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.

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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.

Witches’ Bane by Pippa DaCosta

30899389Rating: 4 stars

Series: Soul Eater #2

Ace Dante is awesome! I love how conflicted he is. There’s a constant struggle between being good and bad although for the most part good seems to be winning out. In this not only is he conflicted but slightly confused. It’s like he’s on the verge of remembering what happened in Hidden Blade but the memories are resurfacing. You know they will and there will be hell to pay (probably from Cat) when they do.

I am more curious than ever as to who he really is. Is he even part of the Egyptian pantheon? Why is who he is being kept secret? Is it dangerous for him if he knows or is it too dangerous for the other gods if he knows?

There was more character development in this than in Hidden Blade. I really enjoyed the addition of Cat. She and Shu are awesome sidekicks. Shu was way more likeable this time around. The budding friendship with her and Ace is a good thing. They’re stuck together anyway. It’ll be beneficial to them to be friends rather than reluctant adversaries.

I have mixed feelings about the end. Did Ace do the right thing? It seems like all of this is going to come back and bite him in the ass. Thoth alluded to a prophecy. He may not have interpreted it correctly. That alone could have consequences for Ace’s actions. Chances are things will get worse for Ace before they get better.

Hidden Blade by Pippa DaCosta

30031040Rating: 4 stars

Series: Soul Eater #1

Ace, the nameless one, is stuck in a rather unfortunate situation. He’s a powerful being but his life isn’t his own. By nature he’s a bad guy. It can’t be helped. Eating souls is what he does. He’s also forced to do bad things because of his situation with Osiris. At heart he wants to be good, but it doesn’t come easily. I love characters that are as conflicted as Ace is. 

All of the other characters were interesting, but it was hard to get attached to them. The world building was good. The use of Egyptian gods was cool. I definitely want to know more about Ace’s past and about what was going on with his mother. There is a lot more to explore in this world, and I definitely want to read the rest of the series.

So this was probably worth somewhat less than 4 stars, but it was too good to give it less than 4. Something was missing for me, but I’m not sure what. Nothing was wrong with this, but for some reason I just didn’t love it.