The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

51jpv68vvzl-_sx333_bo1204203200_Rating: 4 stars

New York City was surrounded by a barrier called the brink. It prevented anyone with magic from leaving the city. It would strip them of their magic and at best cause considerable pain and at worst cause death. The order, a group of humans, created the brink. Those with magic wanted to be free and were trying to find a way to take down the brink and the order.

It took a little while to get into it, but it was so damn good. Esta had the rare ability of being able to travel through time. Her guardian used her ability to go back in time and steal items from the order. There was a bit of an info dump in the beginning. It complicated matters more that Esta was sent back to the past and the world building of that time period had to be introduced also since what was going on in the world magically was quite different.

The whole cast of characters was interesting. I liked Esta. Her ability was useful and got her out of a few tricky situations. Her actions in the past were important because the butterfly effect was a major possibility. She was loyal and trustworthy which made her more unpredictable as the story went on because it was hard to tell if she’d be loyal to the people of her time or to the ones in the past she’d grown close to. I loved Harte Darrigan. He and Esta had good chemistry from the first time they met. For most of the book I wasn’t sure how to feel about him. I genuinely felt that he was a good guy at heart, but part of him was incredibly selfish. His main concern was always getting the best possible outcome for himself even if it screwed everyone else over. It was his connection to Esta that made him think of others more, but I hadn’t been sure where his loyalties would lie in the end. Dolph was the leader of a magical mafia. It was obvious he was trying to do the right thing all along. He had a rat in his midst and was going to get screwed for trusting the wrong person. I wanted him to be more proactive and figure things out.

The end was shocking! I was really surprised at how far the bad guy was willing to take things to achieve his goal. I did not see that coming at all. The truth about Esta’s past was revealed. I probably should have pieced that together, but so many other things were going on that I didn’t even give it any thought. The only thing that truly disappointed me with this book was that I didn’t know it was the first in a series. A lot of things still need to be resolved, but I can’t wait to read the next one!

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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!!!

Colorless by Rita Stradling

51dctryq5al-_sy346_Rating: 2.5 stars

Annabelle’s parents died. Then something bizarre happened. All of the color seeped out of her body, and she became invisible. Everyone she had ever known instantly forgot her. She wandered around unsure of what to do. Eventually there was one person who could see her. Magicians began snooping around. They couldn’t see Annabelle but somehow they knew she existed.

The idea for this was good. The story itself was not. It took me quite a few days to get through this, which if you know me is not common. I was bored once the magicians started stalking Annabelle. There was obviously a lot going on in the world with gods, magicians and iconoclasts. None of it was explained well. Annabelle was an iconoclast, but WTH does that mean? What did the magicians really do other than hunt down anyone that was a threat? The gods didn’t come into it until the end. Basically the world building sucked.

I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. Annabelle was a stuck up bitch. She’d act down to Earth at times. Then she’d let loose and show her superiority because she was of a higher social class than the people she was interacting with. I sympathized with her at first. As the book went on I wished she would get over herself. She wasn’t horribly snobby but just enough to annoy me. Dylan the guy who could see her was alright. He was nice and helpful but not terribly interesting. The other main character was Annabelle’s cousin Anthony. Why the hell was he in the book? The story could have been altered slightly and would have been the same without him. At the very least he could have been in the story but didn’t deserve many chapters from his POV.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t waste your time on this one.

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

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!

Blood Gamble by Melissa F. Olson

34181876Rating: 3 stars

Series: Disrupted Magic #2

I loved the first book in this series but was terribly disappointed with this. All of the growth and maturity Scarlett gained in the last book up and disappeared in a flash about halfway through. She has the shittiest taste in men. Does she have something against mature responsible men? Why does she keep going for these douchebags when it’s clear it’ll never work in the long run?

This took place in Las Vegas. It had a different vibe since none of the regular side characters were around frequently. Frankly the new characters in Vegas weren’t interesting except for Wyatt. Jameson the null from New York was around. I didn’t care about him one way or the other, but as the book went on I liked him less and less.

The mystery was okay. I strongly suspected one of the main people involved. The whole thing was more complex than I originally thought. It didn’t grip me though. I will read the next one but I am not looking forward to it. The drama from this will greatly affect the rest of the series. It was bad enough to have to suffer through it in this. Now there’s no chance of it ending soon.

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

Scorpion Trap by Pippa DaCosta

32337095Rating: 5 stars

Series: Soul Eater #4

Isis conned Ace into going to Egypt for an unknown purpose. She promised to reveal who he really is if he helped her. Another motivating factor was she wouldn’t tell Osiris anything. Of course Shu had to come with, but it put their relationship to the test. Nothing went smoothly. That’s just the way his life works.

Isis is devious as hell. It was obvious she was using Ace, but I actually felt slightly bad for her when she told Ace her story. Sometimes I wished he had listened to Shu’s advice and avoided the situation. OTOH he needed to know who he is. I’d probably do something crazy if my past was a mystery too.

Ace and Shu have a fascinating love/hate relationship. It’s understandable why Ace has trust issues with Shu. I’m not sure she is really there, but it doesn’t appear that she genuinely hates him.

I loved the end! Ace finally learned who he is!!! I’m so excited! I’m dying to know what happens next! This really changes things.