Pestilence by Laura Thalassa

37769929Rating: 3 stars

Series: The Four Horsemen #1

I wanted more of everything: emotion, depth, plot, character development, history, and most importantly world building. Pestilence is the first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse to terrorize the world. A plague spreads wherever he goes. Sara draws the short straw and sacrifices herself in an attempt to kill Pestilence. She waited for him to come as if she actually would have known which road he’d ride in on. Then she violently proceeds to kill him somehow being deluded enough to believe she is doing the right thing and is the first one brave enough to try. Amazingly enough he’s immortal and can’t die. As if I didn’t see that one coming.

From the very beginning of the book I did not like Sara. The way she attempted to kill Pestilence was extremely painful and sick, but it was okay in her mind because she was doing the right thing for mankind. Doing something evil for the right reasons does not negate the fact that something evil was done. She never even saw the hypocrisy of her situation. My first impression of her was not a good one. It didn’t help that she was immature. My opinion of her didn’t change because she didn’t change much. It was hard to believe that someone who had been alive since the beginning of time would find her of all people throughout time to be the only interesting one. Yeah freaking right.

The world building was severely lacking. Pestilence never explained anything because he couldn’t speak for God. All he gave was a brief description of his very long existence. There was never any explanation for why he felt the way he did about humans or about what his purpose in the grand scheme of things is. I desperately wanted to understand him so he would seem like more than a bastard who wanted to wipe out mankind for some unspecified reason. For most of the book I had sympathy for him because he was in a shitty situation; he was hated and reviled for being what he was meant to be. The end of the book ruined things for me in regards to how I feel about the characters. I have spoilers that explain more about this in my review on goodreads.

There wasn’t much of a plot. Pestilence went around spreading the plague. Sara, his captive, went with him and complained about it the whole time. People would try to kill him and hurt Sara because she was with him. Then they’d go onto the next place where the cycle would repeat. For a book that revolved around death, it wasn’t highly emotional. It was about suffering, everyone’s suffering, but the only suffering I felt was having to get through this book.

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Shoot the Messenger by Pippa DaCosta

downloadRating: 4 stars

Series: The Messenger Chronicles #1

I would have given this 5 stars but the ending left me feeling betrayed. It was meant to. I’ve never been fond of unreliable narrators. I don’t like getting to know a character intimately through their thoughts and feelings to find out I have been lied to. It’s totally different if they lie to other characters or themselves as long as it’s understood that’s what is going on. I prefer it when their thoughts are honest. IDK how to feel about Kesh. She was honest in her thoughts but not forthcoming. The things she withheld painted her thoughts and actions in a different light. She’s not a character I can trust. Kesh will have to prove herself to me before I can say I trust, understand or like her.

All of that aside, it was rather good. I was hesitant going into this. Books about space, even fantasies, aren’t my thing. The world building was excellent. The fantasy and space aspects were blended seamlessly. Everything was explained well enough that all necessary information was given as needed, but there is so much more to learn. I can’t wait to learn more about the different planets and races. I really liked how the world worked in regards to tek and magic, two opposing forces unexpectedly working in concert.

The characters were compelling whether good or bad. Each had their own hidden backgrounds and motives. Kellee seemed to be the most straightforward although I doubt it’ll stay that way forever. Damn did I like him. He was tough, strong and unique. It was great that despite his history he was determined to move forward and make things right. Sota was barely in the story but I was desperate for him to come back.

Honestly reverse harems have never interested me. This is a Pippa DaCosta novel so I had to read it. I prefer two people to be focused on each other romantically. There wasn’t much romance in this. Kesh did only seem interested in one person beyond sex, which made the multiple lover bearable. Kesh wasn’t deluding herself into thinking she actually cared about the three men in this. It didn’t seem like what I assumed a harem would be, so I gather more lovers will enter the series later on. Although I haven’t minded the reverse harem aspects of this, it hasn’t inspired me to read others. It has inspired me to continue with this series. Part of me wishes I hadn’t read this yet because it’ll be months before the next one is released and the cliffhangers gut me every time.

