The Turn by Kim Harrison

29277157Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: The Hollows #0.1

Finally an explanation for how tomatoes almost wiped out the human population! It makes more sense getting the whole story rather than getting bits and pieces in the Hollows. I still question why tomatoes, but then again it’s not like any other food would have been less ridiculous.

Trisk was an elf in the sixties. She had two strikes against her: being a dark elf and being a woman. At that point in time all supernatural creatures were still in hiding. Trisk, despite being the smartest in her class, was sent to work in a human lab. She managed to do two amazing things while there. She made the T4 Angel tomato which was helping to feed the hungry around the world and perfected Daniel Plank’s virus so the biological weapon could not harm the inderlanders.

Kal had picked on Trisk for her whole life. An argument between them caused Kal to lose his shot at getting a prestigious job. After a while he was tasked with the job of verifying Trisk’s work would work as she claimed. If there were fault with her work, Kal would be able to take it over and make a name for himself when he perfected it. He was determined to find fault with it whether it was there or not.

I liked Trisk. She made the best out of what she was given. Sometimes she made some stupid decisions but it made her seem normal. They weren’t of the TSTL variety. She was strong, caring, and determined to do what was right regardless of the odds being against her. Kal OTOH was a self serving bastard. It’s easy to see where Trent got his ruthlessness and superiority complex from. Kal would have done anything, manipulated anyone to get what he wanted. Despite being privy to his thoughts, I didn’t like him. Regret and self doubt weren’t there, so it was hard to see him as redeemable. I didn’t hate him, but there sure as hell wasn’t much to like either.

I enjoyed the book, but it took me a while to get into it. I was pleasantly surprised to see a few characters from the Hollows series like Al. I’m not sure if this is a prequel series or simply a novel. The storyline about killer tomatoes was wrapped up, but I want to know more about Kal, Trisk, and Quen. Things weren’t settled between them, and I’m hoping they end up better for them at some point.

Thanks so much to Netgalley for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!!!

Tainted Blood by M.L. Brennan

Rating: 5 stars

Series: Generation V #3

Someone was murdered. Since the usual member of Fort’s family who investigates these events was occupied with other things, Fort had to go out on his own and investigate. For assistance he enlisted the help of Suzume. Fort became more entrenched with the supernaturals than ever before and had some tough decisions to make.

The whole thing with Chivalry and his wives is creepy. He really loves them, which is sick and twisted in it’s own way. It’s interesting that vampires kill people from drinking from them even without draining them. I don’t think I’ve ever come across this concept in a novel. Normally vampire bites induce euphoria and have healing powers.

In most fantasy or UF novels, the main character usually is special. They’re stronger, better, more powerful, etc. No one in this series falls into that category. There are incredibly powerful and strong characters, but they all have their weaknesses. Fort is on the weaker side, but he manages to hold his own. I’ve gotten really sick of the special main character trope, so to find a series that completely avoids that is great.

Tainted Blood was the best book yet in the series! Fort has grown and is standing up for what he believes in even when it’s not popular opinion. The family dynamic has been changing as Fort is transitioning and his mother’s health is declining. Fort’s relationship with Suzume is slowly changing, which is fine by me. I prefer it when people really get to know each other before jumping into a relationship.

Iron Night by M.L. Brennan

Rating: 4 stars

Series: Generation V #2

Even better than Generation V! Since Fort’s transition had begun, he was being pulled into the family business, which meant he was learning about the supernatural creatures he had avoided for most of his life. Fort’s new roommate was murdered. Everyone but Fort was convinced it was random. He and Suzume teamed up and discovered a sinister plot in the supernatural world.

A new bad ass Fort has emerged! More accurately he was in the process of becoming a bad ass, but he had greatly improved since Generation V. By avoiding his fate he wasn’t doing himself any favors, so he realized that being a complete and total slacker would probably result in his untimely demise. It wasn’t just in the physical aspect that he had grown; he wasn’t being passive and allowing everyone to treat him like a doormat.

Once again I loved Suzume! She is definitely an asset for Fort to have around. Not only is she an excellent fighter, but she is knowledgeable in many aspects Fort is not. She is very witty. Some of the things she says crack me up.

I might have given this 5 stars if it hadn’t been for the potential love triangle. Everything was resolved by the end, so it won’t be dragged on for several books while Fort sorts out his feelings. The lingering possibility of it aggravated me while reading especially since it seemed like only two characters had chemistry.

The Witch with No Name by Kim Harrison

Rating: 2 stars

Series: Hollows #13

Vampire drama was the focus of this story. The vampires are for the most part are selfish, heartless, and ruthless, so needing to save their souls wasn’t an endearing storyline. Going to Landon for help with the vamp soul issue was insane! It was so obvious he was going to use her and spin her problem to his advantage.

Aside from that I’ve always hated Ivy. She has been there for Rachel when she’s needed it, but she had no personality and seemed cold. Ivy and her girlfriend Nina were prominently featured in this installment much to my dismay. I feel the same way about Nina as I do Ivy except Nina has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Rachel’s desire to ensure Ivy’s happiness and survival caused her to act like an idiot on several occasions. Rachel is selfless and will do anything to protect those she loves; that’s why she put herself at risk for her. I get that. It’s who Rachel is, but couldn’t she have thought things through before acting on them? It would have saved her some trouble.

I really struggled to get through this book. It was agonizing. Regardless I had to finish the series, but to do that it was like I had to accept the ship was sinking and I was going down with it. Any attempt to save myself from this misery would have meant abandoning the book.

Rachel’s self doubt and insecurity was aggravating. This was the end of the series. I wanted at least some growth and maturity. Instead all I got was moaning and bitching about if Trent loved her enough to stay every 2 fucking pages. Why was she suddenly acting as if Trent was a saint? She questioned often if she was holding Trent back from his true potential as if he would be a better person without her. Trent was a self absorbed asshole (although I loved him that way) before Rachel came into his life. She is the one that made him a better man, so quit bitching!
Oh Trent! What happened to him? I loved him since book 1. I wanted to throw book 4 against the wall (partly) because he wasn’t in it. He was strong, confident, and independent. He was a bad ass. Why did being in a relationship turn him into a sap? It’s not fun now that Trent’s sole purpose is to support Rachel. It’s good that he supported her, but he needed to find the balls to be his own man too. IDK what it was but he wasn’t as charming as before. I wasn’t drawn to him. He’s still a great character and will always be one of my top book boyfriends, but this was the first time I ever felt meh about him.

The story did pick up somewhat around 75%. That’s when problems with the ever after, demons, and elves finally tied in with the vampire storyline. It did tie up nicely. The suffering I endured en route to the happy ending is more prevalent in my mind than the ending. The last chapter was more like an epilogue. I really could have lived without that. I prefer it when my urban fantasy doesn’t end with every character in domestic bliss or professional success. This was not a favorite of mine in the series, but this was not bad enough or so out of sync that it has altered my perception of the rest of the series. Since this was the final book, I was hoping for something more spectacular.