Ink and Shadows (Ink and Shadows #1) by Rhys Ford

Ink and Shadows - Rhys Ford

UPDATE:
While reading the length of this book, one star. <----- That pretty much sums up the state of editing in this book. Hence the rating.

==================

I was sooooo looking froward to this book! This is pre-Kai Gracen universe, I was told. But the moment I dug in.... *sigh* I expected horror elements, of course, but not like this :/

This is a horror, alright. This. Is. Frigging terrible. Who "edited" this book? They really need to be fired. Like 3 years ago. Before this mess came out :/

Warning: Misplaced modifiers, POV ping-pong, adjectives (ab)used as nouns.

I lost the story behind this terror! :/ Sure, horror was never my poison, but it's on me, not the author. I still love Kai Gracen, but he certainly received much more attention from people who somewhat know how to apply English grammar to a written text. It wasn't perfect, but it was readable. Lack of editing in its entirety, however, I cannot forgive. Not where it comes to a published book. Not when that book costs you 7 bucks :/

I am beyond disappointed and this.... this close to DNF.


66% After acquiring a massive headache that not even sake can heal, I am DNF-ing. My brains says No. More!

Death by Silver (Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey #1) by Melissa Scott

Death by Silver - Amy Griswold, Melissa Scott

Solid writing; a few typos don't count. An excellent historical with a dash of magic. Non-romantic relationship (not for the lack of interest on both MCs part), mystery suspense and scenes of past abuse dominate this story. The two MCs-wizard-detectives do get together closer to the end, but as far as I recall all sex scenes fade into black. 5 stars for a great historical fantasy mystery-suspense :D

The Errant Prince by Sasha L. Miller

The Errant Prince - Sasha L. Miller

king's guardsman Myron, sent out to find and bring back a missing prince Tam, finds him in an enchanted cottage. They talk, they work, they play school of magic, where Tam spends pages and pages on teaching Myron some spell, they smooch, they cook and clean and so on. Nothing significant happens up until 45% of the book.

Then the prince suddenly decides to return to the royal castle to see his brother, the king. Tam magically transports Myron and himself to the king's quarters. Catching up with the brother and an ex-lover, kiddie scenes, more frigging spell teaching (hey, anyone needs beaming up? I have the manual! *waves "The Errant Prince" in the air*) ensues.

There is a minor issue of arranged marriage, but everyone plays nicely, even the evil ex, and as a result Tam and Myron live happily ever after.

The book is very nearly angst free. I was waiting for a conflict with the ex-lover, but the guy was decent, he apologized and said all the right words, even went an extra mile to teach Tam's new lover new spells. I really felt for the guy and Tam acted like a "bad dude" to him.

2 stars.

Electric Singularity by Debrah Deumont

Electric Singularity - Debrah Deumont

This didn't work for me. Theo, the master and the ship owner, was too dull, too slow for a successful smuggler and unnecessary brutal. And horny. Like all the time. Leon did all the work getting Theo out of trouble, and turned from I hate you to can't live without you in a span of an hour (tho based on what, I am not sure. Maybe his brain got fried too much.) I am that one spoilsport, sorry, but I can't give the story more than 1.5 stars. I am not sure yet if I want to round it up or down. Gonna sleep on it.

I Hate Series....

....even the ones I love. Especially the ones I love.

 

I have to re-read previous 2-3-4-5-6-7-8 books to be able to fully enjoy the latest installment. It's beyond frustrating. I understand that it saves authors world building and character development, but it's maddening to the readers. No matter how much I love Scarlet and the White Wolf, for example, I do not! - I know, shocking - want to re-read first 4 books when the 5th is out. Because guess what, I have already read Book One three times.

Men and Books ♥

A Death at the Dionysus Club (Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey #2) by Melissa Scott

A Death at the Dionysus Club - Melissa Scott, Amy Griswold

I think I love this book even more than Death by Silver.

