Monthly Archives: March 2015

Hellbender by Dana Cameron

I received a review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

HellbenderTitle: Hellbender
Author: Dana Cameron
Series: Fangborn Book 3
Publish Date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: 47North
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s Description: I-Day is near at hand, and soon the Fangborn will reveal themselves to humankind. As a member of this secretive race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles, will archaeologist Zoe Miller be prepared?

Still grappling with the newfound powers she gained after opening Pandora’s box, Zoe shares the responsibility of protecting “Normal” humans. Having long preferred to keep to the shadows, she knows the pending revelation of the Fangborn will set the world on fire. With Fangborn enemies in the Order of Nicomedia forcing their hand, Zoe and her supernatural Family have no choice but to step into the spotlight.

But that decision has garnered the attention of the powerful and otherworldly beings known as the Makers. They claim to have created the Fangborn–not as saviors, but as predators. And it seems they have their own plans for Zoe…and for the fate of all the Fangborn.

SPOILERS


ivana 100The first two books and two novellas of the Fangborn series have been living on my Kindle for a while now, patiently waiting their turn in the spotlight. It’s those Chris McGrath covers that always catch my eye! When Hellbender, Fangborn book 3, came up for review on NetGalley, I was torn about requesting it. Nell assured me that starting a series with the third book would not cause my brain to explode; so, though doubtful, I agreed I’d give it a try. I’m not totally convinced it was a success, even though my brain is nominally intact.

Main Character: ♥♥♥ Zoe Miller has had an extraordinary amount of power thrust on her unexpectedly, so it would make sense that she’s struggling a little to come into her own. That shows in Hellbender, as Zoe will be exclaiming that she doesn’t know what she’s doing one minute, and the next, be calmly handling some crisis based on an agenda unknown to the reader. I’m not sure if that was purposeful, though. Either Zoe is a master at “winging it,” or the author wasn’t quite clear on her character’s development.

There was a bit with Zoe and Will near the end of the book I really liked that, to me at least, represented the direction Zoe was moving. Zoe is telling her friend, Will, why they cannot be an item. It’s not because she doesn’t want him (though I think she wants Adam more); it’s because of everything that’s coming, the danger she’ll put him in, and the suspicion that maybe she has influenced his feelings more than he realizes. She hates that she’s doing it and it tears her up emotionally, but she knows it has to be done. That’s some major stepping up.

Other Characters: ♥♥ Stepping into the middle of a series as I am, I expected there to be characters whose backgrounds I lack. I think I did a pretty good job of keeping track of those folks. But, there are some characters introduced in this book that I wish we’d gotten to know better – the Trips, Fatima, Jason with his crows, Jill and Jack, and Max. I really like Max. We don’t get a lot of character knowledge about these people, and they are very interesting.

I don’t think we get a lot of background on the villains, either. I know there is some background on the Order I’m missing from the other books, but when Carolina Perez-Smith is introduced, there isn’t much background on her, either. We don’t know why she’s involved in the Order.

And then there are the Makers. I’m not sure what to think about them. They seem sophisticated enough to mimic one of Zoe’s favorite college hangouts to make her more comfortable during their talk, but not sophisticated enough to know that screaming in the heads of all the Fangborn will damage and kill some of them and reflect poorly on Zoe? They are supposed to be the Fangborn’s creators and incredibly powerful, but they come off as a bit clumsy and they give up too easily in the end. That makes me suspicious. I LOVE the dragons, though, even when they go crazy for the sparklies.

World: ♥♥♥♥ The Fangborn world is really interesting and not quite like anything else I’ve run across. I like the triumvirate of Fangborn – werewolf, vampire, and oracle. I like the “digs” about the oracles always being forgotten. I like that the vampires aren’t your typical vampires, and certainly not sparkly. And I love that the “monsters” are the ones trying to protect humans. I love that Zoe is hunting up all these artifacts that are being drawn into her as a source of power. And I really like that the bad humans are trying to create their own versions of creatures to fight against what they see as a threat. There are some cool ideas here that make me want to learn more.

Story: ♥♥ While there are a lot of neat things happening in this story, they all happen so fast and seemingly without time to process the event and its meaning. I really did feel caught on a runaway train through most of the book, and it was a little confusing. I’m wondering if there couldn’t have been three books worth of material here – the fight with the Order, the preparation for I-Day, and the conflict with the Makers. I feel there was a lot of detail sacrificed to move the story along, and I need that detail to understand what is going on in the story and to feel invested. As it was, the story felt very rushed.

There were several things mentioned in the book that didn’t seem necessary, either. For example, when the dragons speak, there are many words that are unintelligible to Zoe. When I first encountered that, it made sense but I was expecting it to come back around later. Not only did I assume we’d find out what the words meant, but that they were important. That never really happened, so I wondered why the author bothered. I think it just added to the confused feel.

