Category Archives: Reviews

Review: The Golden Spider by Anne Renwick

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The Golden Spider by Anne Renwick

Series: The Elemental Web Chronicles

Genre: Steampunk Romance

Rating:

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London papers scream of dirigible attacks, kraken swarms, and lung-clogging, sulfurous fogs. But a rash of gypsy murders barely rates mention.

Lady Amanda is tired of having both her intelligence and her work dismissed.

After blackmailing her way into medical school, she catches the eye of her anatomy professor from the moment she walks into his lecture hall. Is he interested in her? Or only her invention–a clockwork spider that can spin artificial nerves?

Lord Thornton, a prominent neurobiologist, has been betrayed.

Secret government technology has been stolen from his laboratory, and a foreign spy is attempting to perfect it via a grisly procedure… using gypsies as test subjects. The last thing he needs is the distraction of a beautiful–and brilliant–new student, even if her spider could heal a deteriorating personal injury.

Until her device is stolen and used in the latest murder.

Lord Thornton has no option but to bring her into his laboratory as well as the investigation where they must fight their growing, yet forbidden, attraction. Bodies accumulate and fragile bonds are tested as they race across London, trying to catch the spy before it’s too late.

I am always on the lookout for a decent steampunk read and The Golden Spider blurb caught my attention. What is there not to like, Victorian London, intelligent and feisty female character and a growling male?

The book can be read as a mystery with a touch of romance. The steampunk world is mostly there with krakens and dirigibles. The clockwork spider was definitely a unique piece of equipment that I haven´t come across in any other books. The London setting is well described but could have had a bit more. The plot is well developed with a few twists that keeps reading interesting. I enjoyed the main characters and secondary characters are well written that along the book you grasp the different personalities. There are no editing issues in this book that I noticed, whether typos or grammatically.

My one negative remark on this book is the medical lingo, way too much and too detailed for someone without medical background. At a certain point I started skipping the dialogue feeling utterly lost and confused with the exchanges. There is also no way to verify what the author is saying is accurate or not, well I could google it but that is not the point of reading a book.

If you like steampunk you should enjoy this book, you will probably enjoy it more if you have some medical knowledge to help you through the technical dialogue. If like me you don´t, it´s still readable .

Overall I did enjoy this book and will read book 2 in the series, The Silver Skull.

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Most conflicting review ever – The Children of Gods series by I.T. Lucas

Enjoying a book I hated, I don´t get it either. My excuse is not enough coffee.

Amazon: I.T. Lucas

I am reviewing all three books together as I feel this should have been one book.

There are so many things wrong with this series but something about the story made me want to read all three. This was painfully awful and at the same time it wasn’t, there is so much potential in this series to make it great but as it stands it is unexceptional.

So let me start with everything I did not like about the books.

This book desperately needs some serious TLC in the editing department, and I’m not just speaking about the typos and grammar issues. Content wise the author would have greatly benefited from a good editor to give insight on the flow of the story and character development. The author claims that this was a new edited version, fire your editor and find somebody competent.

Syssi, the main character is a coward. Annoyingly so. She supposedly has premonitions, very accurate ones at that. Yet, throughout the book she gets two bad feelings. This was the only thing that made her interesting, the first three pages of the book were what got me interested and this was an important aspect. It was so disappointing that this “minor detail” only gets mentioned as her supernatural ability and not actually explored in the plot or to enrich her character. Seriously author?

Her inner self lamenting monologue is excessive and infuriating; she is insecure in the beginning of the book and remains so until the very end. AGH!!! Please give the girl a pair of balls! Work on character development and for pity’s sake make her something better than she was when we first met her.

Then there is her obsession with saving money, I’m all for smart spending and avoiding unnecessary expenditures but the character was beyond obsessed, every time money was mentioned I wanted to scream in sheer anger at how absurdly ridiculous she came across (there must be a more appropriate adjective to insult her but it’s not coming to mind right now). I skipped any conversation that included money. Author your character requires serious therapy.

Kian is a two thousand year old immortal, with the mentality of a teenage boy from an ultra conservative family that has never seen beyond the walls of the village somewhere in the dark ages. He never does anything that marks him as alpha of his clan, fighting is done by others, with the exception of scaring the crap out of a kid and biting the insecure money obsessed female. This guy can morph into any shape he desires, but does the author exploit this? Not once, there is not one scene that shows the beast and how bad ass he is. So sad.

The author pays too much attention to secondary characters in these three books. Should they be excluded? Absolutely not, they should however have been integrated in a different manner without focussing on them.

These three books should have been one book, Kian and Syssi’s story, introduction to the secondary characters, their presence but focus on the two main characters’ story.

I reached the end of book 3, the last of Kian’s and Syssi’s story and guess what? There is no ending! No ENDING!

How do you tell a story about two people for three books and come the end of book three and there is no end?

FRUSTRATING as HELL!

I will not be reading the remaining books; I sincerely hope the author reconsiders these first three books. Rewrite them, make one book, focus on your two main characters, give the story a beginning a middle and an end. Reconsider character development, surely Syssi does not need to be such an insecure creature throughout the book, does she?

Think about including her gifts of premonition, use Kian’s badass gifts and make him more the alpha and the immortal you kind of expect a two thousand year old creature to be.