Same quality writing (still, there are a few pesky typos, but who cares, they are just that - typos), with amazing characters. Take Dolly Hall, for example. He dies in the very beginning of the book, but his presence is palpable all the way through the end. Challice, the poor soul. Stuck in a straight marriage, thinking himself an abomination at the same time longing for family and kids. There is not much of him in this story, either, but I couldn't help worrying about him and his wife.
Magic. Spells. Curses. Sex magic. Forbidden magic. Evil creatures. Half House. No, literally, Half House :) Yeah... pretty cool!
London. I was attached to both my ipad and my phone, following the streets on Google Maps and checking out the landmarks while reading. I only visited all the usual tourist traps for the most part when I was there, but it made it easier for me to orient myself. London is one of the most spectacular cities I've ever seen (step aside, Paris!) and one of my favorites.
Evil sorcerer. Well, not quite a sorcerer, but he used some pretty weird messed up magic. This time he was much harder to pin. In Death by Silver the murderer was very predictable and it caused me a lot of frustration. Every time the said criminal was on page, I couldn't help but yell at the boys: Right there! See? How can you be so blind! Figure it out already!
I could not put the book down and didn't want it to end. If you love KJ Charles, you will like this, too.
The MCs are under much pressure where their affection for each other is concerned (those were the times *sign*), so don't expect prolonged or explicit sex scenes. But the tenderness is there.

Very much recommended.

Myths, Mayhem, & Sweet Tea by Kimberly Hunter

Myths, Mayhem, & Sweet Tea - Kimberly Hunter

This story is a disaster. I remember seeing a few negative reviews a year or so ago, but I have no idea what had happened to them. They are not here anymore. I should have known better. I should have paid heed to the warnings.

If you think this is about an archaeological dig, it's not. If you think it's about Creed and outstanding security services he provides, it's not. If you think there is a complicated story that involves dangerous gods and their immense powers, it's not.

This is about a bunch of horny teenagers in grown-up god and human bodies, who drink, f*ck like bunnies (I dare you to flag me for that word, when every other sentence in this book contains a profanity), tell each other tragic sappy stories about their past and run around with googly eyes, falling in insta-love and whispering saccharine nothings when not swearing. These are the Gods. These are tough and rough disciplined ex-military types.

Creed is hired to provide security for a group of archaeologists. He makes a huge deal over it while talking to his client. But what does he do when he gets to the site? Shouts, yells, throws a fit or two and then goes off on a drinking/banging spree first with a member of the dig, and not a couples of hours later with Loki. Creed is too full of himself, and "A limp dick bastard with a God complex" definition suggested by one of the characters describes him to a T.

And so it goes on, Creed and Loki traveling all over the place, bragging about their intelligence, drinking, banging, talking feelings (yuck... yuck.... sticky sugary stuff ...bleh *shrugs*). Everything falls into places when they need it, cause - Gods. They take care of that crap. And so on through now 75% of the book.

Then there is the issue with the Sleeper. Gods don't want him disturbed, but put him in a sealed chamber in an active volcano. What do you think will happen if the said volcano awakes? The seals will be broken, the Sleeper will rise. That's what. Gods Morons.

Strongly reminds me of The Student Prince. All party with little plot.

Still reading (can't believe myself). Will report on the rest later.

And so, I am sad to report that the story is not improving. Ancient gods, who waited literally hundreds of thousand of years for their one and only soulmate, are now rapidly finding them not only within the same week of 2015, but 2 out of three popped up at the same location. The Dig.



What are the odds? O.o

...and then there were poor puppies and poor abused boys and who knows what else, put there for the sole purpose of squeezing out a tear, creating more drama and producing more sap.



DNF-ing at 88%. Actually I did scroll to the end of the book, but couldn't concentrate on any of it.

Death by Silver by Melissa Scott

Death by Silver - Amy Griswold, Melissa Scott

Solid writing; a few typos don't count. An excellent historical with a dash of magic.
Non-romantic relationship (not for the lack of interest on both MCs part), mystery suspense and scenes of past abuse dominate this story.
The two MCs-wizard-detectives do get together closer to the end, but as far as I recall all sex scenes fade into black.

5 stars for a great historical fantasy mystery-suspense :D

Pic of the day

Not sure I agree, but I did laugh

 

"Reading is just staring at a piece of dead tree and hallucinating":

Omega Academy (Project Alpha/Omega #1) by Jules Finley

Omega Academy (Project Alpha/Omega Book 1) - Jules Finley

TAGS: GFY, mpreg last 5%.

 

I really enjoyed first 50% of the book, thinking giving it at least 4 stars.

 

However, after Bryce's bathroom window incident it started going downhill. Too much info dumping (pre-war, pre-academy life, constantly whining about wanting to die, then changing mind...) and too lovey-dovey bordering saccharine in the very end.

