So this is an interesting situation. I did totally intend to have this posted a couple of days ago but haven’t felt well for the last couple of days and more or less ignored it. Bad at being timely. Enjoy the review!
Paranormal investigator Savannah Levine is a powerful magic user, but after a case that tore a family apart she would give all her power to fix things. Something heard her. Now she stuck dodging witch hunters and searching for answers as a threat to the entire supernatural world rears its head.
When I requested Kelly Armstrong’s Spell Bound for review I didn’t realize that it was part of a series, much less the penultimate book of a thirteen novel series. That said, it didn’t bother me nearly as much as it usually does to jump into the middle of a series and the book stood quite well on its own. The characters were, for the most part, quite likeable and written in such a way that it didn’t feel like I was missing major parts of their development having missed several books. I did find the whole thing with Savannah losing her powers frustrating because of how utterly helpless she thought of herself as being and how much other characters insisted that she wasn’t. It was a little too real world for what I normally read, but also kind of endearing because people actually have moments like that.
All said and done, I definitely enjoyed Spell Bound, enough even to go back and read the other eleven when I get the chance. I give it a four out of five for being a totally worthwhile read with a minimum of issues.
I’m working on getting my backlog of review copies reviewed and posted so the schedule may be a little wonkier than usual from now until a bit after finals. Things probably won’t get back to what passes for normal here until I’ve got a job for the summer and have gotten my computer checked out for why it’s running slow.
Ana Cordona has been left to defend the remainder of her pack since all the males were killed when someone poisoned their well. She’s had to fight off the advances of her neighbor, Sean Taggart, another Alpha who wants both her and her land for his own. When an old flame shows up offering protection for her and her pack it’s enough to accept his conditions and become his mate.
I started reading Katie Reus’ Alpha Instinct expecting a somewhat trashy romance novel with a tough female lead and a thoughtful, maybe a bit sorrowful male lead. What I got instead was a trashy romance novel with a “strong” female lead and a bull headed male lead who was too wrapped up in being the Alpha and doing what was “right” for Ana to consider how she’d feel or react to his decisions. The reader is told that Ana has been leading the remainder of her pack fairly well since her father, the previous Alpha, died. But then Connor Armstrong shows up out of nowhere to claim his woman, his woman who he left for no apparent reason over fifty years ago, and suddenly Ana’s not only not the Alpha of her own pack anymore but she’s also relegated to being a painfully minor character while Connor and his brother go off to hunt down any and all threats. While the boys are away, Ana stays mostly at home taking care of her sisters and being neurotic about Connor’s actions since he left all those years ago. She also can’t do anything apparently because he’s the Alpha, this includes sitting down and figuring out what needs to be done to protect all that land that she knows better than he does and has been protecting herself for months.
There was some stuff with the shifters themselves that might have been interesting were it explained better or introduced slower. There are Alphas, like Connor and some of his men, who are both alphas and warriors and are the one who apparently do all the actual leading. Then there are alphas, like Ana, who are dominant to betas but aren’t warriors so they can’t lead properly because of something. It needs to be expanded on a lot before it makes much sense. Ana can’t complain about Taggart to the werewolves leading body because if she does it means that they’ll send her a man to take over her pack for her, not because she isn’t an Alpha mind but because she’s female, so that’s another thing that needs explaining. Why are the human with attached animal self werewolves bound by the behaviors of wild animals by their government?
I’m not liking this world of Reus’, its logic doesn’t make all that much sense for me and its characters aren’t terribly likable. Male wolves here apparently recognize their “destined” mates on sight and that aspect of it isn’t done well enough to keep me from having a knee jerk ick reaction to it. The male characters take action, and the female characters just are for the most part. I would read more about the only female in Connor’s pack, Erin, but only if she wasn’t being paired off with some dude as her main role. I give Alpha Instinct a two out of five. The writing was pretty average over all, I just couldn’t enjoy it because of the characters.
Some of you probably remember the post I made earlier in the week regarding a book called Six Moon Summer, this is just a quick up date on that with some links where you can find out more about it. Also, the awesomeness of it being released to the general public happens today.
Six Moon Summer can be found at:
Barns and Noble
S. M. Reine’s first novel Six Moon Summer is released this Friday! To celebrate, I”m posting the trailer here as well as a quick synopsis of the synopsis.
Rylie’s parents are going through a rather tough devorce, so they ship her off to camp to get her out of the way. But the other girls at camp single her out as a loner and bully her until she runs away into the woods. There, she’s mauled by a wild animal. She thinks that she’s going to die, but wakes up the next morning in her cabin with only a few scars to prove that anything happened. Rylie only has six months to find a cure. Will it be enough?
I’m really excited to read this, so you’ll be hearing more about it in the next few weeks.
As promised, a new review hot off the word document. Not really much to say here today, so let’s jump right in.
I’m not really sure how I want to start my review of H.P. Mallory’s Fire Burn and Caldron Bubble. I could start by talking about how it’s odd for a romance novel because she keeps her main characters kind of separate after the first couple of chapters. I could also start with the way it feels like a first book both in the case of the series and the author. When we meet our lovely narrator, Jolie Wilkins, she’s busy being a fortune teller and a serial single. This all changes with a ghost and a visit from the hottest man she’s ever met. Suddenly Jolie finds herself with the ability to raise the dead and a lot of unwanted attention from the super natural world. From there the novel becomes more and more what I expect from a romance novel, lots of mush without much substance until towards the end.
When first we meet Jolie she seems content with her life, yeah she could use a better paycheck but she’s got her best friend and her cat. Enter Rand, the almost freakishly gorgeous warlock with a job that needs her help. He needs to find out who killed a client of his’ father, and apparently needs Jolie’s help to do so. Well, things don’t go quite as planned and the dead guy winds up somewhat less dead than before. This intrigues all manner of supernatural folks and puts Jolie into a bit of a spot when she finds herself having to pack up her life to follow Rand to England where they will hopefully be safe from dead guy’s daughter and her army of loyal (and terrified) followers. This leads to quite a bit of day-to-day nothing as Jolie and Rand distance themselves from each other and get her ready for an eventual confrontation with Bella.
So, where does this leave me? It was good, not spectacular, but something that makes me want to read the rest of the series. There were spots of purple prose scattered throughout. At some point in time Mallory decided that one of her characters is a jerk, but hadn’t characterized him as such and then dropped him entirely. Plus the book is definitely the first in a series; it doesn’t have a really satisfying end. But my big problem was that Jolie is never wrong about anything or anyone, ever. That got really old really fast. So, I’m left wondering why I enjoyed the book as much as I did. Mallory teases her reader, offering images of what might happen in the future via Jolie’s being a seer. She hits some genuinely humorous moments with a smartass lead that I kind of wanted to talk to. Where there’s a little purple prose, the rest is solid and offers a view of how good a writer Mallory can be. Definitely worth reading, definitely worth continuing.
Carmel over at the Rabid Reads blog is doing a five week long book giveaway in celebration of her hundredth post. What better way to help her celebrate than to go enter, right? So, here’s the link to the first week’s giveaway of Vickie Louis Thompson’s A Werewolf in Manhattan.
Come by again next week and I’ll have the link for that giveaway as well.