Category: New Adult

Review: Ancient Magic (Dragon's Gift: The Huntress Book 1) by Linsey Hall

I’ll admit the cover is the first thing that caught my attention on this book. It lured me into peeking at the blurb. Magic and dragons and griffins…Sold! What a perfect read!

 

 

Title: Ancient Magic (Dragon’s Gift: The Huntress Book 1)

Author: Linsey Hall 

Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Bonnie Doon Press via NetGalley

Release date: April 2016

Pages: 199

ASIN: B01DTVV18G

 

Rating:

 

DESCRIPTION:

Cass Clereaux is good at two things: finding treasure and killing demons. Lying low is a close third—but not because she wants to be good at hiding. Cass is a FireSoul, one of the unlucky few to inherit a piece of the dragon’s soul. Being born with the dragon’s covetousness should be a sweet gig—she has the power to find and steal any type of treasure, including the powers of other supernaturals.

 

But it doesn’t come without a price – stealing powers requires that she kill, and others would destroy her if they discover what she is. In a world full of magic, hiding her powers is the only way to survive. Finding magical artifacts and killing demons are the only ways to pay the bills. It’s a dangerous job when you can barely use your magic, but that’s one of the things she likes about it.

 

When Aidan Merrick, the most powerful shifter in the city, hires her to find an ancient scroll, she doesn’t want to take the job. His immense amount of power reminds her of too much of murky memories from a past she can’t remember. But she doesn’t have a choice. The scroll will reveal what she is. And if anyone finds out, she’s dead.

 

REVIEW:

Cass and her sisters don’t remember their past, only that someone was hunting them, so they do their best to live under the radar. Cass is a FireSoul, a person born with the ability to steal powers of another supernatural…the catch? Stealing their powers kills them. Hated and reviled, FireSouls hide themselves for fear of being imprisoned or outright killed—it doesn’t matter if they’re innocent or not. Cass is a treasure hunter who uses her dragon gift to find things she covets most. When Aiden Merrick hires her to find a magical scroll, she almost turned him down. He was too powerful, too male. Worse—the dragon part of her she keeps hidden urges her to claim him as part of her hoard. Unfortunately, if anyone gets their hands on that scroll, her secrets would be revealed and could cost her everything…even her very life.

 

Cass is a hoot! Her quirky personality and wry humor pulled me right into the story. The worldbuilding is unique, the characters so well written that they came alive off the pages. I love Aiden’s and Cass’s unique abilities. Cass doesn’t hold back in battle and can really kick ass. Aiden is strong enough to let Cass take charge, but knows when to step in and pull her out of trouble. From the very first time Cass and Aiden met, sparks fly. Aiden’s refusal to back down is very enduring, his patience matching her stubbornness perfectly. Though they fell for each other a bit too quickly, they felt like the perfect couple. The only draw back was Cass seemed to have two modes—thinking about battle (I loved all the action!) or thinking about Aiden (which became a little repetitive). Overall, a fantastic read. I can’t wait for book two!

 

Review: Cast in Honor (The Chronicles of Elantra) by Michelle Sagara

I’ve been following this series for years. The fantastic world building and wonderful characters in this series have always kept me coming back for more. Not to mention that the covers are just gorgeous!

 

 

Title: Cast in Honor (The Chronicles of Elantra) 

Author: Michelle Sagara 

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Mira via NetGalley

Release date: November 2015

Pages: 432

ASIN: B00URIDJB2

 

Rating:

 

DESCRIPTION:

In the aftermath of a vicious battle between darkness and light, the city of Elantra has emerged victorious. But Shadows continue to haunt every corner of its streets… 

 

Elantra stands strong, but countless numbers of Hawks, the city’s staunchest protectors, were lost in the brutal attack. Humans, Barrani, Aerians, Leontines—none of the races emerged unscathed from the defense of the city. Homes were lost, families were scattered…and the outcast Barrani Lord Nightshade is missing from his castle in the fiefs.

