Magic Study – Soulfinders #2 – Maria V. Snyder

I had mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it but found something lacking. Maybe I’ll figure out what it is while I write this review.

The last book:

Yelena was raised in a country called Ixia as an orphan who was taken in, along with a bunch of other orphans, by a man who had only adopted them because of their potential magical abilities.

Ixia does not allow magicians to live within its borders. They are either killed or have escaped to their neighboring country of Sitia. Or is Sitia the only other country in this world? The author hasn’t elaborated.

Yelena, even though she was put through a ton of tests and even experienced strange things, had no idea she was magic. She ended up killing her aggressor and was awaiting her execution when she was called to the Commander’s castle. She became is food taster and fell in love with his assassin. When the Commander learned that Yelena was a magician he signed an execution order for her. It’s the law under the Code yet the Commander let Yelena slip over the border because he likes her. She had to leave Valek.

This book:

Yelena travels with one of the four Master Magicians of Sitia, along with the surviving orphans, through Sitia on their way to the Citadel for training. They drop off orphans to their families. Yelena was the last to meet her mother, father and brother.

Yelena enters the Citadel as an apprentice and discovers she is a powerful magician.

Most of this book dealt with her conflicting allegiance to both Ixia and Sitia. For some reason, she thinks the strict military dictatorship of Ixia is a better system than the freedom of Sitia. She struggles with the concept of beggars and having to buy food because everyone had a job and the government fed them in Ixia. The author didn’t explain what happened to elderly or the disabled. She seems in awe of the Commander even though he kills all magicians. Her thinking bothered me.

I was annoyed with all of the detailed magical experiences. Nothing bores me more quickly than tedious details of how a character struggles with their powers and how they can never seem to conquer their powers until they are about to die but until then, the author bombards us with the monotonous details of how the character pulls their powers from within. Ugh! I know we need to know some of it but enough is enough. I skipped a lot of it.

Another irksome thing was how Yelena always had to run off and play hero by herself. She’s just that much of a badass, at least, in the author’s eyes. To me, she was just reckless.

Okay, I think I figured it out. Yelena is just too cool to be true and she has all the answers to everything.

I’m still debating whether or not to continue reading the series. I’m leaning towards “not”.

Poison Study – Soulfinders #1 – Maria V. Snyder

I’m not sure what to think about the characters in this book. I don’t know if I like them or not because they all seem kind of cold-blooded but I have to chalk that up to the world they live in.

Here’s a country that was a corrupt kingdom until someone named Commander Ambrose took over 15 years ago but I think I would have preferred to live under the king than the Commander because it sounds like a police state where everyone has to wear uniforms according to their trade and district and have strict curfews. All magicians have been banned or executed. Most ran to the neighboring country of Sitia. Their law is something called the Code which is set in stone. Killing someone gets you death even if it was self-defense or an accident.

This is what happened to Yelena. She was raised as an orphan by General Brazell who had an orphanage. When she was sixteen, the general and his cruel son, Reyad, ripped her away from the others and started training her. When she failed to become what they wanted, the general gave her over to Reyad her tortured her. She killed him and was sent to prison for a year until her execution date.

Instead of being executed, she became the food taster for the Commander. A man named Valek trained her. In order to keep her from escaping, Valek poisoned her with something that needed a regular antidote that he alone knew what it was.

I’m not exactly sure what Valek’s position was but he seemed to be an assassin/spy for the Commander. I guess the Code allowed for it?

I liked the plot of this book but couldn’t figure out why Valek supported the Commander who is just a dictator. I think he was a total sociopath but the author tried to make the Commander seem logical, just and honest.

I am going to read the next book and see how things go before I make any harsh judgements.

Tower of Dawn – Throne of Glass #6 – Sarah J. Maas

BEST BOOK I HAVE READ IN A LONG TIME!!!

I’m in love with Sartaq! Could there be a more perfect man? He’s prince of a kingdom that I would equate to Alexandria, Egypt in ancient times and from the description that the author gave of the people of the land, I pictured a gorgeous, dark eyed, Middle-Eastern man. He’s called The Winged Prince because he leads a squadron of rukhin, men who live on the highest peaks of the land and ride giant predatory birds called ruks. He said two things to Nesryn in this book that wreaked havoc on my emotions. I can’t tell you what they were without giving away spoilers but the first one sent chills down my spine and the second had me bawling. He’s my new book boyfriend.

