Born in Fire by K.F. Breene

51i-dmp630l-_sy346_Rating: 3 stars

Series: Fire and Ice Trilogy #1

I felt like this book tried to be more than it was. It had a little of all the classic UF stuff i.e. snarky heroine, heroine with special powers, unexpected sidekicks, hidden background. None of it melded into anything unique. 

Reagan had too much attitude. It was practically impossible for her to be serious no matter how dire the consequences. Sometimes it worked to her advantage because her behavior surprised others. Other times she seemed immature. Maybe it was just me but for about the first half of the book I had to remind myself that she was a woman. Her behaviors and actions made me think of a man.

Vampires are awesome, but these were fairly average vampires. Darius was the only one with considerable page time. I liked him but didn’t love him. He was the only potential love interest not that it was much of a romance.

Something about the writing style didn’t work well for me. I could follow the plot easily enough, but certain minor things didn’t flow well at times. Reagan’s secret was revealed at the end. I hadn’t figured out what she was but didn’t find it particularly shocking either.

Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson

28765742Rating: 3 stars

Series: Nightshades #1

The nightshades a.k.a. vampires weren’t like the average vamp in two ways. One is the way they were made. Their saliva was the potent ingredient not blood. It had to be placed directly into the heart. That would have been some sick shit before needles were invented. It definitely would have prevented accidentally turning someone. The other way they were different is their looks. They weren’t described as exceptionally beautiful. Their beauty wasn’t what made them special.

It was a good start to the series. I can’t pinpoint why but I didn’t get sucked into the story. The focus was on the vampires and the murders. I would have liked to have gotten to know the characters better. Alex was okay but now that I think about it I don’t know much about him personally. Lindy was cool and wasn’t living the standard vampire lifestyle. It was odd when she easily acquiesced to Alex’s demands. Their goals were in alignment, but I expected her to put up a better fight for her freedom and independence. It was good enough that I’ll read the next one when it comes out.

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

30687916Rating: 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.

The Black Lily by Juliette Cross

32172479Rating: 3 stars

Series: Tales of the Black Lily #1

Clearly I must have read this wrong. Sure it was good, but I didn’t love it like everyone else. It was a creative retelling of Cinderella. Arabelle wasn’t some pathetic, lost soul who needed saving. She was intent on doing the saving herself. Prince Marius was just about perfect: intelligent, strong, charming, and willing to do what is right. Obviously being a Cinderella story instalove was going to be part of it, so I was okay with that. In the beginning Arabelle treated Marius like shit. It was hard for me to believe that she was so beautiful and brave that he was willing to overlook her major faults.

Arabelle was a hard character to like. I admit I have been obsessed with politics lately. I think that may be part of the reason why I didn’t like Arabelle. Her attitude at least for the first half of the book or so was reminiscent of the things I hate about politics which are strongly prevalent in the world today. Helping her people who had been oppressed was an admirable goal. There is a right and a wrong way to go about it. IMO she chose the wrong way. She was doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. Being motivated by hatred is never a good thing. Hatred has a way of making people blind to the truth and reason.

Arabelle was obsessed with taking down the vampires. They needed to be killed because they were killing humans. Nothing is ever so simple. In any given group of people, the bad actions of a few does not mean the entire group is bad, but in Arabelle’s hatred she had convinced herself that all vampires were bad. The actions she wanted to take to right the wrongs of the vampires made the humans no better. Her willful ignorance of the situation as a whole consumed my thoughts while reading this. Since she was the leader of the rebellion her stupid beliefs and actions were hard to ignore. The one good thing I will say in her defense is that she did grow as a character and change her views when presented with facts, which is why I liked the book more towards the end.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review!

Souljacker by Yasmine Galenorn

51icwzrlk7l-_sx322_bo1204203200_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.

The Turn by Kim Harrison

29277157Rating: 3.5 stars

Series: The Hollows #0.1

Finally an explanation for how tomatoes almost wiped out the human population! It makes more sense getting the whole story rather than getting bits and pieces in the Hollows. I still question why tomatoes, but then again it’s not like any other food would have been less ridiculous.

Trisk was an elf in the sixties. She had two strikes against her: being a dark elf and being a woman. At that point in time all supernatural creatures were still in hiding. Trisk, despite being the smartest in her class, was sent to work in a human lab. She managed to do two amazing things while there. She made the T4 Angel tomato which was helping to feed the hungry around the world and perfected Daniel Plank’s virus so the biological weapon could not harm the inderlanders.

Kal had picked on Trisk for her whole life. An argument between them caused Kal to lose his shot at getting a prestigious job. After a while he was tasked with the job of verifying Trisk’s work would work as she claimed. If there were fault with her work, Kal would be able to take it over and make a name for himself when he perfected it. He was determined to find fault with it whether it was there or not.

I liked Trisk. She made the best out of what she was given. Sometimes she made some stupid decisions but it made her seem normal. They weren’t of the TSTL variety. She was strong, caring, and determined to do what was right regardless of the odds being against her. Kal OTOH was a self serving bastard. It’s easy to see where Trent got his ruthlessness and superiority complex from. Kal would have done anything, manipulated anyone to get what he wanted. Despite being privy to his thoughts, I didn’t like him. Regret and self doubt weren’t there, so it was hard to see him as redeemable. I didn’t hate him, but there sure as hell wasn’t much to like either.

I enjoyed the book, but it took me a while to get into it. I was pleasantly surprised to see a few characters from the Hollows series like Al. I’m not sure if this is a prequel series or simply a novel. The storyline about killer tomatoes was wrapped up, but I want to know more about Kal, Trisk, and Quen. Things weren’t settled between them, and I’m hoping they end up better for them at some point.

Thanks so much to Netgalley for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review!!!