 

Jackson never made an impression on me as a big bad alpha. Omega Oliver had more guts, will and drive than him.

 

A few nice surprises in the second part of the book and one more closer to the end. 3.25 stars. Rounding down to 3 on GR and up to 3.5 on Booklikes.

 

***

Dr. Reed -ha-ha, that name, different spelling but still, I could not help it! =)

 

 

 

***

Monica, thank you for the rec. All in all, it was a very fun read :)

The Telling (The Telling #1) by Eden Winters

The Telling  - Eden Winters

I really feel bad giving it 2 stars. BUT:

- I could not connect with the MCs. The narration was dry, the interaction between the MCs was too easy: A student with a hero worship + a soldier with a PTSD in need of love and care = Uber Quick Instalove
I am not usually the one to condemn love at first sight, but this one wasn't convincing even to me.
- Angie was annoying as hell; she set my teeth on edge every. single. time.
- The evil stepfather was extremely sketchy (literally)
- ...And so was the local playboy - Trevor? Terry?
- Ryan... plenty of him in the past, but he was brushed off many a time at the time of the narrative. Why was he even there? Nothing but a prop, like most (all) of the secondary characters here. I hoped and waited for him to show up in book two, but - nothing.
- Rainbow flags were everywhere (in 'spirit' at least). Everyone was sooooo tolerant and accepting and not in the least surprised about everybody else being gay. Except for the evil stepfather, of course, he was one ugly bastard with a foul mouth.

So, a number of things didn't work for me here. Once again - book's too short? I don't know :( I suspect it might be me, since everybody else loves it.

Crow and Firefly (Crow and Firefly #1) by Sam C. Leonhard

Crow and Firefly - Sam C. Leonhard

Tho entertaining (to a degree), this book can stand some serious editing. The characters are unhinged, the writing is ...well, just let me warn you, the author is not a native speaker and it shows. There are plenty of people out there willing to proof-read, if only asked. That authors and publishers let it slide baffles me every single time.

I liked the idea of sifters-mating-humans being - literally - a deadly affair, however, it was not the real focus of this book. This is a cinderfella story, in which the future king of the land lures a poor young starving shifter, Ari, into his castle to marry him, the shifter/human conundrum a purrr-fect excuse for the jolly event. The pair, no surprise there, turns out to be a purrr-fect match.

Ari disappointed me great greatly at the end of the book, bragging about sleeping around with pretty much every available male since he was 14. That revelation comes out of his mouth on his wedding night, while talking to his brand-new husband. What a turn on ...um, not! :/ Oh, and then there was that episode where Ari seduced his husband by turning into a cat. What the heck? O.o

The author left no incentive to read the second installment. Everything smoothed out perfectly towards the end, with a perfect neon HEA flashing gaily all over the last pages.

Black Snow by E.A.B.

Black Snow - EAB

3.25 stars.

I enjoyed the very beginning of the book, even tho the incident with the mirror/Queen at Roland's house gave me a pause. It annoyed me to no end that nothing ever came out of it. I guess it's editing problems.
I didn't mind the middle of the story, palace comings and goings, even tho I thought that Brier used Quintin and led him on one too many times. But if the guy is spineless and clueless, then - whatevers, it's his own doing.
The last 40% of the book, however, grated on my nerves big time. I don't know if the author was under pressure, there was no time to edit, I have no clue. It seemed very chaotic to me and, honestly, I stopped caring for the characters altogether.
There was also a big time/reality confusion moment with modern (more or less) medical equipment and procedure names. All the juicy pregnancy and birth details reminded me once again why I prefer to stay away from mpreg. But I guess that's my problem, not author's.

In the end I can say that I did enjoy the story (had to sleep on it, tho, and sort things out) and will definitely read more from EAB in the future.

PS
Lurrrve the cover!!! ♥♥♥

The Winter Spirit by Indra Vaughn

The Winter Spirit - Indra Vaughn
I absolutely love the story, love the fairy-tale setting of "I love you" conquers death and evil evil relatives. Love the snowed-in isolated dwellings, love googly-eyed couples. Love characters damaged and hurt by former lovers/spouses.

The problem for me here is the length of the book. Not enough Owen. Not enough of the lovey-dovey couple (there were adorbs!), not enough Nate's history, not enough Nate/Gabriel interaction prior to the events. I hope some day the author will expand and build upon this story. But right now I have to take a star (maybe even a star and then some) for missed opportunities.