His brother, Kashin, wasn’t bad either but his puppy-dog love for Yrene and the way he obeyed his father without question put him out of the running for a book boyfriend. But is it bad that I wanted Kashin to win over Yrene instead of the leading male character, Chaol?

If you follow the series, you would know that the last book ended with the heroine of the story, Aelin, being captured by the evil Fae queen, Maeve.

This book wasn’t about Aelin. Well, it was but did not feature her directly. This book focused on Chaol and Nesryn who were sent off to Antica, a continent across the narrow sea to the south by King Dorian so that Chaol could find a healer for his broken back.

This story happens concurrently with the last story so Chaol and Nesryn aren’t privy to what the reader already knows and find out as they occur.

Chaol was hit in the back with the powerful evil magic of the King of Adarlan while he was possessed by a Valg prince and now Chaol’s legs do not work. Chaol was Captain of the King’s Guard but Dorian made him tge Hand of the King and made Nesryn the Captain of the King’s Guard.

Nesryn and Chaol are lovers but something cooled between them on the three week ride across the sea. Chaol became an asshole, brooding on his injuries and pushed Nesryn away. I really stopped liking Chaol so much in this book.

Healing his back isn’t their only goal. They need to get the Great Khagan to join them in the war but he won’t even have an audience with them because he’s in mourning for his youngest daughter who “jumped” from a terrace.Their arrival couldn’t have come at a worse time.

This was the best book of the series so far. It could have done without the tedious healing scenes or, at least, less of them but that didn’t make me enjoy this book any less.

Frost Security – All 5 Books – Glenna Sinclair

I bought this entire series for 99 cents so I wasn’t expecting much but it turned out to be a good little series. I have written a little summary of each book below.

Richard

I’m going to go off on a little tangent about what bothered me at the beginning of the book but then I’ll get to the good stuff so bear with me. I was annoyed by the first few pages because the author did a little too much explaining to get the reader to understand the main character was a wolf shifter and it’s weird but I don’t know how to explain how she over-explained it.

There were three things that immediately turned me off. First, it was written in first-person POV. I, personally, have never liked first-person POV because it doesn’t feel like I can be involved in the story or replace the character with myself. It also limits the scope of what the reader can know and see. For example; if something is written in third-person POV, the reader might know what the bad guy is planning while the main characters have no clue. This isn’t possible in first-person POV. There are a few books that I enjoy that are written in first-person but I generally avoid them.

The second thing that bothered me was the eye-rolling descriptive words that were used. The intro scene was about a pack of shifter wolves in wolf form on a hunt for game. She used phrases that had me thinking puppy dogs rather than wild majestic wolves like “tails slightly wagging” and “five furry shapes”.

The third is that the male protagonist name was Richard. This wouldn’t bug most people but my oldest brother was named Richard and he passed away. It was painful to see his name because t’s not a name I see at all for leading characters in a romance novel, mostly because the leading characters are usually in their 20s and 30s and Richard is a name of a bygone era like Agnes and Gertrude. I had to just skip over his name.

Luckily, the second chapter began with Jessica’s POV and there were no more cringe-worthy descriptions. And Jessica is one of those nice overused names of the 80s and 90s. The plot was fairly simple which is something I really needed right now. Jessica hires Frost Security where Richard (I’ll call him R for the remainder of this review) works because she has been receiving threatening phone calls that the local sheriff can’t seem to do anything about. These phone calls started two weeks earlier just after her business partner died in a hunting accident. The caller who disguises his/her voice keeps telling her to get out of town.

Things escalate when someone sends her a dead tortoise, stabbed in the belly and then on the same day, her new business partner shows up. Her old partner had willed his part of the business to his greasy biker-gang nephew who offers Jessica a lot of money to sell her half to him so he can use the business to launder money. He makes it clear to her that she has no choice if she wants to stay safe.

There were some interesting background characters with their own stories getting set up for the coming books in the series. I’m looking forward to them.

Frank

The series follows five men who work for Frost Security in a small mountain town in Colorado who also just happen to be wolf shifters.

 I thought a security firm was all about installing security systems but I was wrong. These guys are body guards and investigators.

 In this book, Ashley Martin is a spoiled rich girl who lives off her trust fund and wanders around to her father’s vacation homes. She partied through college and only graduated because her father donated funds to the college. She’s in Enchanted Rock at her father’s “cabin” to visit her friend Sheila.