 

Yet as the chaos surrounding the battle begins to wane, Private Kaylin Neya’s duties must resume, despite her grief. Called in to investigate a triple murder in a quiet part of town, Kaylin and her companions are soon embroiled in a case that is anything but routine. Evidence of the deadly Shadows that still threaten the city leads to hints of ancient, forgotten magics…and everything can be traced directly to Ravellon, the heart of the Shadows and the darkness they contain.

 

But it is there that Lord Nightshade will be found—if he still survives.

 

 

REVIEW:

In the aftermath of battle, the city of Elantra tries to rebuild itself, but crime does not stop. Private Kaylin Neya is assigned a suspicious triple murder that involves the Shadows and magic. She is led on a merry chase through Elantra to gather clues, while struggling to keep her friends alive. If she can’t uncover the mystery behind the murders, the future of Elantra will crumble and turn to dust.

 

Usually, I like to give a little summation of the story, but not a lot actually happens in Cast in Honor. The characters move from one scene to the next, but they end up discussing the same issues over and over. Danger looms throughout the whole book, but nothing really develops. When the action finally starts to pick up, the story slows to a near stop, buried under all the details. I love Kaylin Neya and her magic, but her lack of direction and confusion has been over explained in the last few books. I want action and adventure and the thrill of the story that I fell in love with at the beginning of the series. Michelle Sagara does get points that Severn finally admits his feelings for Kaylin, but the one line at the end of the book felt much too little, too late. The book could’ve been cut in half and read so much better. Though I’ve been disappointed in the last few books, I’m not sure I’m ready to call this series quits yet. If I didn’t like this series so much, maybe I wouldn’t be so disappointed.

 

Previous books in the series:

 

 

Review: Dark Heart of Magic (Black Blade Book 2) by Jennifer Estep

In the last few months, I’ve been craving books that can transport me to a new world using unique twists that I haven’t seen a hundred times. The Black Blade series, with their quirky, beautiful covers, aren’t your normal paranormal genre, and I think that’s why I found myself so drawn to them.

 

 

Title: Dark Heart of Magic (Black Blade Book 2)

Author: Jennifer Estep

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Kensington via NetGalley

Release date: October 2015

Pages: 368

ASIN: B00TE7O9AC

 

Rating:

 

DESCRIPTION:

Something Wicked This Way Comes . . .

As a thief, I stick to the shadows as much as possible. But when the head of the Sinclair Family picks me to compete in the Tournament of Blades, there’s no escaping the spotlight—or the danger.

 

Even though he’s my competition, Devon Sinclair thinks I have the best shot at winning what’s supposed to be a friendly contest. But when the competitors start having mysterious “accidents,” it looks like someone will do anything to win—no matter who they hurt.

 

As if I didn’t have enough to worry about, mobster Victor Draconi is plotting against Devon and the rest of my friends, and someone’s going around Cloudburst Falls murdering monsters. One thing’s for sure. Sometimes, humans can be more monstrous than anything else…

 

 

REVIEW:

Lila has always been a loner, using her skills as a thief to make a living. Much to her surprise, those skills are a prized commodity to the Sinclair Family. The one-time job of keeping Devon Sinclair alive ends up stretching into a long-term commitment. The Tournament of Blades happens once a year, and all the Families participate in the much celebrated contest. Much to her horror, Lila has been chosen as one of the contestants to represent the Family, stealing her anonymity in one fell swoop. But what should be a friendly contest turns into a nightmare when people start dying. Lila must use all her unique Talents to survive and bring the killer to justice or she and her friends might end up as the next victims.

