Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tuesday #Review - Shadowed Blade (Colbana Files #5) by J.C. Daniels #Fantasy

Series: Colbana Files Series # 5
Format: Kindle, 264 pages
Release Date: April 25, 2016
Publisher: Shiloh Walker, Inc.
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Something wicked this way comes… 

The arrival of a very important person in her office seemed to be the start of a lot of problems for Kit Colbana, investigator extraordinaire. Claiming that he needed somebody with her special skillset, he sends her on a series of jobs that made little to no sense until one culminated with both her and her partner, Justin barely escaping with their lives.

Back in Orlando, they go their separate ways to recover, Justin heading to the house of a local witch, while Kit returns to the Lair, where she’s recently been living with her lover Damon, the Alpha of the Southern Cat Clans.

There’s barely a chance for Kit to catch her breath before trouble of the highest order comes knocking on her door. This time, it’s the form of a psychic by the name of Nova. Nova has bad, bad news…Justin has gone missing and so has the witch who was going to put him up while he healed. Colleen, one of Kit’s closest, dearest friends.

With all sorts of non-humans disappearing, fury doesn’t even touch what Kit is feeling as she heads out to hunt down the people responsible.

But Kit isn’t the only one out on a hunt…somebody is hunting for her…somebody Kit would rather never, ever see again.

J.C. Daniels' Shadowed Blade is the Fifth installment in the Colbana Files. If you are new to this series, please allow me to summarize what has happened to this point. Kitasa aka Kit Colbana is a 1/2 human, 1/2 Aneiri warrior, private investigator. She has faced her fair share of challenges since leaving her island behind and finding her way to East Orlando where she is still considered to be an illegal. As the story opens, Kit is working with Justin Greaves.

Justin has been a friend and colleague for the past 3 years. He is a curiously powerful witch who has stood by Kit's side through a whole lot of topsy turvey. Kit and Justin have a similair end game. Find the elusive Blackstone and bring them down for what they are doing to non-human's in the Southeast US. Kit is also working for the POTUS on missions that are a bit odd, & every bit as curious as they appear. Why is POTUS looking for a Dryad? Why is a powerful witch chasing after Kit and Justin? 

And if that weren't interesting enough for you, a powerful stranger shows up and apparently she knows Kit all too well. No spoilers. Kit's own life hasn't exactly been all fun and games for the past year. She's still a bit broken, although she won't fully admit it. Not since she was attacked and brutalized by a monster who broke her spirit and her connection to her weapons. Weapons that would normally sing to her, and have been with her since running away from her island. But, this only scrapes the top layer of what happens in this book.

First, I loved Nova. Such a twisted, & powerful character who truly was the star of this story. Then comes Rana. Oh wow. Let's open up the way back machine and introduce a major part of Kit's life, and then, let's really kick it up a notch so that Kit is left dumbfounded. How about little Doyle growing up all big and...what was that reveal? Holy cats! Heh Heh. Get it. Cats? I am so glad that Kit has found herself again. After a year of being out of sorts with her own weapons, now it's time to up her game even more. I know you all are going to hate me. ::sigh:: But, I am still not a fan of Demon. Yes, I am calling him Demon. He is way over possessive and over assertive and needs to be kneed on the balls a few more times to get him to back off. I will say that this book has its fill of twists, and suspense, and for the first time, I feel as though I am ready for the author to finally give Kit the future she deserves even if it is with Demon, and not Justin.

Negative: There are a whole lot of issues with the beginning of the book. There is a disconnect, and the story is a bit discombobulated before finally being ironed out. I do believe this story could have been a bit longer. There was no need to hurry up and end the story. Also, it appeared to me as though a full chapter was removed from the beginning. Not sure if that was the case, or a major editing error, but something to really think about. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday #Review - Of Flame and Fate by @cecyrobson #Fantasy #Romane

Series: Weird Girls # 8
Format: E-Book, 301 pages
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Cecy Robson, LLC 
Source: Author
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance

Taran Wird, who commands the power to wield fire and lightning, is an oddity in the supernatural world. But neither Taran nor her unique sisters compare to the bizarre entity known as Destiny. And Taran is assigned to protect her.

