Paranormal

Wolf Under Fire (STAT: Special Threat Assessment Team #1)

Wolf Under Fire (STAT: Special Threat Assessment Team #1)

By: Paige Tyler

Blurb:

For the cases no one else can solve, they send in the Special Threat Assessment Team

Supernatural creatures are no longer keeping their existence secret from humans, causing panic around the globe. To investigate, monitor, and ― when necessary ― take down dangerous supernatural offenders, an international task force was established: The Special Threat Assessment Team.

STAT agent Jestina Ridley is in London with her team investigating a suspicious kidnapping. Over her radio, Jes hears her teammates being savagely attacked. She runs to help, but she’s too late. The only survivor, Jes calls for backup and gets former Navy SEAL and alpha werewolf Jake Huang and his new pack. Convinced that the creature who butchered her teammates was a werewolf, Jes doesn’t trust them. But if they’re going to uncover the facts and make it back home alive, she’ll need Jake’s help. And with everything on the line, Jes will have to accept Jake for who he is, or lose the partner she never expected to find.

Review:

Wolf Under Fire was a romantic action story. Since a woman wrote it, the romance was actually good. There were soulmates, instant attraction, and everyone was drawn to their significant others scents.

Jake was ex-military and an ex-cop. He’d just signed up to lead a team at the FBI that specialized in the supernatural. I got the distinct feeling I was missing out on parts of his history, so I believe he was talked about in another book, but it didn’t impact the story.

Jes was a seasoned agent for STAT and not the biggest fan of werewolves. When she meets Jake, there’s an instant attraction, but their first meeting isn’t the best. Things quickly escalate, though.

Most of this book was action. There were car chases, explosions, and lots of fighting. As I said, it was an action romance. This isn’t my usual genre, but I enjoyed it. I do wish there was more information about the supernatural, but Jake and Jes both seemed to be very ignorant about the world. I was also able to guess a couple of the twists pretty quickly. All in all, it was enjoyable, and I see myself reading more from Tyler.

3.5/5

Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5)

Emerald Blaze

Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5)

Release Date: August 25, 2020

By: Ilona Andrews

Blurb:

As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers—powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart.

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won’t rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that’s tearing their world apart.

Review:

When I got the email saying I’d won an ARC of Emerald Blaze, I screamed. I then proceeded to be so swamped with library books that I had to set it aside. Three, or so, weeks later, I was finally able to read, and it was definitely worth the wait.

At this point, it should be clear Ilona Andrews is my favorite author.

Catalina is very different from Nevada, her older sister and the star of the first three books. They’re both smart, but Catalina is more analytical. She’s also an overachiever. If a teacher mentions a book in passing, she is the type of student who would go out and read the book, then probably the author’s entire catalog. She is thorough.

She has the weight of taking care of her entire House on her shoulders, and Catalina does everything she can to protect them. It’s a trait that she shares with the rest of her family. She keeps things closer to her chest than Nevada did and plans years in advance like a chess player. She’s a woman after my own heart.

Alessandro is not as cocky as he was in the previous book. Things have happened to him that has made him reassess his life and goals. He’s still a badass, he’s still gorgeous, and he’s still into Catalina. But he’s matured, and it looks great on him.

The story in Emerald Blaze might be the biggest in the series in terms of threat. However, since the family is so overpowered, you never doubt that they’ll succeed. I like that in my books, but I can see why others wouldn’t. The entertaining part is discovering how they’re going to save the day, not in wondering if they will.

There is a decent amount of development with the entire Baylor family in Emerald Blaze. Unlike the last book Nevada and Catalina talk in this one several times. It was nice to see Nevada again. Everyone in the family has their moment, and all the characters I liked from previous books were here as well. That’s one of the difficult things with later books, the cast of characters is larger. It never felt like people were being forced into the story, though.

If you haven’t read the previous books, you would be able to follow the story, but you’d miss out on so much that I wouldn’t recommend jumping in here. Emerald Blaze was a great addition to the series and more than lives up to what I’ve come to expect from Ilona Andrews. I’m incredibly excited to see what happens next.

5/5

Silver Silence

Silver Silence (Psy-Changling Trinity #1) By: Nalini Singh

Plot:

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence–her mind clear of all emotion–Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed…

Review:

Now this is what I wanted! The previous book, Allegiance of Honor, was basically a combo epilogue for the Psy-Changling series and a prologue for the Psy-Changling Trinity series. It showed you all the couples from the previous books and it set up the world for this new series. It was alright, but honestly too long for what it was, but whatever.

Silver Silence is about the Psy Silver, who is head of the EmNet, which is a humanitarian organization that helps out all the races. She has chosen to remain Silent because she feels that’s the only way to control her incredible power.

Valentin is the alpha of the bear clan in Russia. I loved the bears so freaking much. There better be more books about them because they were so much fun. If I was a changling that’s who I’d be. Family was everything, which is normal in a changling clan, but they’re also very in each other’s lives more than the other changlings we’ve met so far. As the alpha Valentin was all the bear traits cranked up to eleven and I liked him a lot. I did find it kind of weird that he liked to put his hands around her neck, but he never choked her so eh.

