Review: City of Light by Keri Arthur

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Publisher: Signet

Publishing Date: January 2016

ISBN: 9780451473509

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.5/5

 

Publishers Description: When the bombs that stopped the species war tore holes in the veil between this world and the next, they allowed entry to the Others—demons, wraiths, and death spirits who turned the shadows into their hunting grounds. Now, a hundred years later, humans and shifters alike live in artificially lit cities designed to keep the darkness at bay….

 Review: The world building and the story line were fantastic. Rift portals, vampires, shifter soldiers, underground bunkers and a world still recovering from a decimating war. Tiger is a Dechet, a genetically designed human(?) that is part shifter, vampire and white tiger, blended to make an inviting lure for opposing foes. She can talk to ghosts, particulate her body, draw light or darkness to herself in order to disappear, morph her body, telepath your ass and is immune to poison. 

Initially, this novel had some major info dumping issues at the beginning to get the motor started yet quickly settled into good character development with some fantastic movement. This had a good scifi vibe until “Magic” started being thrown around with earth witches and her own abilities to become particulate. I don’t know if “feeling the magic” is another way of saying she is utilizing her own genetic abilities or is using something externally. Most likely the former. Perhaps Nuri the earth witch was genetically modified as well, yet the details were never revealed.

Where this lost a star was the phrasing utilized to expedite the scenes. “Softly” was used 50 times and murmured (20x).  Throughout this novel, Tiger is constantly in an erotic state. Even when facing dire circumstances she manages to notice his smell or the “luscious contact when he touches her hand or his grip seeping into her body flushing the chill”. Fug. Additionally the grammatical errors were fairly consistent. The novel hints at Tiger going it alone, which bodes well as we can truly see her in an independent light without all the gushing tingles and heated pheromone desire from Jonas’ touch.

 

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Review: Steal The Sky by Megan E. O’Keefe

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Publisher: Angry Robot

Publishing Date: January 2016

ISBN:9780857664914

Genre: SciFi Steampunk

Rating: 4.7/5

 Publishers Description: Detan Honding, a wanted conman of noble birth and ignoble tongue, has found himself in the oasis city of Aransa. He and his trusted companion Tibs may have pulled off one too many cons against the city’s elite and need to make a quick escape. They set their sight’s on their biggest heist yet – the gorgeous airship of the exiled commodore Thratia. 

 Review: Holy shjtballz this was good. The storyline and world building were impeccable as were the depth of the characters that inhabited it. I am really looking forward to more from this author.

 

Review: Love The Witch Hate The Craft by Nora Lee

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Publisher: Masterful

Publishing Date: October 2015

ISBN:9781517761738

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.4/5

 Publishers Description: When Rowan Middlebrook left Secret Hallow for college, she swore she would never return home. It’s not that she doesn’t like her hometown. It’s just kinda weird there, what with the eternal autumn thing, the hauntings, and…oh yeah, all the witchcraft.

 Review: I am on the fence with this one. Most of the novel was complete drivel. Rowan, our reluctant hottie hero, lacked depth as did all her cohorts. The storyline was rushed, and where a mystery could have easily been inserted, in its place was a mundane love triangle and a dying tree. Epithets or exclamations were adolescent outbursts that sought to bring a “witchy” vibe to the dialogue. “Oh cauldron/goblins”, “Oh my pumpkins!” and “Oh, dragon eggs” were a few unmemorable moments. 

The idea that a college girl that has been gone for 6 years has no contact with her world traveling parents is ridiculous. If you’re estranged, then yes but she gets all her info about her parents from her Grandma. Rowan constantly is sniffing out the musky sweat scent of men while denying her birthright yet fights for her place as the leader of the coven. Huh?

Despite all the negatives, this was well written. The writer has talent yet trended the novels as a serialization rather than putting in real effort to make a substantive novel. Insert a mystery, create some character depth through movement and quite possibly you have a winner.

 

Review: Soul Warrior by Falguni Kothari

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Publisher: Falguni Kathari

Publishing Date: November 2015

ISBN: 9781944048013

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.5/5

Publishers Description: On a muggy October morning, as Lord Karna peruses the Times of India on his iPad in his uber-protected Mumbai abode, he hardly expects an unannounced visit from the Gods, much less the cataclysmic tidings they bring him. By noon, Karna is saddled with the task of honing six delinquent godlings into demon hunters like himself—divine warriors duty-bound to rid the Human Realm of all evil asuras or demons.

 Review: Uh oh, speshul alert. Yahvi, Lord Karna’s daughter is at once; cute, meek, shy, bold, blushing, has bouts of low self-esteem, nervous (throws up) and can end the universe/cosmos/whatever. Besides this Debbie-Downer of a character, we have Qalli’s, mother to Yahnie whom is conflicted in her lust/love/hate for Lord Karna and exhibits a cloying over-protectiveness for her daughters. The Gods have sent six of her daughters to be trained by Lord Karna as demon hunters and of course they are all hotter than a half fugged fox in a February forest fire. So hot in fact, that they cause males to riot for the chance to be near them.

This novel had a lot going on with a multitude of entities colliding with our hero(s). The world building and scene development was superb and while the writing was good there were enough grammatical errors to shift a review to the low-side.  For once I used some restraint and chalked the errors up to the editors. There were some phrasing issues as well to expedite scene development and some lengthy dialogue in places. This could have been a fantastic epic if Qalli’s character were re-written. The implied criminal intent was never evident and the constant mother hen/sex kitten crap wore me out.

This author deserves some proper editing and solid Beta reads to showcase a solid talent. Too bad this fell way short with an overdone characterization.  

 

 

 

Review: Fallen Thrones Book I: The Last Elect by W.A. Williams

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Publisher: Smith

Publishing Date: October 2015

ISBN:2342342342342

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 2.8/5

Publishers Description: Fallen Thrones is a coming-of-age story about sixteen-year-old Aeldan, who is suddenly thrust from his quiet life and onto a quest to reclaim the mysterious gifts of the Bestowal, restoring the fallen thrones. Along the way, he learns he is the last elect and destined to wield a Valic-aren blade; a gift of the Bestowal—the only one remaining not in an evil tyrant’s control.

Review: Cover art is ghastly.

Up to a point, this was pretty good. Great movement that built well defined characters that grew along with the story line. Aeldan is speshul but not so much that you come to despise him. He is flawed, injured and oftentimes a big dummy. He’s not overtly dependent on anyone and seems to be growing into himself as life hurls shjt at him. The supporting characters are well built as well and reside within a pretty good world that is built in fine descriptive.

“So why you no give 5 stars!!”. About mid-way through the novel the dialogue begins to get a bit stilted and relies on phrasing to expedite much of the scenes. What really becomes an issue is the overuse of exclamation points to facilitate dialogue without having to build scene structure to implement emotional passages. It started to read like a Matthew Reilly novel where every! sentence! ends! in an exclamation point! Where these exclamation points are placed never jibed with the dialogue.

Not sure if this had the opportunity to be Beta read or adequately edited.  I am inclined to give part two a chance based on the story line and evident talent. Should the same mistakes appear I won’t continue on with this series.