Born of two witches, Destiny is revered among the supernatural elite for her acute ability to predict the future. Her biggest prophecy involves Taran’s sister, Celia, whom Destiny decreed will bear children strong enough to take on the evil that’s rising. Yet Destiny is not alone in her predictions, or individuality.

When Johnny Fate, a rock star among humans and a male version of Destiny is discovered, his powers and Destiny’s clash, triggering the start of Destiny’s demise and altering the fate of Celia’s unborn children.

Taran, her werewolf lover Gemini, and their allies must determine if it’s Fate who will decide what will become of Celia’s children, or if their lives and the world will perish with Destiny.

Of Flame and Fate, by author Cecy Robson, is the Eighth
installment in the Weird Sisters series. Taran Wird, like her sisters Celia, Shayna, & Emme, was cursed by a spell meant to kill them. Instead, it made them unique in the world of supernaturals like vampires, witches, werewolves, shifters, and demons. Taran's abilities are even more impressive because she has the ability to call down fire and lightning, and she even has a hint at the ability to see the future. I like to call this book Fate meets Destiny and gets kicked in the ass by the badass bitch known as Taran Wird.

As the story begins, Taran, who is working for Master Vampire Misha, has just returned from a jaunt to Egypt searching for a relic that can open a portal to the demon world. A Dark Legion is rising and is targeting powerful leaders of the Alliance which sets up an interesting series of events. The four women who won't run away and hide, but will stand and fight? Taran, Shayna & Emme, plus their mates, and a select few Alliance members including Bren.

Since Destiny is one of those Alliance members who needs to be protected, Taran is volunteered to be her bodyguard. But, on a trip to Santa Barbara for a concert, Taran, Shayna, and Emme get a surprise revelation as to who Johnny Fate really is, and this revelation may make things a whole lot harder for Taran and her allies. Especially since the world hinges on what happens to Celia's babies whether they live or die. Taran has accepted that she is mated to Tomo aka Gemini. Finally.

But, Tomo, in my humble opinion, is way too aggressive, way too impulsive, and way too jealous when it comes to just letting Taran be Taran even when she makes mistakes. It must be a wolf thing because Aric was pretty much the same way when it came to Celia and her relationship with Misha and the vampires. If I could wish for one thing, it would be for the petty jealously to cease and desist STAT. I do think there is something more coming in regards to Emme, but I don't want to ruin my good feelings. 

Taran is probably the best character in this series because she doesn't give a crap what people think about her, not even the pack of wolves who is supposed to protect her. She curses like a sailor, dresses like a Hollywood vixen, wears high heels on all occasions, including being chased by vampires, and her right arm is a combination of new and old magic. IT also has a mind of its own. She gives out as best as she gets, especially when it comes to crotchety wind bag next door neighbor Mrs. Mancuso. 

I have to admit that I am completely and utterly confused, and here's why. Apparently, not only is this the 8th installment in the series itself, but the 2nd installment in the Flame series featuring Taran Wird. Why am I confused you ask? Because Of Flame and Promise was also Taran's novel, and yes I do know it took place concurrently with one of Celia's stories. So, this is what I've read from the author. Of Flame and Promise takes place between books. Of Flames and Light takes place after A Curse Unbroken. Are we to presume that the 9th book is also Taran's and book # 3? If you have the answers, I shall update my review asap! Thank you!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

#Stacking the Shelves # 256 - Week Ending 09/23/2017

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Thanks for Shopping by!
I really appreciate all the wonderful support and comments I received over the past two weeks while we were counting down to Irma, and then recovering. This is why I have been around blogging for so long. Love you all!
Have a great weekend!

This Weeks Reviews: 

Monday - One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (YA, Fantasy)

Tuesday - Cold Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff (Mystery)


Friday, September 22, 2017

Saturday #Review - Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh #Paranormal #Romance

Series: Guild Hunter # 10
Format: E-Book, 368 pages
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Enter New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s breathtakingly passionate Guild Hunter world with the story of a woman who isn’t a vampire or an angel…or human…

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman, rather the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now someone has put a bounty on her head…

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and a man as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself…because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…

No one is safe.

