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!

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A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

27015399Rating: 5 stars

Series: Kingmaker Chronicles #1

Wow! I can’t stop thinking about this book. I’m already tempted to reread it. In terms of quality, plot, etc. it was only worth 4 stars. It’s been so long since I haven’t wanted to put a book down and have been completely enraptured by it. It finally happened with this book, so it gets 5 stars.

It’s hard to put into words why I liked this so much. It wasn’t perfect. It’s not ideal for a relationship to begin with the H kidnapping the h. The chemistry was there right from the start despite Griffin being an arrogant bastard. All things considered, Cat wasn’t treated badly aside from not having the freedom to go where she wanted. Any feelings she developed were real. Nothing occurred to cause Stockholm syndrome. Other people’s reactions to Cat’s objections about being held captive pissed me off. They acted like it was no big deal because Griffin was rich and powerful and she’d have a good life with him. Whether that was true or not it shouldn’t matter. Others had the nerve to get annoyed when she complained about being held captive, which made it hard for me to believe in the innate goodness in some of the side characters.

Cat was an amazing heroine! This book was great because of her. She didn’t put up with shit from anybody whether she could best them or not. Many heroines are tomboyish, which she was. Feminine is definitely not a word I would use to describe Cat, but unlike other tomboy heroines, she knew how to act and dress like a lady and didn’t shy away from it when it mattered. Most of the time she chose to be herself, which was blunt, bold, bossy, and sarcastic.

I shouldn’t like Griffin. I really shouldn’t, but I just can’t help it. The guy is charming as hell. Half of the things he did were aggravating, but it’s the kind of aggravating that’s both infuriating and endearing. Despite his arrogance, he was a decent guy. He never needlessly killed nor was he cruel. He was way too bossy and needed to taken down a peg or two sometimes, so I thoroughly enjoyed it when Cat would smack him when he acted like a self righteous jerk.

The world building was an original twist on Greek mythology. Cat’s magic was interesting, although if she resembles a specific mythological god or demigod I haven’t figured out who it is. As to Cat’s true identity, well that was so easy to figure out although it hasn’t officially been revealed. The clues have been numerous and aren’t cryptic.

Although I love most of the characters and their lighthearted banter, I wish they weren’t so easy to figure out. The bad guys are pure evil or at least do a poor job of hiding their disdain for the people they dislike. The good guys are so good it’s almost sickening. The women in Griffin’s family are particularly irritating. They mean well, but they’re incredibly naive and need some sense knocked into them. I agree with what Griffin’s family wants to do as the new rulers of Sinta, but most of them are so damn clueless when it comes to politics. It’s hard to believe they overthrew the previous rulers in the first place let alone have the ability to maintain their position.

I know most of this review sounds negative, but I loved the book! The issues didn’t detract from my enjoyment. The romance was perfect. It wasn’t slow moving, but Cat didn’t jump into anything without giving it serious thought first and putting up some resistance.

Rogue Descendant by Jenna Black

15802872Rating: 3.25 stars

Series: Nikki Glass #3

So I liked this better than the last book, but I can’t figure out why I had liked this so much the first time I read it. Someone was threatening the people Nikki loved, and she was trying to figure out who since there were a few suspects. Usually the mystery is the best part of the books, but Nikki and Anderson didn’t respond the way I would have expected. They were too intent on focusing on the obvious instead of focusing on alternative possibilities.

This book was plagued by the same problems in the last two books. The side characters had little to no development. Most of them barely had any page time. Nikki didn’t like anyone except Jamaal although he is still a jerk. I don’t understand why she likes him. Almost every other man in the series including her enemies were vastly more interesting.

That was one hell of a cliffhanger at the end. It does make me question Anderson’s intelligence. He should have expected something like that would happen if he acted the way he did. Anyway I will read the next book, but I’m not looking forward to it like I was when I originally read this.

Deadly Descendant by Jenna Black

11202715Rating: 3 stars

Series: Nikki Glass #2

I have no idea why I rated this so highly the first time around. Maybe it was just that UF was new to me back then and I was more forgiving. This book irritated the hell out of me on this reread. Nikki is a great character, but she didn’t seem as smart. There were a few times she did something, and I just knew it was a bad idea. It was mentioned often that she was rebellious during her rough childhood. It seems hard to believe since she is generally very cautious as an adult. Nothing about her comes off as reckless.

For a smart woman Nikki has piss poor judgement when it comes to people. She only sees what she wants to see and has no interest in learning more, which is probably why many characters are underdeveloped. Emma is a raging bitch and treats Nikki like crap. Nikki’s dislike of her makes sense, but it bothers me that she completely lacks empathy for her. Emma died every day for 10 years just to be brought back to life to experience it all over again. Considering what happened to Nikki in this book, I would have thought she’d understand on some level how traumatizing that could be. Loki is a trickster. Pulling pranks is what he does. Nothing he has done is really bad, but Nikki thinks he’s such an asshole. Why does she feel this way? Jamaal is an asshole, and she lets it slide. So why not do the same for Loki? Her fear of Anderson doesn’t make sense either. He is not someone to fuck around with because of his powers, but if he really wanted her dead it would have happened long before now. He’s always been reasonable. How does she not see that?

Anderson has several liberi living in his house, but what is the point of most of those characters being included in the book? After two books virtually nothing is known about them. Nikki mentioned that Maggie was her best friend. In the last book she was nice but no history was given, and she had almost no page time in this. Then there’s the computer geek whose name I can’t even remember because he is so insignificant. Apparently Loki is just a trickster and nothing more. Her sister barely had page time. Her sole purpose in the series is for her to be used as leverage against Nikki, so apparently an interesting personality isn’t needed. A few minor things were learned about Blake, but it wasn’t enough to make me care. There are a few other characters who I literally remember nothing about, and I just read this book yesterday.