The couple has great chemistry and their romance was so awesome. By far the best part of the book was them and their interactions with the bears. I thought that the issues that began to arise with Silver’s power felt kind of contrived and the solution very abrupt, but it did give us Part 2 of the book which was just so sweet so I don’t know.

We were given a little hint at the leader of the Consortium, even though the bad guy in this wasn’t working strictly under their desires. You got to really see the struggles that are going to shape the world and I kind of understand why we haven’t gotten a human Psy relationship yet, at least not one that I remember off the top of my head.

I’m looking forward to the next book, it doesn’t come out till later this year, so hopefully I’m able to stay caught up this time.

4/5

Allegiance of Honor

Allegiance of Honor (Psy-Changling #15) By: Nalini Singh

Plot:

The Psy-Changeling world has undergone a staggering transformation and now stands at a crossroads. The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disparate races and groups. It is a beacon of hope held together by many hands: Old enemies. New allies. Wary loners.

But a century of distrust and suspicion can’t be so easily forgotten and threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman’s cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze toward a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: A child who is both Psy…and changeling.

To find the lost, protect the vulnerable—and save Trinity—no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the soul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honor even possible with traitors lurking in their midst?

Review:

This book and series really, reminds me of the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Both started out as basically Paranormal Romance, girl and guy meet, fall in love, danger, sex, happily ever after. It was a formula I loved and what made these two women stand out were the worlds they created along the way. They were interesting and complex and well thought out. However, both of them have sort of dropped the Paranormal Romance, or put it on the back burner. It’s there, but not as big a part of the story as it used to be. Instead we’ve got history and politics and seeing what happens after happily ever after. Their casts have become so large and people want to see all the past people that the book becomes, basically, a look at all the past couples. It’s a bit frustrating as a fan of the original format, but I’m not sure if what either series has become is a bad thing.

Allegiance of Honor did not have a romance in the normal sense. There were letters sprinkled throughout from a human that lost his love years ago and searched for her but failed to find her. Until the end of the book when he finally does. The rest of the book was almost like a massive epilogue. It peeked into almost every single couples lives that we’ve met since the first book. It’s about their lives and the allegiances they’re cultivating. It was interesting, but not what I wanted, it was also kind of confusing because I honestly don’t remember everyone’s name and story at this point.

There is an author’s note at the beginning of the book where Singh explains that the previous book, Shards of Hope, is the end of an arc and that Allegiance of Honor is the beginning of a new one. It made sense, Shards of Hope wrapped things up pretty well. There were still questions about the world, but you knew things were going to be alright, because everything always is in Paranormal Romance. If she’s moving past that, though, people are going to have to start dying. People we’ve become invested in and that’s going to suck.

I was hoping that this book would be a return to form, that we would be given a new pair of people to watch as they fell in love while they protected their loved ones. I was hoping for humans and that’s what I got, kind of, they just weren’t given any time.

This is a great series, the world created is amazing and intricate, this is not the book to start with, though. Even though I was disappointed I plan on continuing the series, but I really hope she returns to the original formula.

3/5

Side Note: I am not caught up with the Dark Hunter’s series so it’s entirely possible that Kenyon has returned to her previous formula and clearly I’m not caught up on Singh’s series either.

Year One By: Nora Roberts

Year One (Chronicles of the One #1) By: Nora Roberts

Plot:

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed—and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river—or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

Review:

I know what the blurb sounds like, post-apocalyptic paranormal horror, I realize that but—but—it’s Nora Roberts. She writes romance. She gives me happy endings. There has to be some of that in the story despite what the blurb sounds like, right?!?

Actually, nope, there doesn’t have to be. In fact there is almost no happiness in this entire book and it definitely does not end on a happy ending or even set up a happy ending. It is nothing like I hoped and everything that the blurb advertised. Is it fair for me to be disappointed? I don’t know.

The story starts out following several different people, you see the Doom and the decimation of the human population from their different views and eventually they all meet up together, only to have the ending abandon all but one person. I found that frustrating because the person that we wound up with was one of the most boring, even though she was a witch. We don’t even know who all is alive because of how they separated or even if we’ll see them all again. It felt like my time was wasted following those people only to have them abandoned.

The world was awful, there was no point of hope that wasn’t tainted by the awful either. It was depressing and what you would expect from the genre, but because of the author I kept hoping for more, for some bright spot.

Everyone was from New York City, which is annoying. They would vaguely mention the government and that people were being rounded up, but you never saw any of that. You saw the Raiders and the religious nut job group, but never the military. Only good people seem to die and stay dead, while the evil came back. Apart from the magic everything was just too realistic human wise, which I disliked because of the addition of the magic. Why does that always have to be the most real? Why can’t people be good? Or not horrible and evil?

Oh well. The book was mostly well written, I thought some sections could have been edited out, but then since I don’t know what’s coming out next they might actually matter latter. We’ll see, I’ll probably read the next book, but I definitely won’t be buying it in hardback. Probably.

3/5