Tag Archives: fae

Review: Enchanted Ever After Robin D. Owens

2 Jan

enchantedeverafterowens


3 of 5 scoopers

Enchanted Ever After by Robin D. Owens
Harlequin/MIRA (Dec. 18, 2012)
Trade: $14.95; ebook: $10.99
ISBN: 9780373803477

Favorite Lines: “Change was scary and inevitable and could be embraced. Respect of others was important but confidence in yourself even more.” (p. 393, e-galley)

Kiri Palger knew the difference between reality—new house, hard work and not too many friends—and fantasy—the fun she had playing online games. So when the chance to work for the best gaming company in the world came up, giving her a chance to merge business with pleasure, how could she not apply?

Suddenly she has more friends, interesting neighbors and an intriguing love interest. But when the game begins to awaken something inside her, Kiri is shocked by the talents she never knew she had…and an evil she’d never imagined.

Her nice, safe life is imploding around her—and if she takes up the mantle of her powers, it will never be the same again….

Enchanted Ever After is book three in Robin D. Owens Mystic Circle series. The emphasis in this book is on water dwelling people and plays with the idea of merging video games/technology with magic to create something new. In this case it’s more Lightfolk. The danger comes from not knowing the intricacies of societies that are other than human and the Dark Ones (bad guys) who seek to destroy the Lightfolk.

Take a good look at the cover before you buy this one. I’m not a fan of water dwelling creature stories and that’s what this is. If I’d have known the book would be about merpeople and naiads I would have passed on it. I would have missed an entertaining story, but not one that I’d want to re-read.

The book is about Kiri, a human woman in the process of change. Not just transforming from human to magical, but at a changing point in all aspects. Her friendships are changing, she’s creating a relationship with a magical man, and she’s going after her dream job. Too bad the person I cared most about was Kiri’s love interest Lathyr.

He wanted to belong so bad, but because he isn’t pure merman he is sneered at and wanders from home to home. There is more there than the obvious and Owens slowly unravels Lathyr’s story. I thought there would be more to it and really don’t understand the reasoning of the creature who masterminded Lathyr’s nomadic lifestyle. It seemed rather silly.

Watching the couple lean on one another was nice and the story was pretty tame. There was nothing outrageous or that made me feel anything. I laughed out loud one time over the course of the entire story. I never cried or felt sad. I got irritated while reading Enchanted Ever After, but never invested in anybody. I felt detached and I blame that on Owens’ portrayal of the Lightfolk. Most of them are cold, even Jenni (heroine of book one and djinnfem) seemed untouchable.

Despite my inability to connect with the characters in Enchanted Ever After I had no problem reading it. When I finished I thought “okay, on to the next book.” I had no desire to re-read any passages. I finished and this review will finalize my thoughts on it. Book four won’t be an instant read for me. Although if the synopsis sounds good I’ll give it a try.

enchantednomoreowens1enchanted again owens

Books I Want: December 2012

1 Dec

The Cat’s Meow by Stacey Kennedy (TBA December)

thecatsmeowkennedyIn Charleston, Libby is an Enchantress—a witch gifted by the Goddess to conjure spells. When a magical presence is detected around a recent string of feline slayings, Libby must take the case to discover the reasons behind the odd deaths. Much to her displeasure, the coven has also sent the sexy warlock, Kale, to assist her.

While having the muscle around proves to be useful, fighting the
attraction between them is worse than a hex, especially considering Kale is keeping secrets. Libby has good reason to believe that Kale is there to evaluate her performance as a witch, and fears her job is on the line. But soon, Libby has bigger problems than the elusive warlock and career stability. Her spells are turning up clues that point to something far more sinister than slaughtered cats, leading her to a threat that could shake the very foundation of her world.

Now Libby lands herself in the midst of an uprising. She trusts no one and isn’t safe. Not from the warlocks stirring up trouble. Not from the worrisome rebellion she can’t escape. And certainly not from Kale who is weaving a very dangerous spell over her. Continue reading

Review: Ironskin by Tina Connolly

16 Oct

DNF

Ironskin by Tina Connolly
TOR/FORGE (Oct. 2, 2012)
Hardback: $24.99; ebook: $11.99
ISBN: 9780765330598

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask.

It’s the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a “delicate situation”—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her scars and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio…and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things are true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of a new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

Ironskin is Tina Connolly’s introduction to a fantasy world which is recovering from a war between humans and the fae. During the war the fae would fling curses at humanity. Those scarred by the curses can prevent the curses from spreading by covering the marked area with iron.

This is another book that I wanted to love. I didn’t. I didn’t even make it very far before deciding to put it aside. I was bored. Plain and simple. I’ve read that it’s supposed to be a rewrite of Jane Eyre. Don’t bash me, but I didn’t like Jane Eyre. I’m not into updating or rewriting old stories either. Had I known it was a retelling of anything I never would have requested the story. As such, I’m not going to rate it. I’m leaving it firmly in the Did Not Finish category.

