The Brightest Fell by Seanan McGuire

23383896Rating: 4.5 stars

Series: Toby Daye #11

Finally Amandine made an appearance!!! I had been waiting so long for this. It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting. Amandine is formidable woman. She makes the Luidaeg look sweet and sane, and she’s known as the sea witch. I have the feeling this book only showed one side of her personality. As someone who loves psychology, I’m curious to see what makes her tick and why exactly she feels the way she does about Toby. I think there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Since these books are becoming increasingly character driven, I can’t talk about much in regards to the characters because there would be major spoilers. One thing that made this book very different from the others was the lack of Toby’s usual sidekicks. Quentin was around but not highly impactful on the plot. The other main character was someone from Toby’s past who she detests. I would love to say more, but I was absolutely shocked at how that played out. It was this forced relationship that made the book great.

Amandine forced Toby’s hand and made her look for her long lost sister. In the century or so that she had been missing no one could find her and some incredibly powerful people looked. I like how the whole plot unraveled. The thing I didn’t like was that it was too convenient that Toby was the only person alive with the right abilities to possibly make it happen. The end game of the series has finally been laid out. Based on the few hints that were dropped, it’s looking grim. After all the title of the final book is When Sorrows Come.

Thank you so much to DAW and Netgalley for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!!

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Ride the Storm by Karen Chance

25962913-_uy200_Rating: 4.5 stars

Series: Cassie Palmer #8

Three things happened that I have been desperately hoping would happen since book 4, and it was about damn time. I would love to discuss those things in detail, but it would give away some major plot points. I was beginning to lose my faith and thought that some of these issues would be dragged out forever, but good things come to those who wait!

I’ve got to be honest the first half was aggravating and too chaotic without any real progress being made. Cassie was time jumping from one place to the next and dealing with many issues. All of those issues were the same ones from the last book. I really didn’t think it was necessary for two books to be devoted to Pritkin’s sojourn in the past.

The other pythias were irritating. They didn’t add much to the story and were a constant distraction causing the resolution to Pritkin’s situation to take too long. Cassie never had formal training with her pythia powers, but shouldn’t she be more powerful than the average pythia? One parent was a goddess and the other was a necromancer. She should be a badass from that alone. Throwing pythia powers into the mix should make her extremely powerful. Despite her ability to do things others can’t, it always seems like other pythias can overtake her too easily.

Finally the time came for Cassie and Mircea to have a talk. Cassie found out something about him, and he was forced to explain the situation. It turned out much better than I thought it would have. He revealed much more than I would have expected. Well it turns out what I always thought about him was true.

The end was great! The final showdown with Ares happened. The way that got settled was completely unexpected and fantastic! The best part was that Cassie finally made a choice, and it was the one I wanted her to make. No more love triangle drama, hopefully anyway. The other guy isn’t going let Cassie go easily. There was a cliffhanger at the end, but it was one I can deal with.

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

Souljacker by Yasmine Galenorn

51icwzrlk7l-_sx322_bo1204203200_Rating: 2.5 stars

Series: Lily Bound #1

Not bad but completely unmemorable. Lily was a succubus who entertained men for a living. A vicious vampire called the souljacker killed one of her clients at her house. This set off a chain of events. Lily’s rep was ruined and her business failed. The weres were after her because of the guy that died. The souljacker was after her and her friends, so she worked with a demon Archer to get some info.

I had a hard time connecting with the characters. I didn’t care about any of them. Their lives were in danger at times, but it didn’t really matter if they lived or died because it wouldn’t have been any great loss. All of them except for Nate were supernatural, but they all seemed so damn normal. Lily was supposed to be over 600 years old but seemed like she should have been in her 20’s. For someone who had lived so long she lacked the skills to read people and to defend herself. Archer the love interest and chaos demon was boring. Nate served no real purpose except to give Lily another friend. Dani was her other friend. Nothing stood out about her. The introduction of Lily’s ex was lame. It didn’t create a love triangle, but he was boring. He served a purpose, but I still wish he hadn’t been in the story at all.

The souljacker was crazy. All of the vampires were described as heartless killers, so the souljacker wasn’t as extreme as he was made out to be. The weres created drama. Since they were unreasonable assholes, I couldn’t get behind their cause, and therefore they were uninteresting. There wasn’t any build up with the romance. It was instalove. I wasn’t feeling it between them. I liked this well enough that I read it quickly, but it’s not likely I’ll read the next one.

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

Feversong by Karen Marie Moning

51hilzuad1l-_sy346_Rating: 2.5 stars

Series: Fever #9

A few things were good, but most of it was incredibly disappointing. The first third was boring as hell and repetitive. Then it got interesting for a while. By the halfway mark I was annoyed and stayed that way for the rest of the book. The only reason I finished this so quickly is because I knew if I put it down I’d never pick it back up again.