 She arrived home one night to her cabin being ransacked. The homes around the area are all referred to as cabins but Ashley’s is a four bedroom with a four-car garage. She thought it was odd that her alarm hadn’t been triggered so she called the local sheriff who seems super lazy and then called Frost Security who put Frank in charge of her case.

 At first, Frank thought Ashley was just another spoiled trust-fund baby but soon changed his mind when he saw how she didn’t mind rolling up her sleeves and doing hard work and how she didn’t roll up into a ball and hide in the face of danger.

They soon found out that Ashley’s father might be involved in money laundering for a Mexican cartel who are after her for some reason too.

This book was packed with action. The plot was fairly simple but this book was a little more complex than the first because it’s building up background stories for the other men of Frost Security, especially on their boss Peter Frost.

I have to laugh a little about the names of these men who are in their late 20s and early 30’s. Two of them are common names for the 80’s and 90’s, Jacob and Matthew, but the other three are names that I associate with much older men who are in their 70s and 80s, Frank, Peter and Richard. I don’t know why this bugs me so much but it does. Maybe it’s because I do a lot of genealogy and recognize trends in names of certain eras. Who knows for sure.

The next book is about Jacob who hasn’t really been talked about much in the first two books. I can’t wait to learn about him. Who am I kidding. I’m not going to wait. I’m going to start reading it right now.

Jacob 

 

I think I liked the characters in this story the best out of the three books I have read in this series so far.

Jacob is a wolf shifter who, like the rest of the men who work at Frost Security, served in the military and then was a police officer with the LAPD until Peter Frost offered him a job in Colorado.

 Elise arrives in Enchanted Rock from New Mexico, looking for her younger sister who had taken off when their father got sick and left Elise to take care of things.

Elise has not heard from her sister in a while except for a postcard from Colorado so after her father died, she decided to look for Eve.

 She meets Jacob at a local diner and he agrees to help her for free and even takes a week vacation from work but both he and Elise soon learn that Eve has gotten herself into some deep doo doo.

 I cracked up when Elise tells Jacob that when she finds her sister, she’s going to kick her in the cooch. She’s a feisty little thing.

 There was some background story about Jacob’s boss and pack leader which sounds like it could mean trouble for the whole pack.

 I’m off to read the next book.

Matthew 

Out of the four books I’ve read, this was my least favorite. I think it was because Rebecca was the typical English teacher, all prim and proper, but it might have been that the story was too predictable. I had figured out the bad guy from the get-go.

Rebecca hired Frost security to help her find evidence that her godfather Zeke was innocent of arson charges. His business burned down and he was accused of it.

Matthew was assigned to her case and, like all the other men in the previous stories, fell in love with Rebecca within the first day because she is is mate. I, personally, think that’s a little unrealistic but the author makes it work.

The background plot that has been working up throughout this series is heating up. A secret military organization named Jaeger Tech is hunting down shifters throughout the country and burning down their home with their dead bodies inside.

At the end of book three, we found out Peter’s mate, Vanessa, who he thought was dead had been following Jaeger Tech’s men and almost got caught. She ran to find Peter and tell him that they know where he is and have been watching him.

Now, onto the final book!

Peter

This is the final book of this series and I wasn’t sure how the author was going to tie all the loose ends together in such a short book but she did it…sort of.

I don’t want to spoil the end so I’ll just say that I was l left with the feeling that there must be more books or maybe a spinoff series in the works but when I looked it up, I only saw similar series to this one. When I looked at their descriptions, they didn’t mention anything about this series. It’s disappointing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blood Bound – Blackthorn #7 – Lindsay J. Pryor

This book was much better than the last book but I may have judged the last book a little more harshly because I couldn’t stand the main female character.

Eden and Jessie were featured in a previous book and this book featured them again. Jessie is an envoi, a type of angel, who gave her tears to Eden and his niece Honey to save their lives only to find out that those tears may end up killing them anyway.

They are hiding below the city in tunnels along with the lycans and Kane, a master vampire, from the human army led by the evil Sirius Throme. Jessie has found out that Sirius has enhanced his human army by giving them angel tears but his past experiments had killed his subjects until he learned to give them a supplement of something along with the tears. Jessie did not do this with Eden or Honey and now it is too late so she decides to go up top into the city of Blackthorn where all sorts of dangers exist to find some hidden files from someone who had done extensive research into the subject to try and find if there is another cure. Eden decides to go with her.