In the end it still mounts up to 4 stars.
Thank you for a cozy winter/holiday miracle read, Indra! :)

PS Oh, and I love the cover, too! :D

===========

Found Gabriel and Heath :D

Mélusine (Doctrine of Labyrinths #1) by Sarah Monette

Melusine - Sarah Monette

I am reviewing a DTB version.

Wow! That was the longest prologue I've ever read!
Now I can go back to page 1 and start enjoying the book.
Many reviews that mention re-reads make sense now.

*****

Few thoughts on the book, the writing, the characters, the shenanigans. No spoilers, just want to keep my outrage contained in the spoiler tags.

 

Tho I like it when authors dump you right in the middle of things and you have to start running the moment you hit the ground, this was not the case. I sure did do some legwork, but it was mostly bouncing up and down on the same spot, trying to get hold on my bearings. What? Who? Where? How? but most often than not WTF? were the questions popping into my head every other paragraph.

 

None of the places, politics, history and even characters, including one of the MCs, are explored enough for readers to fully comprehend the magnitude of events that the author is bestowing upon us until it's almost into the second half.

* Felix doesn't get to shine in the beginning of the book; hell, Felix doesn't get to be or do anything before all hell brakes loose. He doesn't get. to. be. Although SM keeps showering us with "Felix is This" and "Felix is That", all we see is a mad, wounded, bleeding dog instead of a shiny pretty thing, and its running, whimpering, to his abuser after being called "a whore". That one word and an unsubstantiated implication to go along does not justify Felix's violent overreaction. I am sure it's all perfect in MS's head, but she clearly prefers not to share any additional bits with us (and there are more to come).
Where is this person who thinks quick on his legs? SM's shiny version of Felix should handle it in no time flat, instead he is seeking out his uber abusive master he hasn't seen in years and loading on drugs like there is no tomorrow.

.........................................

Felix the magnificent, "whose deadly wit is the terror of the court” my ass. Whiny little pup!

* The book is packed with too many elaborate names that mean nothing, people who never show up and have no impact on the events, places we never go to.

Not sure why French rev. calendar was used. To give an instant historical setting? Sorry, it didn't work. You can't use a calendar and a bunch of French sounding names to instantly set the stage, unless its real France and the time is set roughly during the very end of 18th/beginning of 19th centuries. Same goes for Troia/Greece. These tricks confuse, not clarify events or describe places or historical periods in fantasy fiction.

I jam fond of French history and literature, but even then it took me a few minutes to zoom in on Pluviôse, I simply did not expect it. It was one of my first in the long line of WTF moments. I am sure many of us remember the calendar, but then there are many who do not.

(show spoiler)



To SM:
*Please, translate for the overwhelming majority of your non-russian speaking audience, what the hell Morskaiakrov means. Would it kill you to make a footnote: *Morskayakrov (russian) - Sea Blood. In current setting it implies that the family who operates the boat has sea in their blood. They were born into the trade and sea is their home and their life.
Please, quit making people feel inadequate and leaving them tongue-twisted and cross-eyed.


* Too many side stories. For what purpose? Ah.... of course. Page count. But they slow down the flow of the main story and leave loose ends all over the place.
What was the deal with the hidden attic at St. Crellifer's? Great escape route. Great way in. But was it utilized? I really hope it will come handy later, because as of right now it's an opportunity and reader's time wasted.

*POV switching. Two paragraphs here. Half a page there. Past Tense, Present Tense... I am looking forward (not!) to colons in The Virtu, that's on top of Italics and Mildmay's bad and inconstant speech antics.

*Would it greatly burden you to have a glossary of terms and names in the beginning of the book? If anything it will expand your page count.

*Please, mention your septads in the glossary of your quirks. Two septads and six is an amusing take on 20 questions, but - really? Really? Invent your own question game and leave decimals out.

OK, shutting up now. There is more in my updates if anyone cares.

(show spoiler)



This book made me angry. Felix, too, at the very end, with his lack of gratitude and common sense made me angry. BUT. The story held my interest. I am starting The Virtue today. That counts for something, I guess.

3 stars.

PS Shannon. I feel bad for him. Felix is one ungrateful piece of ...work.

 

Mammarella

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