Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

17333174Rating: 5 stars

Series: Kate Daniels #9

So much happened, and it was completely unexpected! There wasn’t a dull moment. Lots of humor. Roman was the perfect wedding officiator/organizer. Why doesn’t he have his own series? I love that guy. Finally there was plenty of page time with Roland!!! He’s fascinating. I want to hate him but I can’t. Julie’s relationship with Roland was explored although I’m still not sure that bastard hasn’t corrupted her in some way no one is expecting. The reappearance of a certain character was great. I did not see that coming at all, but it was a very interesting twist.

Kate is one hell of a kick ass woman! She was on her own a lot. It was a good change to have her and Curran operate independently. People were there for her, but she made all of the important decisions by herself. It really felt like she was the guardian of Atlanta. Her magical skills were off the charts! Lots of introspection in this one since power was beginning to corrupt Kate while she tried to remain true to herself. I liked seeing her evil side emerge.

There were two things I didn’t like about the book. One is that Hugh wasn’t in it. It wasn’t a big deal, but he was mentioned a fair amount, which made his absence more notable. The second thing is the predictions from the witches. I’m not a fan of stories where events are dictated by a predestined fate. Kate’s future isn’t set in stone, but knowing something was likely to happen seemed to lead to the eventuality of those events. That was a minor annoyance. The rest of the book was so damn good that it didn’t matter.

Once Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire

51whx4kpkdlRating: 4.5 stars

Series: Toby Daye #10

Many rulers on the west coast had a conclave to determine what should be done with the alchemical breakthrough Walther discovered in the last book. Of course nothing goes as planned when Toby is around. It didn’t take long for before the nobility was either being attacked or killed. The political part of the story emphasized how divided opinions are amongst the nobility about the fairness of their laws and changelings. The murder mystery definitely brought some much needed action and entertainment to the story. Not much happened to advance the overarching storyline, which as a die hard fan of this series was a disappointment. If something useful had been learned or if there had been a sex that was not glossed over, I would have given this 5 stars.

I miss the times when Toby was struggling to make her way in the world. A lack of respect is something she will always face because of her heritage, but as she keeps making friends in high places it’s not quite the same. It’s still good; it’s just different. For someone who lacks diplomacy skills she has managed fairly well in the political arena. Although her abilities have piqued the interest of some, it’s just as much a liability as it is an asset. For every friend she gains, she gains 3 new enemies. Toby was just as entertaining as always and pushed the limits of what is socially acceptable.

Tybalt’s role was much smaller than in the last few books. It was necessary for him to keep his distance from Toby for political reasons, but damn I missed having him around more. The Luidaeg had plenty of page time though. She’s always good for a laugh or for frightening the nobility. Toby did have the opportunity to ride her blood, but I have no clue what the significance was of the scene she glimpsed. Quinton was around a lot. After reading Full of Briars it’s hard to mesh his inner thoughts with his behavior in this. They’re not the same. I like him, but couldn’t help but wonder what type of thoughts were going through his head as events unfolded. Was he really as open minded as he appeared to be? WTH is he going to think when he learns the truth about his heritage?

The pacing was slow for the first quarter of the book and progressively became more action packed after that. I’ll always love this series, but I’m dying for something big to happen. Certain scenes in this were unforgettable, particularly one towards the end with Toby and Tybalt. Toby made amends with another character, but I have mixed feelings about that. It’s not one of my favorite books in the series, but it was much better than the last one.

Full of Briars by Seanan McGuire

61f6iecovdlRating: 4 stars

Series: Toby Daye #9.3

Normally I don’t write reviews for short stories, but a lot happened although most of it isn’t essential to the overarching plot in the series. Finally I got to read about when Toby met the high king and queen! I felt short changed when it didn’t happen at the end of Chimes at Midnight. Anyway better late than never.

This was the first and hopefully the last story from Quentin’s POV. The glimpse inside his head made me like him less. Toby clearly has had a positive influence on him over the years, but it isn’t enough to erase all of his snobby, elitist views. Maybe it’s just because I love Tybalt so much, but how dare he look down on him! Tybalt is twice the man he’ll ever be.

The romantic angle introduced at the end came completely out of left field. Was there any indication of them having feelings for each other in the books? If so I missed it which is unlikely since I’ve read all of the books except for the newest one more than once or I completely forgot about it. Then again Quentin’s romantic entanglements have never been of much interest to me.

Onto the good stuff: I loved Tybalt! That man can do no wrong. It was interesting to read about Toby from someone else’s POV. Sometimes that can be awkward but it worked here. The king and queen were different than I expected. One important question was raised that could be important later on in the series, but if you want to know what that question is read it and find out.

Girl from Above: Trust by Pippa DaCosta

27768131Rating: 5 stars

Series: The 1000 Revolution #4

I wish I could give this 6 stars or maybe 10. It was the perfect ending, but I want more. I need more. I’m not ready to say goodbye to these characters yet. Their story was finished, but it’s not. There could be more. This was one of those books were the story ends, but you know those characters still have awesome things to go do. I don’t want to simply imagine what those things are; I want to read about them.

Girl from Above: Trust was amazing and sad and heart wrenching and happy and beautiful. It ripped my heart out and crushed it like 15 times. Every time I’d think things were going to be okay they weren’t. I actually cried several times. I barely ever cry when reading books, but what some of these characters went through was intense. Did I mention I don’t even like sci-fi? And this series still managed to make me love it.

It’s impossible to say anything about what happened without giving away major spoilers. Some scenes were tragic. Others were joyous. To make the impossible happen, it all depended on trust, but it gets tricky when no one can be trusted. I was really shocked at some of the decisions certain characters made. The problems they faced really made them look deep inside and decide who it was they wanted to be. All of the characters were complex. Some I loved. Some I hated. Some I loved and hated. It takes incredible talent to write characters like that. Everything about this greatly exceeded my expectations.

Girl from Above: Trapped by Pippa DaCosta

51kkcp19gul-_sx331_bo1204203200_Rating: 5 stars

Series: The 1000 Revolution #3

I love this series! It gets better with every book. Caleb had some tough choices to make. Who was he going to trust? Everyone wanted #1001. Was he going to ruin her life a second time? I can’t describe the plot without giving too much away, but all of the characters were going through a phase of self discovery. This was an important part of their lives because it would decide the fate of themselves and those around them.

Caleb surprised me. He is officially one of my top book boyfriends. He’s got faults, lots of them, but it makes him all the more desirable. There is a genuinely good side to him. It’s just hard for that side of him to come to the surface. Sometimes he’s an emotional wreck. He constantly waivers between doing what’s right and doing what’s right for him. Caleb is the perfect blend of asshole and good guy.

#1001’s life was a mess. As she became more human, it waged war with her conflicting protocols. She hadn’t been designed to handle what she was experiencing and it was causing issues. She couldn’t fix herself and had to rely on James to do it. Could he be trusted? Where did his loyalties lie?

I was on an emotional roller coaster while reading this. There was no way to know what anybody was going to do. Some things that happened were truly shocking. Pippa DaCosta is the best at writing grey characters. Her stories are entertaining because you never know who is going to stab whom in the back.