For those of you who loved it or take pleasure in retellings, Tina Connolly’s website says a sequel is scheduled to be released in 2013.

Review: This Case is Gonna Kiss Me by Phillipa Bornikova

3 Oct

   4 out of 5 scoopers

This Case is Gonna Kill Me by Phillipa Bornikova
TOR (Sept. 4, 2012)
Trade: $14.99; ebook: $9.99
ISBN: 9780765326829
Excerpt

Favorite Lines: “I hardened and pressed my hips against hm while reaching down to cup his penis. He shifted off to the side, and I couldn’t reach him. Then his fingers were probing deep inside, but it felt more like an examination, testing the level of moisture between my legs.

And then he entered me with one hard lunge. I gasped, but it wasn’t from pleasure. I opened my eyes. He hung over me, taking his weight on his forearms. His brow was furrowed with concentration, but his expression was blank. With hard thrusts of his hips, he drove deeper and deeper into me. I tried to match his rhythm, but he made no accommodation for me.

He shuddered and I felt him go limp inside of  me. There was no warm flow of ejaculation–of course there wouldn’t be with  a vampire, just a loss of  tumidity. I realized he had been concentrating to send the blood flow to his penis so he would stay hard. Once he’d banged me, he stopped trying. he pulled out, rolled off me, and swung his legs off the bed.” (p. 122)

What happens when The Firm meets Anita Blake? You get the Halls of Power—our modern world, but twisted. Law, finance, the military, and politics are under the sway of long-lived vampires, werewolves, and the elven Alfar. Humans make the best of rule by “the Spooks,” and contend among themselves to affiliate with the powers-that-be, in order to avoid becoming their prey. Very loyal humans are rewarded with power over other women and men. Very lucky humans are selected to join the vampires, werewolves, and elves—or, on occasion, to live at the Seelie Court.

Linnet Ellery is the offspring of an affluent Connecticut family dating back to Colonial times. Fresh out of law school, she’s beginning her career in a powerful New York “white fang” law firm. She has high hopes of eventually making partner.

But strange things keep happening to her. In a workplace where some humans will eventually achieve immense power and centuries of extra lifespan, office politics can be vicious beyond belief. After some initial missteps, she finds herself sidelined and assigned to unpromising cases. Then, for no reason she can see, she becomes the target of repeated, apparently random violent attacks, escaping injury each time through increasingly improbable circumstances. However, there’s apparently more to Linnet Ellery than a little old-money human privilege. More than even she knows. And as she comes to understand this, she’s going to shake up the system like you wouldn’t believe…

I’d never heard of Phillipa Bornikova when I stumbled across her recently released book This Case is Gonna Kill Me on Netgalley. After reading the blurb which stated it was The Firm meets Anita Blake I knew it wasn’t a book I wanted to more or less promise to review. It sounded interesting, but I waited for Bornikova’s book to appear at the public library and checked it out.

I can tell you right now that blurb is misleading. Yes, the heroine works as a lawyer at a firm and yes someone is trying to kill her. But it’s not the law firm. She is no Anita Blake. She doesn’t hunt paranormal creatures or have sex with every man she meets. Linnet is a healthy twenty something year old lawyer who was fostered within a vampire household. The reader meets her and her boss at the same time when Linnet begins her career as a lawyer at the vampire law firm (White Fang).

This Case is Gonna Kill Me is told in first person and set in the normal world with paranormal creatures like vampires, Alfar (fae) and werewolves. The heroine is human, but quickly realizes she is a small pawn being played with by paranormal beings. It’s not clear who her friends are, nor is it clear who her true enemies are. The only thing Linnet knows is that she needs to prove herself by closing a case which has been open for 17 years.

I had a blast with Bornikova’s book. It had a steady pace, was filled with action and made me wonder what else was going to come. There are so many directions the author can take the next book. Someone will want to get even, rescue will need to be pulled off and secrets hopefully will be brought to light. I will buy and read the next book in this series which promises me a mystery, legal thriller and hint of romance set in an urban setting with fantastical creatures.

Most of the ratings on Goodreads are positive; only two people rated the story one or two stars. What others are saying about This Case is Gonna Kill Me:

Vampire Book Club
All Things Urban Fantasy
My Bookish Ways
Seeing Nights

Review: Immortally Yours by Angie Fox

17 Sep

3 out of 5 scoopers (I won this book in an author sponsored giveaway)

Immortally Yours by Angie Fox
St. Martins (Aug. 28, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780312546663

Favorite Lines: “I didn’t have the emotion to move or to cry or to beat my fists and scream at the injustice of it all. Demand that they mourn for the soldier who gave his immortal life and soul so that they could carry on alive and whole.” (p. 289)

IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE GODS… 

No one patches up the incoming wounded like Dr. Petra Robichaud. Recruited by the gods for her uncanny medical skills, she’s the best M*A*S*H surgeon in the army. Along with a nosy guard sphinx, vegetarian werewolf, and other paranormal paramedics, she bandages soldiers who are built like Greek gods (literally). But when one sexy immortal ends up on her operating table—half dead and totally to-die-for—Petra’s afraid she’ll lose her patient and her heart…