Story Locale: Alternate USA

Series Overview: The New York Times bestselling series set in a dark world where lethal, beautiful archangels hold sway over immortals and mortals alike, with the Guild Hunters caught in between…

Archangel's Viper, by author Nalini Singh, is the tenth installment in the Guild Hunter series. This story actually takes place concurrently with Archangel's Heart. So, there's no Elena in this story, and only a brief appearance by Raphael, which is totally fine. There are plenty of other interesting characters that do show up like Dmitri, Honor, Ash, Janvier, and Ilium. I should warn readers that this really isn't Venom's (Vipers) story, unlike it was the previous members of Raphael's Seven like Dmitri and Jason. 

It is truly Holly Chang's. Holly aka Sorrow, is a fringe character who was terrorized 4 years ago by an Archangel named Uram way back in the beginning of this series and saved by Elena. Holly was changed into a being not human, nor vampire. She was infected with a dangerous virus by Uram which has left her with a strange mixture of green eyes, and her fangs drip with poison. This goes along with her ability to determine how old vampires are who she meets, and her ability to mesmerize, which isn't a normal ability to have. 

She is something of a riddle which makes those like Venom eager to find out what is under the feisty, attitude wielding Holly. Plus, Viper is immune to Holly's abilities which makes for some interesting times. After nearly being kidnapped, and then finding out there is a rather large bounty out for her capture, Holly and Venom try to figure out who is after her and why. As a side note, Holly is also under contract by the Tower, and that's pretty much because nobody can decide whether or not to let her live, or just end her suffering which has been going on for the past 4 years. 

Holly and Venom's relationship is by far the most banter I've read about in a very long time. There's little action in this story, which means that you have more time to read about the characters games & stunts which includes a bit of friendship, and some sexual tension as well. I do have minor issues with this story. I am confused why we have a kidnapping scene in this book, and then the story switches to something entirely different for most of the rest of the way. I understand the necessity of finding out what is happening to Holly and why, but the reason behind her kidnapping should have remained the focal point of the story. Holly's coming of age, or her evolution into perhaps one of the badass women of this series after Elena, Ash, Sarah, and Honor, should have had the opportunity to resolve the issue herself in a way that others were given opportunities to meet their challenges.  

Holly hugged her sister good-bye one final time, her heart aching. “Shoo,” she said when Mia hesitated at the entrance to the security line. “You’ll be late for your flight if you don’t get going.”

Mia sank her teeth into the fullness of her lower lip, her chin-length bob gleaming obsidian under the white fluorescent lighting inside the terminal building. “I miss home already.”

“You’ll be fine.” Though Holly was going to miss her elder sister-and best friend-desperately, she took Mia’s face in her hands, met eyes as brown as hers had once been, and said, “You’re the smartest person I’ve ever known. You’ll knock this out of the park.” Her newly minted doctor sister had been offered a prestigious residency at Massachusetts General in Boston.

“I’ll be so far from everyone.”

Holly didn’t point out that her sister’s new base of operation was only a few hours’ drive from New York, less at the speeds Holly liked driving. She knew what it was to be homesick. She’d felt that way in the vibrant city her family called home when she’d isolated herself from them for several long months in the aftermath of the attack that had changed her into a being who wasn’t human, but who wasn’t vampire, either.

Thankfully, she’d gotten over that stupidity-and her family loved her enough to forgive her. Of course, her mother reminded her of it every chance she got, but that was par for the course. Daphne Chang also reminded Holly of the time she’d snuck out of the house at seventeen, only to have to call home for help after her asshole date abandoned her on a dark street in Queens.

Holly still had to keep some secrets from her parents, her younger brothers, and Mia, but those secrets were for their protection: mortals didn’t need to know about a bloodborn archangel. As far as Holly’s parents and siblings were concerned, it was a deranged mortal who’d abducted her friends and her, and who’d infected her with a dangerous virus. An angel had saved her by attempting to turn her into a vampire, but the transition hadn’t gone smoothly because of the virus in her blood.

They had no reason not to believe the story.

“I’ll drive up and see you anytime you feel alone,” she said to Mia, this sister of hers who’d loved her with unflinching stubbornness even when Holly didn’t-couldn’t-love herself. “Just call.”

