Rating: 4.5 stars
Series: Strange the Dreamer #1
Absolutely beautiful! The writing is captivating. The story slowly builds. I admit it took me awhile to get into it, but I was hooked once I got a third of the way in. The world and more specifically the city of Weep is truly unique. It’s a living legend, a place so far off the beaten path that most people no longer believe it was ever real. Lazlo did. He always believed.
I fell in love with the characters! Lazlo and Sarai are the same yet not. They both possess an astonishing level of compassion for others. Neither of them see the world in black and white but in various shades of gray. Lazlo amazed me with his selflessness. He expected nothing from the world. He was happy with what he was given no matter how small. Nonetheless he was a dreamer with high hopes for fantastical things. He didn’t aspire to be great or do things to make a name for himself. Everything was done simply because it was the right thing to do.
Sarai broke my heart. For many reasons, she believed she was a monster, but at the same time, she knew monsters didn’t have to do monstrous things. Sarai knew from experience what it felt like to be an outcast, to be viewed as evil just for existing. Nothing she did mattered because of what she was.
“She saw only what humans would see. Not a girl or a woman or someone in between. They wouldn’t see her loneliness or fear or courage, let alone her humanity. They would see only obscenity. Calamity.”
Her power allowed her to get into the minds of anyone in the city giving her a diverse perspective no one else could possibly have. The more she learned about the people who hated her the more she empathized with them because they suffered just like she did. And that is the core of this story: hatred and how it changes people, even good people.
“Good people do all the things bad people do, Lazlo. It’s just that when they do them, they call it justice.”
The story has many layers but not a lot of action. It’s about the characters and what caused them to be the people they are and how all of them developed their extreme positions. Many of the gods secrets remained hidden at the end, all of which I’m sure will be revealed in the next one. The end was devastating. It ripped out my heart and stomped on it. However it didn’t leave me without hope, but I was not expecting things to do down like that.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: Mercy Thompson #10
Mercy was kidnapped and taken to the lair of a powerful vampire. The question was why? The story was told from alternating Mercy and Adam’s POV. The parts with Mercy were good. Chaos seemed to follow her every place she went. It was great to have Mercy away from the pack for a while. She may not win any battles due to strength but has many ways of outwitting her enemies. I may be in the minority with this opinion but I prefer Mercy when she doesn’t have to deal with ridiculous pack drama. She’s capable of handling a lot on her own.
Adam’s POV dragged. Honestly I could have skipped his chapters because all I wanted to know was what was going on with Mercy. Everything he did to get Mercy back was political. I didn’t feel like anything truly significant was learned from his dealings with the vampires. Adam is a powerful alpha. He’s got to be one of the most boring alphas. The problem is that he’s too pragmatic to be interesting. Internally he fretted about Mercy but managed to be calm and reasonable. What he did was the right but didn’t make for a highly entertaining read.
The story was a bit convoluted by the end. The ending made sense. It wasn’t like I couldn’t understand it, but I wanted more details about how this plot was orchestrated. I loved the twist with Matt Smith. I did not see that coming at all. But seriously how the hell did that happen? Because it wasn’t one of those twists where looking back after knowing the truth makes all the pieces fall into place. There weren’t any hints at all, so it came out of left field. It’s fascinating because of what it symbolizes for Mercy, but logistically it doesn’t seem possible.
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.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: Tradd Street #5
I didn’t like this book nearly as much as the last two. Things are different now that Melanie and Jack are married with kids. Despite them finally being a couple, they still didn’t feel like a team. They didn’t work together as much as they did in the other books. Jack didn’t make as many witty comments that get Melanie all flustered. He is my favorite character in the series, and I wanted more of him. Melanie is anal retentive and obsessive compulsive about certain things, but it’s funny and endearing. It’s expected that there will be some drama since no one can live up to her lofty standards. But does there have to be a quasi love triangle in every book? The other man/woman never goes anywhere serious as a potential love interest, and it’s obvious it won’t. I’m okay with them having problems, but I want them to be sure that they are 100% committed to each other for a whole book.
Although I love the cast of characters which made the book worth reading, this wasn’t the best mystery ever. About half way through I figured out what really happened to Hasell and who Jayne really was. The clues about Jayne were numerous and obvious. There wasn’t anyone else whose child she could possibly be. I wasn’t thrilled with the plot probably because I’m not a fan of secret baby storylines. A few other minor things were easy to figure out. It got annoying after awhile that the characters weren’t figuring any of this stuff out. More things got on my nerves than normal, but I will gladly read the next book if there is one.
I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 4 stars
Death is a defining moment in everyone’s lives both the dead and the living. Everyone is meant to live for a certain amount of time. Sometimes people die before their time is up. Then they become ghosts who must leech time from the living so they can finally move on.
This wasn’t a difficult read, but it wasn’t a light read either. It was much sadder than I expected it to be. Jenna died before her time while grieving the loss of her sister. She never really let go of that grief even in death. As a ghost she still lived, but it was a dismal existence. Much of this is about how life and death aren’t fair. People often don’t get what they should have.
There was a mystery, but that part of the story was just okay. The world and characters were vastly more interesting. This is a novella, so obviously the mystery wasn’t going to be complex. It turned out to be far too simple. It would have been better if Jenna had made any kind of plan when going to save the day.
Rating: 3.75 stars
Series: Half Lich #1
Surprisingly this wasn’t the same old UF. It did have vampires, mages, and ghosts/evil spirits, but the world was different. Ghosts, poltergeists, and the like lived in an alternate realm, but sometimes they managed escape out of their world and into this one. Alice was the only person to have entered the other realm and lived to tell about it. Escaping that realm had consequences. Alice had a special one of a kind camera that allowed her to capture a soul in the picture, so people paid her to get rid of ghosts.
Alice wasn’t the usual do gooder type of heroine. Surviving was more important to her than trying to rid the world of evil and save the helpless. She wasn’t as heartless as she initially seemed. Isaac was Alice’s ex. He was a good guy but was also power driven. The chemistry between them was good but they were nowhere near ready to be in a relationship again.
The world building was explained well enough that I wasn’t confused about what was going on, but some things did need more clarification. It was mentioned that vampires and mages lived in the world. People were oblivious of the vampires around them, but I wasn’t sure if that was because the vampires blended in so well or if people did not know they existed at all. I assume some of the things without solid explanations for why they happened are going to be explained later on in the series. I am looking forward to reading the next one.