Torren, a particularly nasty angel who has a grudge against Jessie and who just happens to be the area’s angel leader, abducts Jessie and Eden. Torren is the one who bound Jessie and took away a lot of her memory from her previous life when she lived with the angels. Binding her meant that he made a talisman necklace with a substance inside it that made it so that she could only go a certain distance from the necklace. A con named Pummel acquired the necklace and became Jessie’s master for fifty years until Eden came along and saved her. She has worn the necklace ever since. Now, Torren has the necklace. Torren can’t kill Eden because he is vital to the prophecy that effects the third species including angels but he can kill Jessie who is not vital.

What he ends up doing is wiping out ten years of Eden’s memory which is before he became the man he is today, before Honey was born and before he became an Curfew Enforcement Officer. Torren then hands Jessie and Eden over to Homer and Mya, two cons who know exactly who they are and will make them suffer before they kill them. Jessie cannot tell Eden anything or they will kill them both right away.

Since Eden does not remember who he is and has tattoos with numbers showing his crimes on his arm from going deep undercover, Homer and Mya convince him that he is a con and he is Homer’s second. Mya tells him she is his girl.

I almost cried at some of the things Jessie had to endure, watching Eden with Mya and thinking he was a con. All I wanted out of this book was to see Homer, Torren and Mya to die. That sounds bad but that is what happens in books.

There are other evil characters in this book too who I would like to see get their just rewards like Sirius and Feinith. Both have caused way too much pain in the world.

I don’t know how much further this story can go without wrapping up soon. We’ll see what happens.

Blood Instinct – Bloodthorn #6 – Lindsay J. Pryor

It had been a while since I have read this series so it took a minute to remember the previous events of the story.

This world is made up by classes. Blackthorn is the nucleus. It is a city where society has thrown all of its worst criminals to live. When vampires and lycans revealed themselves, humans formed the Global Council which quickly threw all of them in Blackthorn too until “they proved themselves” but the head of the Global Council, Sirius Throme, will never allow that to happen. Unfortunately, for the lycans and vampires, there is a prophecy about the 3rd species {vampires and lycans) overthrowing the human rule so Sirius wants them all dead.

This book focused on Sophia who was turned into a serryn after her sister Leila did a spell which passed it from herself to Sophia. A serryn is a vampire killer who has no empathy and kills or pure pleasure. She emits pheromones that make her irresistible to vampires but her blood is poison to them. Sophia is trying to hold off the serryn but it takes her over at times.

Prophecy foretells of a certain master vampire who will drink the serryn to the Brink (where third species go when they die) and become the Tryan, the most powerful vampire ever. We, the readers, know it is Caleb but Sirius is desperate to find out. He has upped his game and has decided to invade but he can’t just invade without a reason so he has come up with an evil plan.

I found myself loathing Sophia throughout this book. She just seems reckless and makes dumb choices which puts everyone in danger. Some of it was caused from the serryn coming out in her but most of it was just her thinking she could be stronger than the serryn and refusing to listen to her sister Leila.

The story is revving up. I’m getting ready to read the next book now.

 

Dragonsworn – Dark-Hunter Series #21 – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dragonsworn

By Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dark-Hunter #21/Hunter Legends (First I’ve heard of this one)/Lords of Avalon #?/Were-Hunter #? I’m kind of lost to where each of these are at but I will try to go over them and number them correctly soon.

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Another great adventure by Sherrilyn Kenyon! This time she paired a dragon named Falcyn with a daimon named Medea who, inadvertently, get sucked into another realm along with her sort-of-kind-of brother Urian and his grandson Blaise who thinks he is his brother.

Medea needs Falcyn’s dragonstone to heal her people from a disease her grandfather, Apollo the god, brought down upon them. Morgen Le Fey, the evil leader of Camelot and Apollo also want the stone so they keep sending their minions after them and setting traps to try to steal it.

I’m not sure I like the Lords of Avalon spin on this series because it just complicates an already complex storyline and I get a little lost. I have read all of this author’s series except for the Lords of Avalon series which was her first series she ever wrote under the pseudonym Kinley MacGregor. I did read the first one but really didn’t like it that much so I never read the rest. I’m glad I did read that first one though because it helped me understand some of the references in this book.

I won’t put spoilers in but there was a revelation in this book which will have an impact on Urian but I’m not sure it will be a good thing. You will have to read it to find out.

There are still a lot of characters who need their story told like Jared, Savitar and my favorite Jaden just to name a few.

I can’t wait for the next one but I hope it veers away from this Camelot story and more back to the Dark-Hunter side of it.