“I love you, Hollster.” Another crushing hug, Mia’s body a sweep of soft, womanly curves.

Holly, in contrast, was still hoping her breasts would grow a little bigger if she wished hard enough. In the silverlining department, at least she didn’t have to waste money on bras. “Love you more, Mimi,” she said through a throat that had gone thick. Not because Mia was heading off on a new adventure, but because Holly was horrifyingly aware of how life could change without warning, how a person could be laughing and living one instant and, in the next, be a bloodsoaked corpse.

She had a serious psychological problem letting those she loved out of her sight. Which was why she forced herself to release Mia; she wasn’t about to steal Mia’s dreams because of her own nightmares. “Go.” Putting her hands on the soft gray of Mia’s cardigan, she gave her sister a little push.

“I’m gonna hold you to your promise!” Mia called over her shoulder as she finally tugged her little roll-onboard case in between the ropes that led to the screening area.

That area was visible through the glass, so Holly stood and watched until Mia made it through-all the while fighting her impulse to jump the barriers and wrench her sister back to where Holly could watch over her, protect her. Smiling a little nervously, Holly’s eldest sibling waved one last time from the other side, and then she was gone, lost in the stream of travelers heading out of a city Holly loved and hated in equal measure.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!

“Ashwini, I swear to God…” Holly muttered as she scrambled for her phone.

That was not the ringtone she’d programmed.

Managing to cut off the annoyingly cheerful chipmunk singing at last, she put the phone to her ear as she headed out of the terminal. “Tell your wife I’m going to murder her the next time I see her.”

Janvier laughed, as if threats against his beloved Ashwini weren’t the least unusual. “You are still at the airport, Hollyberry?” he drawled in that lazy Cajun accent of his that fooled the unwary into thinking he wasn’t paying attention to the world.

“Cut that out.” It came out a snarled order. “And add Viper Face to the list of my future murder victims.” Venom had given her that ridiculous nickname after she insisted on being addressed as Sorrow. The latter name had fit her at the time, but looking back, she could see she’d been acting a little dramatic.

So sue her. She’d been kidnapped and brutalized by a violently powerful and deeply insane archangel, her life suddenly a miasma of terror and blinding grief. She’d been only twenty-three at the time-and she’d had soul-shredding nightmares night after night. Waking to find herself curled up in a silent, fear-drenched ball on the floor of her closet had become a daily occurrence. As if her subconscious believed that the red-eyed monster wouldn’t find her there.

He did, of course.


Because he lived in Holly’s tainted blood.

She was allowed a few dramatics.

And it wasn’t as if Venom could talk. “Yes,” she muttered. “I’m at the airport. Just about to head back to Manhattan.”

“I need you to do a pickup at the private airfield.”

Holly froze midstep. “Oh, hell no.” She knew exactly who was flying back into New York today. “That’s your job.”

“Alas, I am stuck in traffic,” Janvier said. “A truck spilled chickens all over the road in front of me.”

“Ha ha. I’m hanging up now.”

“But this is no laughing matter, ’tite Hollyberry,” was the aggravating response, followed by the sound of a window being lowered. Indignant chicken squawks filled the line seconds later. “See? Janvier does not lie. I am surrounded by frustrated drivers on every side, with no way out, but you are only ten minutes away. Do the pickup.”

“Is that an order?” Janvier and Ashwini were Holly’s official bosses as of seven months ago, when the entire team in charge of her training-and sanity-had pronounced that she’d gained sufficient and stable control over the twisted, poisonous power that marked her as the Archangel Uram’s creation.

Pride curled her toes at the memory of that day-Holly tried to focus on the trust the team was showing in her, not on how she remained on a leash nonetheless. Thanks to Ash’s and Janvier’s willingness to utilize her ability to make friends with those who lived in the shadows, she was now part of the small but efficient team that kept an eye on the murky gray underground of New York, a place far from the power-drenched environs of Archangel Tower.

