Book Reviews

Ocean Light


Ocean Light (Psy-Changling Trinity #2) By: Nalini Singh

Plot:

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh dives beneath the surface of her Psy-Changeling world into a story of passionate devotion and selfless love…

Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there’s a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment–taking his brain along with it. With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he’s at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling…

Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won’t hide the facts of Bo’s condition from him or herself. She’s suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating secret Bo could never imagine…

But when Kaia is taken by those who mean her deadly harm, all bets are off. Bo will do anything to get her back–even if it means striking a devil’s bargain and giving up his mind to the enemy…

Review:

Finally, I get a book with a human love interest! I was so happy about that, and then the leads wound up being so awesome it made me even happier.

I devoured this book, it was so sweet and hopeful and exciting. Not much happened in the world, though definitely enough to move things forward, but the love story was very much the heart of “Ocean Light.”

Bo and Kaia were not perfect for each other on the surface, but it was an immediate attraction on both sides. Bo was dying and Kaia had already suffered so much loss. Bo has a secret and so does Kaia and it’s just more reason for them not to be together. None of that ever matters though. You know that Bo is going to live and that they’re going to live happily ever after, there was really never any doubt in my mind, but it didn’t make the story any less. I was swept away in the romance and love. It was perfect.

5/5

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Iron and Magic


Iron and Magic (The Iron Covenant #1) By: Ilona Andrews

Plot:

No day is ordinary in a world where Technology and Magic compete for supremacy…But no matter which force is winning, in the apocalypse, a sword will always work.

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast.

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she’s trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify.

Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies?

As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.”

Hugh and Elara may do both.

Review:

“Iron and Magic” takes place in the Kate Daniels universe, but Kate and most of the people in her books are hardly in this. There is a small bit with the Bouda clan alphas, and Kate is mentioned several times as well as Roland, but this story is about Hugh and Elara.

Before this story, just based on what we already knew about him, I wasn’t a fan of Hugh. Honestly, I was looking forward to this book because it’s Ilona Andrews, but I wasn’t in a hurry to read it because I didn’t care about him. He’s blood thirsty and seemed evil from what we’d seen in Kate’s series, I’m also tired of the whole taking a villain and making him not bad anymore. However, by the time I was finished with this book I’d had a complete change of heart. I can’t help but love a broken badass.

Elara is still a mystery, her powers and history are only hinted at in this story never given too much detail. She seems to be possessed by some kind of god? Or maybe she is a god? She’s super powerful but can be wounded and killed, her people can pray to her, and apparently she’s terrifying in her powerful form. She loves her people and wants to take care of them and so she marries Hugh because he can provide protection she can’t.

The couple fight constantly and Elara is forever withholding information that Hugh needs to do his job. She second guesses him, puts roadblocks in his way, and is very much like his nickname for her, harpy. I was not a fan, there’s being strong because you have to be and then there’s just being stupid. I understand that she’s having issues trusting him, but come on, she married him, she signed a contract, she had to trust him to do all of that, but she was one of the biggest obstacles in the story.

Hugh does his own withholding, but it didn’t feel like the same level. He was a pretty massive baby about some things, though. Honestly, they’re both super flawed and deserve each other, but Elara’s flaws bothered me more.

There’s definitely a spark of romance between the two and there’s a pretty hot sex scene that happens right after an intense fight with an army of tough bad guys. I guess being a healer means that Hugh doesn’t need as much sleep as a normal person.

Lots of unanswered questions about Hugh and Elara have me interested in what happens next but I’m glad that it’s only going to be three books. Hopefully, it’s not a trilogy like the Hidden Legacy series was a trilogy where we don’t get a proper ending with the third book.

4.5/5

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet


The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) By: Becky Chambers

Plot:

A rollicking space adventure with a lot of heart

When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn’t expecting much. The patched-up ship has seen better days, but it offers her everything she could possibly want: a spot to call home, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and some distance from her past.

And nothing could be further from what she’s known than the crew of the Wayfarer.

From Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the chatty engineers who keep the ship running, to the noble captain Ashby, life aboard is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. That is until the crew is offered the job of a lifetime tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet. Sure, they’ll earn enough money to live comfortably for years, but risking her life wasn’t part of the job description.

The journey through the galaxy is full of excitement, adventure, and mishaps for the Wayfarer team. And along the way, Rosemary comes to realize that a crew is a family, and that family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe… as long as you actually like them.

Review:

This was a nice change of pace, the universe was no more negative or positive than our own, which was nice. It painted a future that wasn’t dystopian that I enjoyed. There was a ton of detail put into the different races, the worlds, and the tech. It was very impressive, though, at times a bit more than I cared to know.

One of the things I appreciated was the diversity of the races and their cultures and norms. We met several difference races since the ship was multispecies and the differences and the attention to detail Chambers goes into was interesting.

The story was a bit lacking. Most of the book was details about tech and the different species and cultures within the universe and on the ship. We did have some character development but it followed the entire crew so it was spread thin. While I appreciated the details, there could have been a bit less and a bit more to the story. Basically the crew traveled from one place to another with little stops during that time and only a couple off minor incidents until the end.

I liked the characters and I would be interested in reading more, but the pacing was a bit slow so I’m hoping that future installments have a bit more happening or something more.

3.5/5

Gunslinger Girl

Gunslinger Girl By: Lindsay Ely

Plot:

James Patterson presents a bold new heroine—a cross between Katniss Everdeen and Annie Oakley: Serendipity Jones, the fastest sharpshooter in tomorrow’s West.

Seventeen-year-old Serendipity “Pity” Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six shooters and perfect aim. She’s been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great….

In this extraordinary debut from Lyndsay Ely, the West is once again wild after a Second Civil War fractures the U.S. into a broken, dangerous land. Pity’s struggle against the dark and twisted underbelly of a corrupt city will haunt you long after the final bullet is shot.

Review:

I devoured the first seventy percent of this book. The world was relatively interesting, the characters were fine, but most of all, for me at least, it was a western led by a girl. I love westerns with female leads.

The last thirty percent was a difficult slog, though. I had never cared about the characters so when it really started to get emotional I did not care what happened, at all.

Did I say I love westerns with female leads? I should have said I love westerns with female leads that are strong. Pity lives up to her name. It’s a pity she was the lead because she had no brain. It’s a pity she had almost no survival instinct and whenever it did kick in she made the wrong choice.

The book was a YA novel, I’m always harshest on them, for whatever reason. I honestly try to avoid them, but they seem to have the stories I want to read but the characters I fucking hate.

I didn’t like Gunslinger Girl. I wanted a female led western with a woman that didn’t need everyone to tell her what to do and wasn’t constantly just reacting to the situation. I wanted more than just a girl falling in love with a boy and doing everything for him.

2/5

Burn Bright

Burn Bright (Alpha and Omega 5) By: Patricia Briggs

Plot:

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…

Review:

Like all Patricia Briggs books I put off reading this as long as I could because I wanted it to last. Unfortunately, for the first time from her, I was disappointed.

When last we left Charles and Anna they were thinking about expanding their family, it wasn’t even brought up once in this book. It starts off with Anna feeling slightly dissatisfied with her life, since she became a werewolf nothing that she’d planned turned out how she wanted. I was hoping for some movement there but the book ended without really addressing it. Basically, she realized that she was going to live a long life so there was plenty of time to get around to doing what she wanted. Which is kind of stupid because the rest of the book was spent with Charles protecting her or almost dying.

Charles is really starting to annoy me, he’s forever thinking about how awesome his mate is, how strong and capable, and then he protects her from everything. I understand he’s an alpha werewolf and protects, but it’s just become too much for me.

I did enjoy getting to see more of the workings of Aspen Creek, but even that was a bit disappointing. A character that had been introduced in previous books ended up being a traitor and a new evil was presented but it was all a bit sloppy.

Burn Bright ended up dragging a fair amount for me. There was lots of talking and walking and buildup and while the last fight and revelation were good I was disappointed in the book as a whole.

Obviously, I’m still going to buy Patricia Briggs books day one, but I’m kind of concerned about the future for both of the series.

3/5