NOTHING IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN LOVE

Commander Galen of Delphi is one gorgeous but stubborn demi-god. When his spirit tries to slip out of his fatally wounded body, Dr. Petra has to slip it back in—unwittingly revealing her ability to see ghosts. Now that Galen knows her secret, he’s convinced she’s part of an ancient prophecy. If the oracles are right, Petra could lead Galen’s army to peace. And if he seduces her on the way to hell and back? Heaven knows—all’s fair in love and war…

Old gods, new gods, demi-gods, vampires, werewolves and half-fairies–Immortally Yours has it all in a light-hearted romance set in limbo during a supernatural war. Combatants are recruited from the world and forcibly enlisted in the military until the war ends…or they die. It doesn’t matter if they have families or jobs, when the gods call the characters go. All of this and more in the first book of Angie Fox’s MASH series.

The prophesy: “A healer whose hands can touch the dead will receive a bronze dagger.” It’s the first step to ending the war between the gods. Prophesies come in threes, so when the first part comes to fruition the heroine refuses to step up out of fear that she’ll attract the god’s attention.

Heroine: Petra Robichaud is a doctor hiding a secret. She can “connect with recently deceased patients.” This means she can help people cross over or put them back into their body. If what she can do became known to the gods she would be killed to prevent the prophesy from being fulfilled. Petra bunks with a vegetarian werewolf and a emo vampire and as the “new” doctor on staff  (yeah, she’s been there 7 years but is still a newbie) gets the most boring of cases. She lives on denial which sort of got old real quick. She didn’t want to die, so she pretended what she saw wasn’t really there. This includes the romance with Galen.

Hero: Commander Galen of Delphi is a demi-god weary of war so when he finds the prophesied one he is determined to save lives by protecting her. He is faithful, determined and very attracted to Dr. Petra. He’s a warrior with skills that not only allow him to come out victorious in battle but overcome Petra’s rejection time and time again. He’s steadfast and a hero to root for.

Overall: Immortally Yours is a silly romance. There’s little to take seriously which makes it a fun story. However, there’s something missing. When I turned the last page, I felt nothing. I didn’t feel satisfied or angry. The story just ended and I was like, “okay”. Don’t get me wrong. I liked the secondary characters, the pranks and the hero. The main objective of  Immortally Yours is wrapped up so it’ll be interesting to see where the characters go when I read book two, Immortally Embraced.

Review: Tinker by Wen Spencer

14 Aug

Tinker by Wen Spencer
Baen (November 2003)
Mass market: $7.99
ISBN: 9780743498715

Favorite Lines: “Tinker, we can’t know other people’s hearts. Humans fall in love at first sight, and only time tells if that love is true. There is no reason that elves can’t do the same..” (p. 257, Hardback)

Inventor, girl genius Tinker lives in a near-future Pittsburgh which now exists mostly in the land of the elves. She runs her salvage business, pays her taxes, and tries to keep the local ambient level of magic down with gadgets of her own design. When a pack of wargs chase an Elven noble into her scrap yard, life as she knows it takes a serious detour. Tinker finds herself taking on the Elven court, the NSA, the Elven Interdimensional Agency, technology smugglers and a college-minded Xenobiologist as she tries to stay focused on what’s really important – her first date. Armed with an intelligence the size of a planet, steel-toed boots, and a junkyard dog attitude, Tinker is ready to kick butt to get her first kiss.

A reader of Scooper Speaks clued me in on Wen Spencer’s Elfhome series. It’s a fantasy series with only three books, but boy is book one, Tinker, good reading material. It’s full of big words and theories, but never once did I feel bogged down. I was fascinated with the world, the characters and the plot.

Tinker is a young lady who is trying to prove how very adult she is now that she’s turned 18. She’s an intelligent business owner who has never been kissed at the moment we meet her. Over the course of the story the reader watches her mature after being placed into positions based on her own ignorance. She learns from her mistakes and owns up to them, which makes her a worthy heroine. Tinker makes mistakes, but by the end of the book she is a character that I’d be glad to have grace my “keeper” shelf.

The story progressively intensifies over time. The ramifications of ever decision becomes clear.  Violence, bloody and disturbing, is used to show the primal evil of a particular group of characters. There is also a rape scene (involving a secondary character) which I’m sure will bother some readers. Yes, it bothered me and it takes a lot to get me squeamish.

Tinker is a fantasy book, but there are things in it which invite science fiction and romance lovers to pick it up. From quantum physics to finding love in unexpected places, Spencer has written a book that draws from various genres to create a world and peoples I want to know more about.

I loved Tinker. I borrowed the book from my local library because I wasn’t impressed with the cover and the blurb on the back of the book didn’t pull me in. Now, I’ll be buying it and recommending it to other people. I’m about to start book two, Wolf Who Rules, and am pleased to say book three, Elfhome, was released in July 2012.

I ♥ Covers: Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

7 Aug