Before her life broke apart in a spray of blood and fear and anguish, Holly hadn’t known there was a hierarchy in the immortal world. She’d seen the angels who soared high above the skyscrapers and the vampires who stalked the streets as all the same: dangerously strong and hauntingly beautiful. These days, she knew two-hundred-year-old vamps who were homeless addicts with less to their name than Holly, and understood that when a being lived too long, he or she could forget any concept of humanity or empathy.

For many, torture and sex alone, often entwined, held any pleasure.

“Oui,” Janvier said in reply to her edgy question. “It is an order. See, I am acting bosslike.”

Holly’s lips twitched despite herself. “Fine, I’ll go pick up Poison.”

“Play nice-no putting a cunja on him.”

Holly stuck out her tongue at her phone before she hung up. A little boy wearing a tiny blue and yellow backpack saw her, stuck out his own tongue with a giggle. Holly winked. Looking over his shoulder, he waved at her.

She waved back.

That sweet kid, he didn’t know that she was the creation of a murderous psychopath, that she had horrific urges inside her that caused her to break out in a cold sweat. He saw only a small-boned Chinese American woman in skinny black jeans decorated with appliquŽd black roses on the left calf and thigh, her top a floaty orange silk, and her ankle boots a shining black with small gold buckles.

That ordinary woman’s rainbow-streaked black hair was pulled back in a sleek ponytail, her face framed by blunt black bangs, and her nails painted in a wild mix of colors.

The only thing that made her stand out in a city overrun with the stylistically adventurous was the acid green that had taken over the light brown of her irises. The shade had been darker before, nearer to the vivid green of the archangel who’d used her as a human toy, but the acidic lightness had come in firmly over the past year and settled.

When strangers spotted Holly’s eyes, they automatically assumed she was wearing contacts. It fit their impression of a woman who looked as if she’d been dropped in a vat of color.

Maybe a touch quirky or peculiar, but human. Normal.

Holly ached to be that normal human woman every single day. But in the four years since she’d been stripped naked and forced to watch her friends be dismembered alive, her throat torn and raw from her screams, she’d gotten over the first four stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, and depression.

Acceptance…well, that was going to take a hell of a lot more time, she thought as she slid into the Tower vehicle she’d been assigned. When Janvier had first told her she’d get a vehicle as part of her job as his and Ash’s apprentice, she’d glumly expected a sedate sedan, but she should’ve remembered the kind of people who worked for the Archangel Raphael.

None were the sedan type.

Holly’s car was a sleek black thing that looked like an arrow in flight. It wasn’t new by any stretch of the imagination and had more than a few dents and scratches-all the better to fit the environs she prowled in the shadowy corners of the city. The tires were good, but not so good anyone would bother to steal them, and the radio only got about five stations.

Holly loved her ride with the passion of a thousand suns.

Inside this car, she could be free, could fly.

No leash. No blood that craved the monstrous. No flashfire memories of a rust red hand stroking her hair as he told her to “Drink, girl,” in a gentle voice that belied the carnage in which she knelt broken and beaten.

Today, she raced in and out of traffic with bare inches to spare as she made her way to the airfield that handled the Tower’s private fleet. It wasn’t the safest way to drive, but Holly was very careful not to put anyone else in danger. Only herself.

Yes, she needed therapy.

But Holly wasn’t suicidal. Not any longer. Her head was plenty messed up, but never would she hurt her family by making that irrevocable choice. Her mom and dad, Mia, her younger brothers, had suffered more than enough in the immediate days and weeks after the slaughter, and in her months of confused, angry, scared silence.

It was Janvier who’d made her understand what she was throwing away.

“I will miss my sisters my entire vampiric existence,” he’d said to her as they sat on the grass after a sparring session that had left Holly’s body a screaming ache. “I have a big family that loves me so, but to grow up with another, ah, ’tite Holly, that is a different bond.” A sheen in eyes the shade of bayou moss that her deadly boss made no effort to hide. “Amelie and Jšelle… they live here.” His fist on his heart. “Always they will stay safe within.”

His gaze had gone to his wife, who was practicing a martial arts kata with cool hunter dedication. “And my dangerous cher, my Ashblade, she yet grieves for her brother and sister.” As he’d risen to go tease Ash into a kiss, the Guild Hunter’s fingers sinking into the chestnut brown of his hair, the copper strands within it glinting in the sunlight, Holly had felt understanding kick her. Hard.

