Urban Fantasy

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

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White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) By: Ilona Andrews

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White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) By: Ilona Andrews

Plot:

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice . . .

Review:

Oh my god!!! Ahhhhh!!!! Why is it over already? Why? Arghhhhhhhhhhh

I’m going to try and pull myself together, but I’m finding it difficult. When White Hot came out I decided to re-read Burn For Me again since it had been a few months. It actually came out way back in 2014 but due to a missed deadline and a packed scheduled the sequel, White Hot didn’t get released until May 30th 2017. That’s a pretty big gap, especially for Ilona Andrews, because of that the third book, Wildfire, is coming out in July. So I don’t have long to wait, which is nice, but still I’m already thinking about re-reading them both all over again.

I really, really like this world. I like the magic system, love Nevada, and I really love the supporting cast. Mad Rogan grew on me, though, he’s still the weakest part, in my opinion. He’s getting fleshed out, but I’m kind of getting tired of the supreme badass thing. He’s a not as cool Curran, which is the main dude in her Kate Daniels series. Maybe given a few more books he’ll really grow on me, but this is currently only planned as a trilogy so who knows.

Man, I really hope this is more than three books. I really love the characters and world a lot and don’t know if I’ll be done with them after three books. We’ll see. I vaguely remember Ilona Andrews saying they’d write more books whether Avon, their publisher, published them or not. I’ll have to go back and find where I read that to make sure it’s not just wishful thinking.

Once again, I’m sorry, Ilona Andrews book reviews for me are pretty horrible. For whatever reason reading their books is like taking a hit of cocaine, or so I imagine, and I just can’t think of anything other than holy fucking shit that was awesome!

5/5

Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) By: Patricia Briggs

Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) By: Patricia Briggs

Plot:

In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy’s bond with the pack—and her mate—is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone…   Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes—only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…   Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…
 

Review:

I put off reading this book as long as I could because I just knew that it would swallow me whole and I wouldn’t want to do the things that I needed to do, like take care of my children. When I finally did start reading, I didn’t have a difficult time putting it down. Part of that was because I’m so behind on sleep and some of the time I was reading was during night time nursing sessions. The other part of that was because I just didn’t like the story as much.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I love the characters, Mercy, Adam, and all the side characters, but most of them weren’t even in the story. Mercy was in Europe because she was abducted by the Lord of the Night or whatever he called himself. He’s been mentioned in other books and I was expecting someone super scary or something and he was a major let down. Adam was of course there, but the rest of the pack wasn’t. Also, I totally guessed the big “twist” and wasn’t shocked by it at all.

I love Patricia Briggs and everything that she’s written and I’d really love to give this book 5 stars because it was still good, but I almost feel like it was a paint by numbers Mercy Thompson book. Coyote showed up, Mercy got into trouble, she got herself out, Adam nearly lost control of his wolf because he was worried about her, etc… The formatting was also different in this book. I didn’t mind the jumps from point of view from Mercy to Adam, but the fact that the POVs didn’t line up was annoying and I honestly didn’t see why it was done it added nothing to the story.

All in all, the book was good, better than most urban fantasy out there, but I don’t think it lived up to the quality I’ve come to expect from Patricia Briggs.

4/5

Side note: I’m a big new Doctor Who fan but I thought the references were overdone. Matt Smith? Even the title is a call to one of the big bads. It really dates the story, I know there are pop culture references in the other books, but for whatever reason they were too much for me in this one.

Magic to the Bone (The Twenty-Sided Sorceress #7) By: Annie Bellet

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Magic to the Bone (The Twenty-Sided Sorceress #7) By: Annie Bellet

Plot:

Bruised, battered, but not even close to broken, Jade and her friends must reunite, and get ready to take out her psycho ex once and for all. Leveled up and wiser, Jade stands a chance this time.

As long as she takes out Samir BEFORE he turns into a god…

Review:

Finally the conclusion to the big bad. I was excited about that but like the last few books I thought this one was really short. There was also the whole no re-introduction to the characters so you better remember who they all are thing.

I’ve really liked the Twenty-Sided Sorceress series, a lot, but there were a few things I wish had been done better, namely the two things I just mentioned.

I love that the heroine is strong and smart and that she and her man don’t feel the need to dominate and control each other. I do think the relationship needs to be fleshed out more, at least in these last few books. Which really just adds into the whole these books became way too short. There wasn’t enough relationship or world building overall. It all felt really rushed and broken up. Maybe if the last three books had been combined into one it wouldn’t have felt that way.

I’m curious to see where Bellet goes next in this series. There’s a book about Harper as well as another about Jade showing up in this series.

4/5

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) By: Ilona Andrews

magic-binds

Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) By: Ilona Andrews

Plot:

Mercenary Kate Daniels knows all too well that magic in post-Shift Atlanta is a dangerous business. But nothing she’s faced could have prepared her for this…

Kate and the former Beast Lord Curran Lennart are finally making their relationship official. But there are some steep obstacles standing in the way of their walk to the altar…

Kate’s father, Roland, has kidnapped the demigod Saiman and is slowly bleeding him dry in his never-ending bid for power. A Witch Oracle has predicted that if Kate marries the man she loves, Atlanta will burn and she will lose him forever. And the only person Kate can ask for help is long dead.

The odds are impossible. The future is grim. But Kate Daniels has never been one to play by the rules…

Review:

A lot happened in this book. A whole lot. Even with that, though, I never felt over whelmed or on edge. I didn’t feel much urgency, which kind of makes me sad. The book was good, very good even, but I not once doubted that Kate and her entire crew would make it out alive. On the one hand I’m glad of that because I love them all and in my current state it would destroy me if anything happened to them, on the other hand it makes the book somewhat less exciting.

It’s possible it was just me, I’m hormonal and moody and things aren’t striking me like they normally would so I’m not sure if I would feel the same way if I read it at another time.

I will say I’m getting tired of the buildup for the climax between Kate and her father. The main plotline in Magic Binds was all about her father, but it ended with him still alive and only suffering a minor defeat. After nine books I’m kind of ready for that threat to be over. I’m actually hoping right now that book ten is where the series ends, I love Kate Daniels but I don’t want it to become a series that’s never ending and loses itself in the process. We’ll see what happens.

4.5/5