer, which meant she could tell people’s futures from touching them. Being close to people was complicated. Isolation was the easiest way for her to deal with her situation. Even when she did find one of the rare people whose futures she couldn’t tell, she didn’t want an emotional connection with them. Her family had a special connection with the Corin family. An old pact between the two families required scryers to spend one night a month with a member of the Corin family. Only they had the ability to force scryers to tell them what they wanted to know about the future after having sex.

Ivy was not happy about her fate. She was bitter and cold as a result. Her misery made her hard to like. Yet I did sympathize with her. She was in a difficult situation was was dealing with it the best she could.

There was a love triangle of sorts, but it wasn’t angsty and aggravating. Ivy had some interest in two men. Lake was her ex who has spurned her, but she couldn’t entirely let go of her feelings for him. The other guy was Caleb, who she mainly enjoyed using for sex. Both men were assholes. Nothing about her situation with the two guys was romantic or sweet. She didn’t let them walk all over her either. There was an unconventional HEA, but it wasn’t really about love.

The scryers were alarmed because someone was killing them. I had been surprised to discover who was behind it. Almost every character in this story was bad or just downright evil, which made it harder to figure out who was killing people. Towards the end the story took a turn in a direction I hadn’t expected. Although the ending wasn’t really pleasant, it worked for this story. A happy, perfect HEA would have been lame.

Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

25776210Rating: 3 stars

Series: Mercy Thompson #9

I feel like I’m missing something. Everyone else is giving Fire Touched rave reviews while I feel like it was just okay. It wasn’t action packed and definitely wasn’t a page turner. Maybe I’ve outgrown this series. I just don’t love it like I used to.

A lot of people will probably disagree with me on this point, but I want Mercy to stop being so perfect. She has excellent control over her emotions, which is a good thing. It’s been necessary for her to survive since she’s always been an outcast. Every once in a while at least in private I’d like to see her break down and cry or lose her cool. She’s been mistreated and looked down upon for her whole life. It should affect her sometimes. In this book someone disowned her, and her response was disappointing. It would have been normal to be deeply affected but she wasn’t.

In Night Broken, I lost a lot of respect for Adam. Mercy likes to deal with issues on her own, and he gives her the freedom to that. In the last book it was apparent he was letting people walk all over his wife while he stood by and watched. Adam finally stepped up to the plate and defended her, but I felt like it was too little too late. I still like Adam but don’t feel like he’s Mr. Wonderful anymore. Especially after seeing how the pack responded to Adam’s pronouncement, it really makes me wonder why he didn’t do this a long time ago since it was such a simple way to end the drama between the pack and Mercy.

The plot was fae centric, which I enjoyed. The fae in this world are fascinating. Some are good. Some are bad. All are manipulative. Their end game is a mystery. A lot of interesting stuff was learned about the fae in particular the grey lords.

Zee and Tad were back! I absolutely love both of them. The walking stick was around a lot. Margaret was a great addition to the series. Thomas Hao turned out to be quite an unusual vampire. I wish Stefan had been in it. He is one of my favorite characters in the whole series. I always miss him when he’s not around. There was a death which shocked me. I probably shouldn’t feel as devastated by the loss as I do. The series won’t be epically changed by the loss but an entertaining part of the series however small is now gone.