Rating: 3.5 stars
It didn’t live up to the hype. It started off with a bang. Then it got really boring for quite a while. The school shooting happened. Then the events of it were immediately rehashed through police interviews. Considering one of the MCs was at the school shooting it seemed unnecessary. The tragic murder from the beginning was also written about two more times. Too much felt repetitive. I didn’t care about much of anything that was going on until about half way through.
By the end I warmed up to the characters but I can’t say that I ever liked them. Considering I hated them for most of the book it was an improvement. Charlie was a bitch. Most of the book she felt bad for herself about her marital situation. It annoyed the hell out of me because she was the cause of most of her problems. It was hard to sympathize with her. Sam didn’t intend to but came off as pretentious. I hated it that she ignored her family for so long. I liked her better than Charlie but couldn’t sympathize with her much either. Rusty meant well but was a shitty parent in many ways.
Around 60% of the way through I finally became invested in what was going to happen although this book never reached page turner status for me. I probably would have liked the book better if it had been 100 pages or so shorter. I loved the ending. It was twisted and I didn’t see it coming.
Rating: 5 stars
Series: Graveyard Queen #6
A great end to the series! It wasn’t perfect. The mystery revolving around the ghost and the people she was connected to was way too easy to figure out. That’s okay because the ghost story was not my main concern. I was much more interested in what was going on with Devlin and the conge.
Devlin and Amelia spent a fair amount of time together. It was different with them this time. They still had the same chemistry as always but it was underlying. Amelia was trying to move on, and Devlin was with Claire. Regardless of what was going on the magnetic pull was there, but nothing felt as romantic as in the prior books. I was happy that Amelia didn’t have any interest in other men. In the other books when she was alone, she went out with someone else even if she wasn’t truly interested.
Devlin’s grandfather finally got some page time. He had a strong presence throughout the series without getting the chance to know him other than by reputation. The guy was a manipulative bastard, but there was more to him than that. Claire finally made herself known to Amelia. There wasn’t a damn thing I liked about her, and it wasn’t all about her being the other woman.
This wasn’t my favorite in the series, but it was definitely one of the better ones. I didn’t want to put it down despite the mystery being predictable and not being as spooky as some of the others. The danger was from the living not the dead. The general tone of it was different, but I really liked it. The end was slightly rushed. Having a brief epilogue would have been good. Not everything was completely wrapped up making me wish and hope there could be another book, but based on how things ended with Amelia it seems unlikely Amanda Stevens would ever change her mind and write another.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: Graveyard Queen #5
So this is officially my least favorite book in the series. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t bad, but the last book was amazing. This paled in comparison. It wasn’t creepy enough, and I hate it when Amelia leaves Charleston. It’s not the same when she is away from the people there. I wouldn’t mind it as much if there wasn’t a potential romance with a new guy every time she leaves town. Can’t she nurse her broken heart without having feelings for another guy? Just like in The Kingdom the lust was there but not much else. Everything between Amelia and Kendrick felt too manufactured.
Now that Amelia’s powers are strengthening and she is in contact frequently with powerful beings, it’s hard to gauge what is genuine and what is manipulative magic. Amelia constantly questioned if things she saw, heard, or felt were real. It’s not bad if magic is used to confuse her every once and awhile, but I don’t like it when it happens often.
The mystery started out interesting enough with the discovery of some unusual graves and the appearance of Darius Goodwine. Everything was too straightforward in regards to the bad guy. I had them pegged early on in the book. There were two unexpected things that happened along the way to revealing the bad guy. Not much directly had to do with the overarching storyline. It hinted at what Devlin is really up to. This book is a victim of my high expectations. I had assumed the penultimate book would have gotten me more amped up about the final one.
Rating: 2.5 stars
Series: Veronica Speedwell #2
A tedious undertaking would have been a more apt title. The pacing was so slow. Every 50 pages or so they’d get some minuscule clue. They had to do a lot of socializing to get these clues too. The worst part was that I didn’t care about any of the characters other than Victoria and Stoker. All of them were obnoxious and self absorbed. The mystery was too simple. The occam’s razor theory definitely applies here.
The main reason I read this was because I wanted to know more about Stoker’s past. Well none of that was revealed. Something about him was revealed but nothing that was alluded to in the first book. Stoker’s okay. I like the guy but I don’t love him. He’s too much of a pushover. He always gives into what Victoria wants.
Victoria is still just as cold as ever. It’s hard to feel a deep connection between her and Stoker because she’s emotionally detached. Every man she meets falls over themselves to get her attention. It irritates the hell out of me because she’s not that charming. It’s odd that Victoria thinks about sex often. I would think some as unfeeling and practical as her would find it to be a useless endeavor especially since she doesn’t want a committed relationship or children. For a book with sex alluded to often, there certainly wasn’t any of it to be had. All I know is this book needed something to spice it up, and sex would have been a great place to start.
Rating: 3 stars
Series: Harmony Black #1
I never thought I’d say this about a Craig Schaefer book, but it was so boring. The Daniel Faust books are dark, humorous, and entertaining. Although Harmony Black is a spin off of that series, they are not alike at all. Harmony is an FBI agent, so this felt more like a police procedural than UF. The mystery part of the story was okay but lacked suspense.
My problem with this book is that I don’t like Harmony. In the Daniel Faust series, she was portrayed as uptight and compassionless. Being privy to her thoughts didn’t change that. She’s repressed to the point of being almost completely devoid of emotion. I understand why she is the way she is but it doesn’t increase her appeal. Just about the only thing to get her riled up is not following procedure. I hate how she applies human laws and logical to supernatural creatures. She’s a witch FFS! You’d think she’d be more open and understanding of the world around her but obviously not. She does care about people as in she doesn’t want innocents to be hurt, but it doesn’t seem like she really empathizes with other people.
The other characters weren’t impressive either. Jessie was weird and dull. I didn’t care about whatever was going on with her. Honestly I kept forgetting she was a woman since absolutely nothing about her was feminine. Not as much was known about the other various side characters but they were all boring police types. Unless this series ties back in with Daniel Faust, I probably won’t continue with it.
Rating: 3 stars
Series: Veronica Speedwell #1
Veronica wasn’t believable as a character. This is a historical mystery. Women didn’t traipse all over the world by themselves in 1877 especially for the sake of science. She was forward thinking for modern times let alone the 1870’s. She would have been ostracized by almost everyone. At first I thought she was refreshing and different, but herself righteous attitude aggravated me as the book went on. She always had to have the last word. Her blunt nature often made it seem as if she was talking down to everyone. I didn’t like her much. She was so unfeeling and logical that she may be a sociopath.
Stoker was okay but a little rough around the edges. I am interested in his back story. It’s apparent a romance will blossom between him and Veronica, but I don’t really care for them as a couple. Sometimes opposites attract but that was not the case here. They are too different.
The mystery was okay. Nothing happened for most of the book. Once Veronica’s parentage was revealed it seemed too far-fetched. The resolution to her problems was far too simplistic. As intelligent as Veronica was, she was quite dumb when it came to figuring out why people were after her. Every instinct she had about what was going on was wrong. I’m not sure if I want to read the next book or not. I want to know more about Stoker, but I’m not in the mood for more of Veronica ATM.