Mia would be gone forever one day.

Alvin and Wesley would be gone.

Her parents would be gone.

She would never get back that time.

Holly had caught the subway home an hour later-to be greeted with tears and hugs and her favorite meal-followed by a grilling so intense it had threatened to set her hair on fire.

It was a memory she hoarded against the unknown future.

Zipping into a parking spot outside the airfield building located at the end of a long and deserted private road, she got out and showed her Tower ID to the guard. He gave her the hard eye regardless and pressed his finger to the receiver in his ear after muttering her name into the microphone on his collar.

Whatever he heard back had him nodding. “You’re cleared.” A faint curve to his lips. “Nice outfit. I didn’t know the Tower let five-year-olds drive.”

Eyes narrowed, Holly pulled out her best sincere tone. “Did you get your suit at Slick Vampires Are Us? Asking for a friend.”

Smile wiped off, the vampire just looked at her, unblinking. Holly stared back, not about to be intimidated, even if he was at least five hundred years old according to the internal chronometer she’d developed over the past year.

A tingle ran behind her eyes.


Though backing down was against her personal religion, Holly lowered her eyelids and took a deep breath. When she lifted them back up, the vampire was smirking. Gritting her teeth and refraining from pointing out that she’d been a second away from mesmerizing him into clucking like a chicken, she carried on inside. It was a relatively small area with a glass wall that looked out onto the airfield.

Air traffic control was high above in their own little aerie.

That had always struck Holly as funny: angels flew wherever they wished, but if they traveled in an airplane, they needed to obey the rules of airspace. Not that the man she was here to pick up had wings. Venom was a vampire. One of the Seven, Raphael’s private guard. That, unfortunately, also meant he was far, far stronger than he should’ve been for his three hundred and fifty or so years of age.

Friday #Review - Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo #YALit #Fantasy

Series: DC Icons # 1
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult \ Superheroes

The highly anticipated, entirely new coming-of-age story for the world’s greatest super hero: WONDER WOMAN by the # 1 New York Times bestselling author LEIGH BARDUGO.

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning….

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer, by author Leigh Bardugo, is the first installment in the DC Icons series. The book comes on the heels of the mega hit movie Wonder Woman featuring Gal Godot. Bardugo, who is apparently a huge Wonder Woman fan, takes readers to her own world, her own creation, and her own look at 17-year old Princess Diana aka Diana Prince. Let's get some things straight. If you think this book ties into the movie, you'll be disappointed. If you think this book ties into Lynda Carter's version of Wonder Woman, you'd be wrong.

If you think that Bardugo opens the book by having Diana saving a man, you'd be wrong. If you are a diversity reader who would have preferred that Diana have a ship with the female character, you'll be disappointed. If you are looking for a solid story with lots of action, adventure, and friendship grown out of shared experiences, then you'll love this book. 
This book takes place in MODERN times. Meaning not World War I version like the movie. It features a teenaged Diana, not the adult version. A rather large distinction between the movie version. Does that still not make her as likable as the movie version? Nope. This Diana is very interesting, but it's not entirely her story. Capiche?

There's another character who plays at least half as important role in this story as Diana does. Where do you think the Warbringer aspect comes from? Aha! The light has just gone on! The story starts with Diana on the Amazonian Island of Themyscira where she is gearing up to run against her older, more hardened & battle tested sisters. Diana makes a choice to save a human girl from dying after she sees a ship going down off the coast of her island thus breaking all sorts of Amazonian laws which could have her banished forever. Diana soon discovers that her bravery may come with an even bigger cost, not just her banishment. 

It may come with the destruction of her island, and the world itself because of a mixed race girl named Alia who was on a boat when it exploded, and may be the legendary Warbringer after Helen of Troy. After speaking to the Oracle, Diana decides to find the place where Helen of Troy was buried, and in doing so, saving not only her island, but the life of the girl she knows little about but is drawn to helping. From 
Themyscira, Diana and Alia end up NYC where things get really interesting. Along the way, Diana and Alia pick up Jason, Theo and Nima, who is Alia's best friend. In the end, we end up in Southern Greece where the action really kicks into high gear.

