Shoot the Messenger by Pippa DaCosta

downloadRating: 4 stars

Series: The Messenger Chronicles #1

I would have given this 5 stars but the ending left me feeling betrayed. It was meant to. I’ve never been fond of unreliable narrators. I don’t like getting to know a character intimately through their thoughts and feelings to find out I have been lied to. It’s totally different if they lie to other characters or themselves as long as it’s understood that’s what is going on. I prefer it when their thoughts are honest. IDK how to feel about Kesh. She was honest in her thoughts but not forthcoming. The things she withheld painted her thoughts and actions in a different light. She’s not a character I can trust. Kesh will have to prove herself to me before I can say I trust, understand or like her.

All of that aside, it was rather good. I was hesitant going into this. Books about space, even fantasies, aren’t my thing. The world building was excellent. The fantasy and space aspects were blended seamlessly. Everything was explained well enough that all necessary information was given as needed, but there is so much more to learn. I can’t wait to learn more about the different planets and races. I really liked how the world worked in regards to tek and magic, two opposing forces unexpectedly working in concert.

The characters were compelling whether good or bad. Each had their own hidden backgrounds and motives. Kellee seemed to be the most straightforward although I doubt it’ll stay that way forever. Damn did I like him. He was tough, strong and unique. It was great that despite his history he was determined to move forward and make things right. Sota was barely in the story but I was desperate for him to come back.

Honestly reverse harems have never interested me. This is a Pippa DaCosta novel so I had to read it. I prefer two people to be focused on each other romantically. There wasn’t much romance in this. Kesh did only seem interested in one person beyond sex, which made the multiple lover bearable. Kesh wasn’t deluding herself into thinking she actually cared about the three men in this. It didn’t seem like what I assumed a harem would be, so I gather more lovers will enter the series later on. Although I haven’t minded the reverse harem aspects of this, it hasn’t inspired me to read others. It has inspired me to continue with this series. Part of me wishes I hadn’t read this yet because it’ll be months before the next one is released and the cliffhangers gut me every time.


The Hunt by Chloe Neill

the huntRating: 3 stars

Series: Devil’s Isle #3

Chloe Neill’s books may not be for me. I gave up on CLV, and I’m about ready to give up on this series. For one thing the pacing is slow. I never got invested in the plot. It took me a few days to get through this. Every time I put it down I had no desire to pick it back up again. After 3 books, I’m not deeply attached to any of the characters. I like Liam and Claire, but don’t care about anyone else. Although I like Liam and Claire, they are not unique.

This picked up a few weeks after the last book. Liam had taken off after the battle. Claire was coping with him being gone without having heard from him. Then Liam was framed for murder, and Claire and Gavin had to find him. They knew he was innocent, but proving it would be hard.

Liam and Claire reuniting was not all I hoped it would be. I understood why he left, but it was still a total dickhead move. I was hoping there would have been something more drastic behind his motivation to go into hiding. Claire forgave him, but I’m not sure I have. Even once they reunited, he was distant for most of the book.

The quest to prove Liam’s innocence was ridiculous since Claire and Liam repeatedly did stupid things. Liam going back to New Orleans was not a good idea. Containment was hellbent on framing him. He should have let Claire and Gavin look into it. Going to the scene of the crime ultimately helped but caused lots of problems. Claire’s actions regarding a certain new character were not smart. Without the piss poor choices the two of them made most of the developments with the plot would not have been possible.

It didn’t help that Claire was also wanted by containment for her connections to Liam. They casually walked around New Orleans, went to some of their usual haunts, and hung out with their usual crew. All of these things would have made them easy to find, which is not good since they were on the run. Neither of them wanted to be caught and sent to the dreaded Devil’s Isle aka the least scary prison on Earth. It’s actually more like an internment camp than a traditional prison. Other than not having an abundance of supplies, the people in devil’s isle aren’t treated poorly. Plus it seems like it would be easy to escape if someone was determined. The ultimate threat to them should feel more threatening.

Winter’s Reach by Craig Schaefer

23508962Rating: 4 stars

Series: Revanche  Cycle #1

Epic fantasies are not my favorite. Unlike most epic fantasies, this wasn’t weighed down with overly complex world building, which made it easier to get into. It did have a lot of characters, but not so many that it was hard to keep track of who they were and how they were related. However it didn’t grab me from the start. I had tried to read this 3 other times and never got more than a few chapters in. I’m not sure why it interested me this time. Maybe I needed to be in the right mood for it.

The pope is dying and wants his worthless son to take over when he dies. The other clergymen weren’t blind to the son’s faults and knew letting him be in charge would be disastrous. Many other powerful men and ones wanting to get more power were taking advantage of the situation in the church and playing their own manipulative games.

I didn’t love any of the characters. Some are definitely better than others, but I have the feeling we’ve only scratched the surface in regards to what these characters are capable of. It doesn’t appear that this is a series with clearly defined good and bad guys; these people have varying shades of gray. I am curious to see how all of this plays out because knowing Craig Schaefer, things are bound to take a few unexpected turns.