Overall: ♥♥♥ In the end, I’d like to go back and read this series from the beginning just to be sure the things that bother me about this book don’t stem from my lack of knowledge. If it’s not, then I have to say the lack of detail and the rushed feeling of the book will keep it from being one of my favorites. I hope it is, though. There are some neat things about this world that I’d love to know more about.

Series list and reviews…

  • “The Night Things Changed” in Wolfsbane and Mistletoe, Book 0.1
  • The Serpent’s Tale, Book 0.25
  • The Curious Case of Miss Amelia Vernet, Book 0.5
  • Burning the Rule Book, Book 0.75
  • Seven Kinds of Hell, Book 1
  • Pack of Strays, Book 2
  • Hellbender, Book 3

If You Like This Book…

Assuming you were smarter than I was and have already read the rest of the Fangborn series, you might like Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series.

I received a review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

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Series Spotlight: Kate Connor, Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom Series

Trouble With Demons

Title: The Trouble With Demons Collection
Author: Julie Kenner
Series:  Kate Connor, Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom Books 1-5
Publish Date:  November 21, 2014

Amazon | B&N

Kate Connor is your average, everyday mom with two kids, a husband, and one very big secret … she used to be a Demon Hunter. Now retired, she’s more interested in the domestic than the demonic. So when she catches sight of a demon in Wal-Mart, she tells herself it’s some other Hunter’s problem. But when that demon attacks her in her kitchen, retirement is no longer an option…

Warner Brothers Television has optioned the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom (DHSM) series for the CW Network!  To celebrate, for a limited time, you can get the first five books in Julie Kenner’s Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series for only $.99!  The Trouble With Demons collection includes:

You’ll also want to pick up The Demon You Know, a novella that takes place between the fourth and fifth books, and the final book in the series, Pax Demonica.

ivana 100Though I am not a mom, let alone a soccer mom, I really enjoyed this series. The balancing of the mundane with the supernatural and the attempt to keep such a massive secret makes for really good storytelling. The characters are fantastic — I particularly love Laura, the clued-in best friend; Kate’s daughter, Allie; and Eddie, the adopted “grandpa” and retired demon hunter. The cast of characters in this series is really great.

This is another series I could have erroneously dismissed as “fluff,” but it’s really not. Balancing our responsibilities in life — during the good times and the bad — is something everyone can relate to, regardless of what your “demons” may be. This series not only pokes some fun at the life of a stay-at-home mom, but it also deals with divorce and remarriage, divided loyalties, death, and those slow descents into darkness. Do you protect your children from badness, or prepare them for what is inevitable? What happens when you share your darkest secrets with someone you love? How do you survive when doing the right thing brings your world down around you? These are not “fluff” questions at all.

The only thing about this series that makes me sad is that not all of the books come in an audio format. Only two of the books are available on Audible.com; I haven’t checked any of the other audiobook store sites, though. I found the first four on CD at my local library. But the first four are the only ones recorded. The narrator, Laura Hicks, does such a great job with these books that I actually prefer them in audio, to be honest. I’ve spoken to the author twice about this, and she agrees it would be great to get the rest of the books in audio. Now that she’s self-publishing the books, maybe she can chat with Audible Studios and see what can be done? <hint hint> 😉

UPDATE: All the audios have been rerecorded, are narrated by Carly Robins, and are available on Amazon. They sound AMAZING!

I’m very eager to see what this series will look like on television. I started watching I, Zombie on the CW recently and can see the DHSM series looking something like that. I think it will be a fun series to see on the screen.

Half Resurrection Blues by Daniel Jose Older

Half CoverTitleHalf-Resurrection Blues
AuthorDaniel José Older
SeriesBone Street Rumba Book 1
Publish Date:  January 6, 2015 by Roc Books
Genre:  Urban fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionCarlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead’s most unusual agents—an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death. 

One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He’s summoned a horde of implike ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague. They’ve already taken out some of NYCOD’s finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld—which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead.

But in uncovering this man’s identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life—and death…

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!).


I finished Half-Resurrection Blues, and I’m very upset. It didn’t even have an ending that would encourage me to read the next book.

What was wrong with the ending?

Sasha’s pregnant, which has got to be a miracle, and she leaves him. It just… ends. Sure, there was a resolution to the bad guy, but it was rather anticlimactic. I really thought, for a first book, there should have been a zippier ending that would lead to me wanting to pick up the next book. 

Well, it certainly isn’t a romance book that’s required to have a happily-ever-after. It’s much more of a gritty urban fantasy. Did you like the characters, though? The story?

I liked the story. I liked the characters, except I was expecting a little more depth with Sasha. I mean, if she’s pregnant with Carlos’ child, shouldn’t we at least care about her a little? I liked the twists in the story, but it seemed like I skipped parts when I really didn’t. I had to go back a couple of pages more than once to figure out what was going on and when was it going on. It confused me. I especially liked Riley and Carlos. I could see them in my head as plain as day. Sasha and the rest got murky. I got lost.