I could have lived without the many chapters from the sinsar dubh. Yeah I got it quite early on that it was evil. I didn’t need to read over and over again about how it wanted to kill. I didn’t think Aoibheal’s POV was necessary either. I just didn’t care about what she was going through. Those chapters took up a lot of page time without revealing anything useful. The Dani backstory chapters were interesting but had absolutely no effect on the story whatsoever.

The Dani/Ryodan/Dancer love triangle was obnoxious. The way that played out really pissed me off. It was done in a way that would manage to appease everyone regardless of who they shipped. I hated the way it ended. I wanted Dani to make a definitive choice instead of waffling about who she preferred for the whole book. When she made that choice, I wanted it to be a happy one. Her reasons for doing what she did were based more on circumstance than her own wants and needs.So much angst and tension, just to be majorly let down.

Dani finally found a good balance between her new and old self. Aside from the love triangle bullshit I really liked her. Mac finally got her shit together. It would have been better if it could have happened earlier in the series. Things ended up for Mac the way I thought they would in regards to what she turned into. There had been hints about magic being drawn to her earlier in the series. It was unfortunate that she and Barrons weren’t more open with each other. They were still committed and trusted each other completely, but I wasn’t feeling the passion.

Cruce had an important role. A different side of him was seen in this. He was still a temperamental bastard but opened up a little with Mac. They had more heartfelt conversations than Mac did with Barrons, which seemed wrong for the final book. It was good that he and Mac came to an understanding. It was sad in a way. I really think he would have done anything for her. OTOH it was disappointing that Mac moved past her issues with him so easily. Obviously I didn’t want her to be permanently traumatized by what he did to her, but she brushed it off like it was nothing. It was bizarre that she put so much trust in him. It felt like an attempt to make Cruce into a good guy. Although I’ve always like Cruce, that ship sailed a long time ago.

Ryodan is a douchebag of epic proportions. I’ve never liked him. I can’t buy into his sudden shift into being a good guy. The guy is hundreds or possibly thousands of years old, and now he suddenly decides to change? Not fucking likely. It seemed like his character changed to make a potential Dani and Ryodan relationship more palatable.

Many of the side characters’ storylines were essentially dropped. WTH was going on with Daegeus? Or Kat? What was the significance of the Shazaam subplot? It had no bearing on anything. Virtually nothing happened with Christian. WTF are the nine? Why wasn’t that explained in the last book? It should have been.

Honestly IDK why I continued to read this series. It went downhill after the fifth book. Scratch that. Downhill is too light of a term to describe what happened. This series got so bad so quickly it’s like it plunged off a cliff. There are too many useless POV. The books drag and are mostly filler. Things didn’t end the way I hoped they would, but I still felt the need to know how it ended after investing so much time in the series.

 

Dreams and Slumbers by Seanan McGuire

Rating: 3 stars

Series: Toby Daye #10.1

I’ve never been an Arden Windermere fan, so I wasn’t thrilled to find out this story was about her. She’s so damn boring and whiny. She’s over 100 years old. Suck it up. Life isn’t fair. Stop whining about it like a teenager who doesn’t want any responsibility in life. Not wanting the throne makes sense. Ruling isn’t something everyone is cut out for. Just because someone is born into it doesn’t mean they’re fit to do it, and she is definitely one of those people. Nolan should have been declared the heir. Maybe it would have happened if their parents hadn’t died unexpectedly.

Whatever bit of respect I had for Arden is now gone. Her brother had about 20 more years to go before he’d wake up from being elfshot. She was debating whether or not she should give him the cure. Is she for real? Screw you Arden! Does she really think he would have been happy waking up to find out he could have woken up 20 years earlier and it didn’t happen just because she was insecure? This just proves she shouldn’t be queen. Everything she’s done is all about what she wants and that means taking the easy route and not fighting for anything.

Her opinions on Toby are another reason to dislike her. All the problems in her life are Toby’s fault. Sure because everything was peachy keen before Toby walked into her life. Toby is disrespectful. Maybe if Arden did something worthy of respect, she’d respect her. She should be grateful that Toby’s around or her reign as queen would be pathetic. Obviously she doesn’t get Toby at all since she thinks Toby gets everything she wants.

The best part of the story was getting a little more background info on the Luidaeg. It helped to explain why she does what she does and why she can be incredibly helpful and destructive to Faerie. Learning about Cassandra’s power was cool. I wonder how that will come into play later on in the series.

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.