So why did I read it and am giving these books a reasonably decent rating with 3 stars despite all of the above?

Because for some screwed up reason beyond mortal comprehension I actually enjoyed them. Overall the concept of the story is good, the secondary characters are interesting enough to warrant further development and with a good editor these books could truly be compared to the Black Dagger Brotherhood. As they stand, I am sorry to say but they are so far behind that the BDB are not even within their sights.

A review of One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles Book 3) by Ilona Andrews

I received an ARC of this book for an honest review. However, that said, this book is the final and refined product of a weekly serial that is posted free online by the Ilona Andrews duo on their website Innkeeper Chronicles – Free Fiction from Ilona Andrews

Fiction, especially urban fantasy in the first person is not my favorite form of reading it, mainly, because it is so difficult to do it properly. There are a few exceptions however, and Ilona Andrews nails it every time in every book. The writing is fluid and in constant motion, in this case from Dina DeMille´s point of view.

Dina does not tell you story, she shows you, you can see and feel the story. Descriptions are detailed but manage to avoid being lengthly and tedious. The characters are complete with flaws and strengths making them authentic even though they are supernatural or alien. No two characters are the same or even similar in their personalities.

This book was surprisingly emotional, there were parts that made me laugh, who would have thought that Arland had a sense of humor? “Are you going to war Lord Marshal?” “No, I was attending a formal dinner. They make us wear armor to these things so we don´t stab ourselves out of sheer boredom.”

We get to meet Dina´s sister Maud and her niece Helen. I´m a mother and if Helen was my kid I would be a warrior too. Their relationship is interesting and it develops throughout the story. Maud´s relationship with Arland is feisty and fun to watch the battle of wills.

New worlds, new species and once again Dina and Gertrude Hunt find themselves in a sensitive situation once more. There is plenty of action and some serious “kick ass” fighting, love the swords. And Wing, must confess that I have a soft spot for Wing. Cute creature.

Speaking of Gertrude Hunt, that is one of the most amazing characters, yes the inn is a character, it feels, yawns (which I found amusing) and has a life of its own. Ah, now comes the “Grab your Tissues” moment, the seed. Let me say that this is pathetic, but never have I ever felt so much sorrow and sadness for a seed. As much as it costs me to say this, I did spill a tear or two for that seed.

Moving on, Sean, well yes, Sean loses control once or twice. Okay fine, a few times but he is after all a wolf and the development of his relationship with Dina is smooth and natural as it should be, nothing is forced or rushed. Everything about them happens when it should.

My question is about the cat, “Who the hell is Sebastien North?”

Book will be available on December 20th

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A review of Forged in Dragonfire (Flame of Requiem Book 1) by Daniel Arenson

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Okay, so here goes I confess, I was seduced by the title and the cover, I mean look at it, would´t you be tempted?

Have you ever read a book that you were sort of annoyed and wanted to close it but at the same time curiosity got the better of you and you just keep on going? That was what this book was like for me until about half way through then I just kept going until I finished. What made me want to close it? Too many eighteen year olds, their thoughts and inexperienced minds (to no fault of their own).

It was an interesting read although reading about young adults and what goes through their minds can be a challenge but there are enough twisted adults in this book to overlook this. As the story progresses these annoying dialogues somehow dissipate as the eighteen year olds are forced to make tough decisions and they grow from frightened kids into potential interesting adults.
Fortunately Daniel Arenson is a good story teller and included just enough violence and action to make the book worth reading. The characters are diverse and alluring, all in their own right. From the weak, to the brave and feisty where emotions range from fear to anger revenge and hope. I will look forward to reading book 2.

Forged in Dragonfire (Flame of Requiem Book 1)

Why did you read those books?!

A few years ago I bought the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer for child 1, recently she reread the books and like always didn´t put them back on the bookshelf. This weekend I was putting them away and decided that maybe I should give them a read (yes I know that I´m a little late) but with my aversion to young adult books I thought it was rather brave of me.

I made it all the way to book four and finished… sort of, I skipped a lot of pages in all four books, being constantly reminded as to why I do not and should not read YA. Are the books appropriate for young adults? Hum… I guess it doesn´t really matter since so many people have read them. My question is why do adults like these books?

There were no vampires! Okay so the copper haired kid say´s that the big one likes to hunt grizzly bears, now those cuddly creatures are hairy as hell so I have to raise the question, what sort of teeth do these vampires have to bite through all that fur? Fair enough, I skipped a few pages but not once did I read about rows of razor sharp teeth like a shark, I don´t even recall the “acceptable” fangs getting an honorary mention in this book. Do they break the animal´s neck and then shave a piece of fur to dig in their perfect straight white teeth (those were mentioned a few times).

I don´t think it is really necessary to name all the reasons why Bela Swan is an idiot of a girl, let´s just take it as a fact that she is an imbecile.

Although I don´t expect realistic situations in this genre but some things are just a bit too much. So this Edward Cullen kid dies when he was seventeen and one hundred years later he is still a virgin??? At least Andy Stitzer was only forty.

Either way, I think she should have chosen elves or something like that instead of vampires. It was´t even the sparkling thing that bothered me, it was the lack of everything else, even for a YA book.

If you have to read just one vampire book in your whole life at least read Bram Stoker, Dracula is where it all started.