Tricks for Free by Seanan McGuire

tricksRating: 3 stars

Series: Incryptid #7

This series has always been hit or miss for me. It’s probably because each book takes place in a different setting with new side characters even if the main characters are the same. Each book can have a totally different vibe depending on those things. I loved the last book along with Antimony but didn’t feel the same this time around.

Antimony made one bad choice after another. Her reasons for staying away from her family made sense, but she could have used Mary as a good between if she wasn’t comfortable talking to them any other way. Maybe she wouldn’t have made some of the stupid choices she did if she had tried to confer with them. As much as she complained that she isn’t loved like everyone else in the family, it seemed contradictory that she wouldn’t let them know where she was because they would risk everything to get her regardless of the danger. I felt like her immaturity showed strongly. Although she’s strong, brave, and reliable, she lacks good forethought. Whenever something happened she jumped into it without thinking of the consequences or developing a plan, which really screwed her in the end.

I was bored for most of the book. It was around the 60% mark that it finally felt like something interesting was happening. Except for one thing, nothing relevant to the overarching plot happened. That one thing will have a big impact on Antimony later. I’m going to have a hard time feeling bad for her because it was her choice. The whole Lowryland thing didn’t do it for me. It was lacking compared to the carnival in the last book. I didn’t care much for the side characters. They were dull, and I didn’t trust any of them until the end of the book. It was weird not having the Aeslin mice around despite not liking them much in the first place. Sometimes they are annoying, but they added a quirky quality; it wasn’t right not to have that there.

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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.

The Hunt by Chloe Neill

the huntRating: 3 stars

Series: Devil’s Isle #3

Chloe Neill’s books may not be for me. I gave up on CLV, and I’m about ready to give up on this series. For one thing the pacing is slow. I never got invested in the plot. It took me a few days to get through this. Every time I put it down I had no desire to pick it back up again. After 3 books, I’m not deeply attached to any of the characters. I like Liam and Claire, but don’t care about anyone else. Although I like Liam and Claire, they are not unique.

This picked up a few weeks after the last book. Liam had taken off after the battle. Claire was coping with him being gone without having heard from him. Then Liam was framed for murder, and Claire and Gavin had to find him. They knew he was innocent, but proving it would be hard.

Liam and Claire reuniting was not all I hoped it would be. I understood why he left, but it was still a total dickhead move. I was hoping there would have been something more drastic behind his motivation to go into hiding. Claire forgave him, but I’m not sure I have. Even once they reunited, he was distant for most of the book.

The quest to prove Liam’s innocence was ridiculous since Claire and Liam repeatedly did stupid things. Liam going back to New Orleans was not a good idea. Containment was hellbent on framing him. He should have let Claire and Gavin look into it. Going to the scene of the crime ultimately helped but caused lots of problems. Claire’s actions regarding a certain new character were not smart. Without the piss poor choices the two of them made most of the developments with the plot would not have been possible.

It didn’t help that Claire was also wanted by containment for her connections to Liam. They casually walked around New Orleans, went to some of their usual haunts, and hung out with their usual crew. All of these things would have made them easy to find, which is not good since they were on the run. Neither of them wanted to be caught and sent to the dreaded Devil’s Isle aka the least scary prison on Earth. It’s actually more like an internment camp than a traditional prison. Other than not having an abundance of supplies, the people in devil’s isle aren’t treated poorly. Plus it seems like it would be easy to escape if someone was determined. The ultimate threat to them should feel more threatening.

The Sight by Chloe Neill

26878915Rating: 3 stars

Series: Devil’s Isle #2

Meh. The first one was better. I’m not sold on this series yet. A lot less happened in this than in the last one. It was boring. The focus of this was on a zealot who was rousing hate among people in the zone. He was a stereotypical bad guy. The plot highlighted how much hate there was for paranormals, but did nothing to enrich my knowledge of the world.

I’m not in love with the characters. The side characters need some serious work. I don’t care about any of them. If any of them died in one of their skirmishes, it wouldn’t matter. None of them get enough page time to really get to know them. Claire is alright but doesn’t stand out among the many other UF heroines. Liam is my favorite character. His reluctance to be with Claire is aggravating especially since the reason for it is weak.