Lost Boy by Christina Henry

61siwssh-el-_sx329_bo1204203200_Rating: 4 stars

Peter Pan has never been one of my favorite stories. Everything I know about it comes from the Disney movie and Finding Neverland. I never read the original. With that said, I did like it, but it took awhile for me to get into it. The first half of the book was slow moving. It was obvious Peter was a selfish ass, but I kept waiting for more. Once the story got going, things got crazy.

Peter’s issues went far beyond being an extremely selfish child. He was a psychopath in the truest sense of the word. It was hard for me to understand the love any of the boys had for Peter but Jamie in particular. He was never charming or kind. Manipulation made his island of lost boys possible, but it was almost like his magic made them blind to his faults.

This is the story about how Jamie aka Hook finally saw Peter for what he was. Jamie was the good guy. However he wasn’t truly a good guy; he was just good in comparison to Peter. Despite all of the good things Jamie did, he had lots of blood on his hands, most of it for no reason other than to please Peter. The worst thing about Jamie was that he did not see Peter for who he was for well over 100 years. Everything Jamie did was out of love, even when he did horrible things for Peter. They loved each other as friends but it was more like obsession for both of them.

At first I was annoyed by Charlie. The island of lost boys felt extremely domestic because of him. He was the driving force behind the story, which was obvious by the end. Sal was a great addition. There were a few unexpected twists and a few heartbreaking moments. The end was not a happy one, but I hadn’t expected the story of two friends becoming enemies to be happy. It will probably never happen but I’d love a sequel where Hook gets the upper hand.


The Sight by Chloe Neill

26878915Rating: 3 stars

Series: Devil’s Isle #2

Meh. The first one was better. I’m not sold on this series yet. A lot less happened in this than in the last one. It was boring. The focus of this was on a zealot who was rousing hate among people in the zone. He was a stereotypical bad guy. The plot highlighted how much hate there was for paranormals, but did nothing to enrich my knowledge of the world.

I’m not in love with the characters. The side characters need some serious work. I don’t care about any of them. If any of them died in one of their skirmishes, it wouldn’t matter. None of them get enough page time to really get to know them. Claire is alright but doesn’t stand out among the many other UF heroines. Liam is my favorite character. His reluctance to be with Claire is aggravating especially since the reason for it is weak.

Claire and Liam clearly like each other. Their situations put them at slight odds. It didn’t have much of an impact but jealousy was used to show how much Liam cared for Claire. It wasn’t a love triangle, but I’d prefer them to work out their issues without extra drama.

The end annoyed me. It wasn’t a cliffhanger but a big issue was left open ended. Chances are it’s one of those things that will be resolved in the next book. It felt like drama for the sake of drama. I don’t like that. I’m going to read the next one anyway.


The Veil by Chloe Neill

21415815Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: Devil’s Isle #1

It was much better than I thought it would be, but I admittedly went into it with low expectations. After becoming disillusioned with the Chicagoland Vampires series, I was hesitant to read this. This series is nothing like that one, which is a good thing. It’s not as fun and has less dynamic characters. This is truly for adults. CLV was labeled as an adult read but read like YA.

The veil separated the fae and human worlds. The fae broke through 7 years earlier and attacked humans. The veil was closed and some of the fae were left behind. People thought they were evil and locked them away in Devil’s Isle. When the veil broke down, some people realized they were able to absorb magic. They are called sensitives. The downfall of this is that magic eventually destroys them and turns them into mindless wraiths.

Claire was a sensitive. She hid her barely used ability from everyone. Being locked away on Devil’s Isle was her greatest fear. One night she was forced to use her magic in public to defend herself. The bounty hunter, Liam, noticed. He was sympathetic to sensitives although it was his job to turn them in.

Claire was an alright main character. A little reckless at times but not TSTL. By the end of the book I was getting the vibe that she was special but not annoyingly so. Hopefully that doesn’t change as the series goes on. She was oblivious to the world around her in many ways, blind to many truths that would have been revealed with some thought of her own instead of believing propaganda.

Liam was serious minded and mysterious. He seems honorable but might not be completely trustworthy. The guy does have secrets. He and Claire made a good couple. There is an obstacle keeping them apart, but it’s a minor one.

There were weak points in the world building. I liked the world that was created with the war torn New Orleans. Devil’s Isle was fascinating until it was revealed what it was really like. Yes it was a prison but not the dismal, cruel place it was initially portrayed to be. All the people there were treated fairly well. Most of it was a normal neighborhood. The paranormals weren’t allowed to leave but anyone else could come and go. It didn’t seem like much of a threat. It’s quite shocking that more people hadn’t escaped.

Magical monitors were placed all over the city. How they worked wasn’t clear but that’s irrelevant. It was mentioned over and over again that anyone who could use magic needed to be careful because of the constant observation. The monitors never seemed to pick up anything. Magic was used often, and not once did an alarm go off. What’s the point of having them if they are useless? They wouldn’t be a threat because anyone with magic would know they are worthless.

Wraiths were made by sensitives being consumed by too much magic. There was no solid defense against becoming a wraith. Initially it appeared to be an unavoidable fate worse than death. There were two instances where Claire being special annoyed me, where she did what seemed to be impossible. I’m definitely getting the feeling that there is more than meets the eye with her.

It was a decent start to the series. I didn’t love it. It definitely was not a page turner, but I do plan on reading the rest of the series. I’m curious to see where it goes.