 

I like how Lila uses her Talents to get out of trouble, not waiting for anyone else to come to her rescue. She’s not only clever, but confident in her abilities to take care of herself and those around her. I love that her use of her Talents  stay consistent, and that she relies on her wits to stay alive. I enjoyed the romantic tension between Devon and Lila. His confidence in her is sweet, and something she’s not used to receiving. He’s a good match to Lila, strong enough to stand back and allow her to take the lead when the situation warrants. This book suffered a little from the middle book syndrome. A lot of high-tension scenes ended up petering out without any physical confrontation. By the end of the book, I found myself missing all the monsters. These are both minor things in my overall enjoyment of the book. If you like a unique twist to your paranormal world, you’ll enjoy the Black Blade series.

 

Previous books in the series:

 

Stacking The Shelves [29]

StackingShelves

Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, is all about sharing the book you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

 

The cold really kicked in this week if the frost on the vehicles are any indication. The trees are half bare after a few windy nights. Fall is officially here.

My husband knows my quirks very well, so when he learned that there was a nighttime zombie paintball run, where you can choose to ride in either an Army hummer or a S.W.A.T. bus with mounted paintball guns, he came home all excited and told me. I’m not sure we’ll go, but doesn’t that sound like fun!?!

 

A miracle happened…I’ve managed to restrain myself somewhat this week and only purchased a few books. Here is what I picked out this week:

 

All of these books were $0.99 or $1.99. *double-yay*

 

I picked up two print books last week. Aren’t the covers lovely?!

 

Have you read either of these yet?

 

Here are a few free books I managed to snag this week as well:

 

I’m excited to start reading! What books did you get this week? Have you read any of these?

Review: Hunter by Mercedes Lackey

Mercedes Lackey is a huge name in the fantasy word, and I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never read any of her work. When I saw the cover for Hunter, I couldn’t resist. Isn’t it beautiful?!

 

 

Title: Hunter

Author: Mercedes Lackey

Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Disney Hyperion via NetGalley

Release date: September 2015

Pages: 384

ASIN: B00V6YWGEM

 

Rating:

 

DESCRIPTION:

Centuries ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were slashed open allowing hideous fantastical monsters to wreak havoc; destroying entire cities in their wake. Now, people must live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the evil creatures constantly trying to break in. Only the corps of teen Hunters with lightning reflexes and magical abilities can protect the populace from the daily attacks. Joyeaux Charmand is a mountain girl from a close knit village who comes to the big city to join the Hunters. Joy thinks she is only there to perform her civic duty and protect the capitol Cits, or civilians, but as cameras follow her every move, she soon learns that the more successful she is in her hunts, the more famous she becomes. With millions of fans watching her on reality TV, Joy begins to realize that Apex is not all it seems. She is forced to question everything she grew up believing about the legendary Hunters and the very world she lives in. Soon she finds that her fame may be part of a deep conspiracy that threatens to upend the protective structure built to keep dark magic out. The monsters are getting in and it is up to Joy to find out why.

 

 

REVIEW:

Joy has been raised in a monastery far away from other communities, using her abilities to hunt to protect the innocent people from the monsters that have invaded their world. Each area is supposed to send anyone with the ability to fight monsters to Apex City to train. After years of avoiding being sent away, Joy is finally ordered to go to the city and train, but she quickly learns that Apex city is not what she’s led to believe. Political agendas and conspiracies soon threaten to tear her once simple life apart and destroy all hunters in the process…leaving the monsters to take over the world.

 

The beginning of the book started so slowly, with so much information dumped in the first few chapters, that I had my doubts about the story. Then the action began to pick up, and I couldn’t put the book down! The world building was fascinating, but it was the characters that captivated me. They felt like really people, and that we were getting a glimpse into their lives. Joy really kicked ass, her resourcefulness and determination to keep others safe immediately enduring her to me. I loved the variety of monsters introduced, not to mention the hounds and their unique abilities to hunt. The battles were mesmerizing, the defeats just heart-wrenching, and I enjoyed watching Joy grow up and become her own woman. I adored the dystopian feel to the story, and I really hope there will be a book two in the future. This is a great addition to the dystopian genre if you can get past the first third of the book.