Claire and Liam clearly like each other. Their situations put them at slight odds. It didn’t have much of an impact but jealousy was used to show how much Liam cared for Claire. It wasn’t a love triangle, but I’d prefer them to work out their issues without extra drama.

The end annoyed me. It wasn’t a cliffhanger but a big issue was left open ended. Chances are it’s one of those things that will be resolved in the next book. It felt like drama for the sake of drama. I don’t like that. I’m going to read the next one anyway.

The Veil by Chloe Neill

21415815Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: Devil’s Isle #1

It was much better than I thought it would be, but I admittedly went into it with low expectations. After becoming disillusioned with the Chicagoland Vampires series, I was hesitant to read this. This series is nothing like that one, which is a good thing. It’s not as fun and has less dynamic characters. This is truly for adults. CLV was labeled as an adult read but read like YA.

The veil separated the fae and human worlds. The fae broke through 7 years earlier and attacked humans. The veil was closed and some of the fae were left behind. People thought they were evil and locked them away in Devil’s Isle. When the veil broke down, some people realized they were able to absorb magic. They are called sensitives. The downfall of this is that magic eventually destroys them and turns them into mindless wraiths.

Claire was a sensitive. She hid her barely used ability from everyone. Being locked away on Devil’s Isle was her greatest fear. One night she was forced to use her magic in public to defend herself. The bounty hunter, Liam, noticed. He was sympathetic to sensitives although it was his job to turn them in.

Claire was an alright main character. A little reckless at times but not TSTL. By the end of the book I was getting the vibe that she was special but not annoyingly so. Hopefully that doesn’t change as the series goes on. She was oblivious to the world around her in many ways, blind to many truths that would have been revealed with some thought of her own instead of believing propaganda.

Liam was serious minded and mysterious. He seems honorable but might not be completely trustworthy. The guy does have secrets. He and Claire made a good couple. There is an obstacle keeping them apart, but it’s a minor one.

There were weak points in the world building. I liked the world that was created with the war torn New Orleans. Devil’s Isle was fascinating until it was revealed what it was really like. Yes it was a prison but not the dismal, cruel place it was initially portrayed to be. All the people there were treated fairly well. Most of it was a normal neighborhood. The paranormals weren’t allowed to leave but anyone else could come and go. It didn’t seem like much of a threat. It’s quite shocking that more people hadn’t escaped.

Magical monitors were placed all over the city. How they worked wasn’t clear but that’s irrelevant. It was mentioned over and over again that anyone who could use magic needed to be careful because of the constant observation. The monitors never seemed to pick up anything. Magic was used often, and not once did an alarm go off. What’s the point of having them if they are useless? They wouldn’t be a threat because anyone with magic would know they are worthless.

Wraiths were made by sensitives being consumed by too much magic. There was no solid defense against becoming a wraith. Initially it appeared to be an unavoidable fate worse than death. There were two instances where Claire being special annoyed me, where she did what seemed to be impossible. I’m definitely getting the feeling that there is more than meets the eye with her.

It was a decent start to the series. I didn’t love it. It definitely was not a page turner, but I do plan on reading the rest of the series. I’m curious to see where it goes.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

34189556Rating: 3 stars

A thriller this was not. It took a while to get into the story. For a while it was nothing more than a banal story about a scorned woman left for a younger woman. Then it turned into a story about a deceptive husband.

This fell flat. Most of the time what was going on didn’t hint at anything deeply disturbing going on. There were a few twists, but they certainly weren’t mind blowing. Richard was the main impediment to this story being appealing. It was apparent from the start that he was controlling, demanding, selfish and superficial. It was hard to understand why more than one woman was ever in love with this man. Sure he was rich but that’s not everything. I felt like this was supposed to be a story about a charming man who was not what he appeared. For that to work, he had to be charming in the first place. Vanessa’s role in the story wasn’t interesting as it alluded to.

The ending wasn’t what I hoped it would be. It was good, but I was expecting more. There were dark elements, but the story itself wasn’t dark. Nothing that anybody did was shocking or maybe I was too unattached to the characters to feel disturbed by what happened to them. The prologue definitely had an unexpected twist although it wouldn’t have changed anything if it hadn’t been included.

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