Winter’s Reach by Craig Schaefer

23508962Rating: 4 stars

Series: Revanche  Cycle #1

Epic fantasies are not my favorite. Unlike most epic fantasies, this wasn’t weighed down with overly complex world building, which made it easier to get into. It did have a lot of characters, but not so many that it was hard to keep track of who they were and how they were related. However it didn’t grab me from the start. I had tried to read this 3 other times and never got more than a few chapters in. I’m not sure why it interested me this time. Maybe I needed to be in the right mood for it.

The pope is dying and wants his worthless son to take over when he dies. The other clergymen weren’t blind to the son’s faults and knew letting him be in charge would be disastrous. Many other powerful men and ones wanting to get more power were taking advantage of the situation in the church and playing their own manipulative games.

I didn’t love any of the characters. Some are definitely better than others, but I have the feeling we’ve only scratched the surface in regards to what these characters are capable of. It doesn’t appear that this is a series with clearly defined good and bad guys; these people have varying shades of gray. I am curious to see how all of this plays out because knowing Craig Schaefer, things are bound to take a few unexpected turns.

Blood Gamble by Melissa F. Olson

34181876Rating: 3 stars

Series: Disrupted Magic #2

I loved the first book in this series but was terribly disappointed with this. All of the growth and maturity Scarlett gained in the last book up and disappeared in a flash about halfway through. She has the shittiest taste in men. Does she have something against mature responsible men? Why does she keep going for these douchebags when it’s clear it’ll never work in the long run?

This took place in Las Vegas. It had a different vibe since none of the regular side characters were around frequently. Frankly the new characters in Vegas weren’t interesting except for Wyatt. Jameson the null from New York was around. I didn’t care about him one way or the other, but as the book went on I liked him less and less.

The mystery was okay. I strongly suspected one of the main people involved. The whole thing was more complex than I originally thought. It didn’t grip me though. I will read the next one but I am not looking forward to it. The drama from this will greatly affect the rest of the series. It was bad enough to have to suffer through it in this. Now there’s no chance of it ending soon.

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

Scorpion Trap by Pippa DaCosta

32337095Rating: 5 stars

Series: Soul Eater #4

Isis conned Ace into going to Egypt for an unknown purpose. She promised to reveal who he really is if he helped her. Another motivating factor was she wouldn’t tell Osiris anything. Of course Shu had to come with, but it put their relationship to the test. Nothing went smoothly. That’s just the way his life works.

Isis is devious as hell. It was obvious she was using Ace, but I actually felt slightly bad for her when she told Ace her story. Sometimes I wished he had listened to Shu’s advice and avoided the situation. OTOH he needed to know who he is. I’d probably do something crazy if my past was a mystery too.

Ace and Shu have a fascinating love/hate relationship. It’s understandable why Ace has trust issues with Shu. I’m not sure she is really there, but it doesn’t appear that she genuinely hates him.

I loved the end! Ace finally learned who he is!!! I’m so excited! I’m dying to know what happens next! This really changes things.

See No Evil by Pippa DaCosta

31207131Rating: 4.5 stars

Series: Soul Eater #3

These keep getting better and better. Ace the godkiller has made a few enemies. They won’t let what he has done or what they believe he has done go without punishment. Various enemies keep popping out of the woodwork to get him.

The journey into Duat was awesome. It was fascinating to learn more about Ace’s homeland. He discovered some surprising things about himself there, but nothing that gave him the answers he really wanted. Obviously there is something special about him. I am curious about why Osiris has punished Ace in the way he has. Why didn’t he simply kill him like the other gods would have done?

Ace seems to have accepted that he has actually changed. The problem is almost no one else believes it. The one person who does is the last person he would have expected to. Shu showed her true colors, but all it did was confirm my suspicions about her. Cat is great! She can seriously kick ass. She and Ace would make a good couple. The whole situation with Bastet is likely to put a damper on things. I wonder if she’ll believe him when the time comes.