My biggest gripe with this book is Jamaal. I can’t stand him. Everything he does irritates me, and he had so much page time. The dude has serious anger issues. Why would anyone want a relationship with an angry, violent person? Is Nikki a masochist? Because being in a relationship like that isn’t fun. Nikki feels bad for him because he’s controlled by his death magic. It makes his life so hard. Cry me a fucking river. It does suck that Jamaal has dangerous magic that is hard to control, but I really doubt him being such a dickhead all the time has to do with his magic. In the last book he was physically violent with her because he passionately loathed her, but I guess it’s all good now because he’s suddenly gotten over it. I don’t understand why Nikki forgave him for all of the shit he put her through. Why does she give him a pass on his behavior but doesn’t do it for anyone else? When any of the other characters behaved poorly, she expected them to be responsible and control their behavior.

“It didn’t matter that he sometimes bore a disturbing resemblance to a raving lunatic; Jamaal was hot, hot, hot.”

The moral of this story is it’s okay to date abusive assholes if they’re hot. Nikki hadn’t seemed like the type to fall for an asshole because of a pretty face. And Nikki liked him because according to her they were similar in some ways, but in reality they couldn’t be more different. Just because they both were abandoned by their parents doesn’t make them alike especially since the circumstances were completely different. I’m sure it won’t happen, but Nikki needs to take off the rose colored glasses and see Jamaal for the guy he really is.

The mystery aspect of the story was good. The killer was interesting. I actually felt bad for the guy. The murders caused some chaos and big changes in the world of the liberi, so the book wasn’t a complete loss. And there’s Anderson. I love Anderson! He’s smart and isn’t quick to judge. There is a dangerous side to him, but he’s got it under control. So he unlike some other characters isn’t a threat to be around.

Dark Descendant by Jenna Black

8562565Rating: 4 stars

Series: Nikki Glass #1

I am rereading this series since the final book has been released, which for a long time didn’t seem like it was ever going to happen. It wasn’t quite as good as I remembered it to be, but I still liked it. Even though I’ve read a lot of UF over the years, it stands out from other series because all of the supernatural people are descendants of Greek and Norse gods. A select few of their descendants are immortals called Liberi. Many of the them are power hungry bastards.

Nikki is a heroine I genuinely like which is a rarity in UF. She’s actually smart. After being thrust into the world of the Liberi, she’s cautious. Everyone either wants to use her or kill her, but she doesn’t blindly trust them. I love it that she stays level headed in tough situations. It’s refreshing to read about a heroine who doesn’t fly off the handle constantly and put herself in unnecessary danger. Her biggest fault is forgiving too easily, which definitely isn’t the worst fault to have.

The side characters needed more development. More was revealed about Anderson than any of the other side characters. He is interesting. Jamaal was a raging asshole. IDK why anyone treated him kindly. I really hate him. Maggie was nice, but beyond that nothing was known about her. Blake was an ass, but his actions were forgivable. The rest of the characters weren’t notable. The lack of character development wasn’t too aggravating because this was the introduction to this world and page time needed to be spent on other things.

Poison Fruit by Jacqueline Carey

17340103Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: Agent of Hel #3

The conclusion to this trilogy was satisfying, but I have mixed feelings about it. The plot was so good. It took some unexpected twists and turns, but the love triangle ruined parts of it. The world building in this series was awesome. It was an original world, and it blended religion, Greek and Norse mythologies, and common and uncommon supernatural races without it feeling disjointed.

Daisy was a rare kind of supernatural, but it made her life more difficult. She was tough, strong, and worked hard to overcome the obstacles that came with being what she was. I liked her because she was flawed. Sometimes she hesitated instead of taking action or would be confused or conflicted about what to do. It made her seem real, so there was no special snowflake here. But when it came to her love life she did not make the best decisions. She knew who she loved. When she couldn’t be with him, she settled for anyone else. I think it bothered me so much because I’m not like that. Her love life was a great source of frustration for me.

I love Cody. He would have been perfect if it weren’t for his indecision about whether or not he wanted to be with Daisy. Werewolves were expected to mate within their own clan, and since Daisy wasn’t a werewolf, he wasn’t supposed to be with her. He was incredibly aggravating because it was so obvious he loved Daisy but kept rambling on about loyalty to his clan.

Stefan was a worthless asshole. I loathe him. I desperately wanted Daisy to take her dagger and plunge it through his heart. She would have been doing the world a favor. He may have been better than the average ghoul but was still capable of killing people. Nonetheless he was not a good guy which he proved throughout the book. Daisy’s response to him made no sense. She was extremely leery of him but thought he was hot. So she threw caution to the wind and explored a relationship with him anyway.

The development with the lawyer did not play out like I thought it would. It was a surprise to find out who his boss was, and that person was capable of causing lots of damage. One small problem snowballed into a much larger one, and most people in the town did not understand the ramifications of their situation. Everything lead up to a big showdown. The end was satisfying but how it got there was not. All of the problems were resolved in an odd, unexpected way. It shouldn’t have been as easy to resolve all of those problems.

I’m glad a I read this trilogy. It was a fun buddy read with the Machalos and gave us lots to discuss. I loved the world and the characters. I really wish more books would be written in this world even if it focused on different characters.