Bardugo is all in when it comes to strong female characters, and strong friendships between female characters. In this case, you have not one friendship, but two. Diana and Alia, Alia and Nima who is adorable and the perfect character to bring a bit of balance and laughs to story. The message being sent with this story is that it is OK to embrace the themes of good vs. evil, coming of age, and super heroes from unexpected places who are determined to achieve seemingly impossible dreams.  If you are lucky enough, the first printing actually included a poster of Diana. Since I borrowed this from the library, I can't exactly steal it, can I? 

Story Locale: Amazon Island of Themyscira; Contemporary Greece, and NYC

Series Overview: DC ICONS SERIES: 4 standalone novels each by a bestselling YA author (Each book will include a poster in 1st printing. Collect all four to create the complete DC Icons poster!)

August 2017: Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo
January 2018: Batman by Marie Lu
August 2018: Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas
January 2019: Superman by Matt de la Peña

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday #Review - Promise the Moon by Hailey Edwards #Urban #Fantasy

Series: Gemini, # 4
Format: Kindle, 263 pages
Release Date: October 29, 2016
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Source: BookLending.com
Genre: Urban Fantasy

War is a constant threat on Dell Preston's horizon. As beta of the Lorimar pack, her job is to maintain the peace on the new border between Faerie and Earth at all costs. Even if that means playing nice with her ex, Isaac, the fae who savaged her wolf's soul, and Enzo Garza, the flirty witch who ought to be focused on building up their magical defenses instead of tearing down the walls around Dell's heart.

Butler, Tennessee is a pinprick on the map with a diverse population of supernaturals. It's also chockful of humans who are unaware of the magical rift bruising the sky or the otherworldly insurgents raining down into their zip code.

A local fae's disappearance catches Dell's attention, but she dismisses it as an isolated event. Until it happens again. Unable to ignore the strange happenings in her town, she begins an investigation that uncovers so much more than a simple rash of kidnappings.

Now Dell finds herself at the sharp end of a pointed ultimatum. Find the missing and return them to their families or get ready for prime time. Botch this job, and forget coming soon. The war will become tomorrow's featured attraction instead.

Promise the Moon, by author Hailey Edwards, was originally called the first installment in the Lorimar Pack series. But, it is now been called the fourth book in the Gemini series. The Lorimar Pack / Gemini series features Dell Preston, who is the Beta of the Pack. Even though it is a whole new adventure, it does take place after the events of Hell or High Water which featured Camille Ellis. Cam makes a very brief appearance in this story. 

As Promise the Moon opens, things have really become dangerous. The veil between the worlds is wide open, and fae are attempting to leave their world. Some even make it. Attempting to leave Fae is punishable to the fullest extent of fae law, the rest are picked up by a certain pack who has agreed to take responsibility for collecting said fae. As the Beta of the Lorimar Pack, Dell has been put in charge of collecting the invading fae before they create more problems. The pack is responsible for hunting the invading fae, and they have no fear of any retribution from the Conclave.

Dell is also responsible for the training, recruiting, and the testing of potential new recruits since her pack only has 12 original members. It is essential for Dell to do the right thing to keep her group of misfits and outcasts together, while adding another new element to help do their jobs. Dell was one of my favorite characters in the Gemini series. She's funny, sarcastic, and she fought off her entire pack to remain as Beta. It that doesn't tell you this girl has some strength, what will? But she also has some issues hanging over her head. The first being how she was treated by her mother, the other being that her wolf found its mate, only to lose him (Isaac).

I'm not a fan of triangles, so what does Edwards do? Adds witch Enzo Garza to the story mix to have a one up man ship between him and Isaac. But, let's skip over all that malarkey for now and talk about the fact that Dell has her hands full when local residents go missing. Since her pack is the overall law in this area, she and her pack have to find out what has happened to those who have gone missing. What they find will definitely push this story into the next installment. I can't even talk about the final chapters in this book without totally spoiling what ends up happening. So, I will say this. Yes, there is a huge cliffhanger ending. Yes, Thierry once again plays a pivotal role. As I said, Edwards loves keeping certain characters around, and I don't see Thierry going anywhere anytime soon.