I have to agree with you that I got a little lost, and a lot wasn’t fleshed out. I’d read some great reviews about this author’s writing, so I was a little sad there wasn’t more depth to the story.

I feel like I’m really being critical. I’m not normally that nit-picky, but I’m being honest. I felt kind of let down at the end. You know I don’t like sad endings. I can go to my day job and get plenty of sad endings.

Well, the series isn’t over. There’s a very good chance that Sasha will come back, the baby will be fine, and they’ll get their happily-ever-after.

One can hope. I love my happily-ever-afters!

 


Nervous Nellie says…

Main Characters: ♥♥♥ Carlos Delacruz is a man who was found by a ghost.  Carlos was dead… but not. Riley, Agent Washington to some, never sticks his nose anywhere other than the job at hand… except this one time. He discovered Carlos and took him to a ‘house’ ghost who healed him. Riley gave Carlos his name because Carlos could not remember any of his life. When Carlos healed enough to resemble something useful, the Council of the Dead made Carlos an offer he didn’t want to refuse. The Council of The Dead made Carlos an assassin, and he really liked his job. They also told him he was the only one of his kind. It was not made clear whether he was a good guy in life or a bad guy. Not much was ever really revealed and therein lies the problem. If I could have been able to distinguish what kind of man he was – whether it be a gangster, drug runner or maybe even an undercover cop, then that would have helped my progress in the development of the character in my head. As it was, I felt like a fish out of water throughout the story.

Other Characters: ♥♥♥ Riley Washington starts out as a secondary character — one who I felt was not really intended to be in the spotlight much, but as the story went on, he was featured more. Sasha, Carlos’s love interest, was very blurry. I couldn’t get much from her description, and that made her personality seem cold and unlikable.

World: ♥♥♥ The world was interesting. I would have liked it a lot more if the characters were a little more put together. The creatures that inhabited this world were more of nightmares than anything that would bring about a happily ever after. It felt like I was blind trying to feel my way through the whole story.

Story: ♥♥♥ I liked the concept of the story. I liked that Carlos had a love interest, but I would have liked it more if she would have been more solid. She seemed like an unknown subject most of the time. No idea where she was, who she was, what she was or why she was there. The story became clearer towards the ending when Carlos finally got a clue, but the ending was less than satisfying. It wasn’t a cliffhanger, though there was unfinished business that could get solved in the next book.

Overall: ♥♥♥ I will look into the next book if it’s published. I want to find out if Sasha and Carlos really get together or not, but that’s my only motivation. If Carlos becomes a more kick-ass agent, then we’ll see, but right at this point, I am not inclined to put it on my ‘to watch’ list for when the next book comes out. If I find it, I’ll probably research it, but it’s not a story that gave me much in the line of inspiration. Oh, and the guy on the cover? He doesn’t look like a Carlos Delacruz to me–Carlos isn’t white, sorry.

“Bureaucracy’s got its own special language. It’s trifling, of course, the lowest order of poetry, and manages to divest words of all meaning and still weigh them down with extra banality.”

Invested Ivana says…

I’m going to dispense with the formatted review for this book.

I like this book, but I don’t love it. What I love is its potential. The story idea is good—a plot by a mysterious figure to merge the worlds of the living and the dead; a secret history for the protagonist; a ghost bureaucracy. The idea of the characters is interesting—a half-dead assassin; a ghostly council with ghostly troops and commanders; ghosts that encompass whole geographies. This book has all the makings of some really good stuff.

But to me, it felt like I was reading a comic book without the pictures. I know all about the actions of the characters, but I don’t feel I really know the characters that well. I’m not deep enough into their heads to know what their motivations and feelings are, so the actions they take sometimes seem random, and the threat to their lives isn’t as intense. I don’t know the world well enough, either. What is the Council of the Dead? What is a house ghost? What are the inbetweeners, for that matter? Are they zombies? Something else? Why are the villains acting like the villains? What do they want? Older gives me just enough explanation to follow the action of the story, but not enough for me to really feel invested in the people. The story seems to stay on the surface with the plot and the action. The plot and the action are good. Nothing wrong there. It’s just not enough to satisfy me.

I’m going to give this book a three because I really WANT to know more about this world and its denizens. There is a 50/50 chance I’ll pick up the next book when it comes out, but it won’t be an automatic buy or an immediate read. If the next book doesn’t get deeper into the characters and the world, I can see me dropping it in favor of other books. I hope the next books flesh out the characters and world, though, because there really is some good story here and I’d love to learn more.

Series list and reviews…

  • Half-Resurrection Blues, Book 01
  • Midnight Taxi Tango, Book 02
  • Salsa Nocturna: Stories, Book 2.5
  • Battle Hill Bolero, Book 03

If You Like This Book …

You might pick up Salsa Nocturna, a book of short stories by Daniel José Older, one of which is about Carlos Delacruz.

Deception by D.B Reynolds

DeceptionTitle:  Deception
Author: D.B. Reynolds
Series: Vampires in America Book 9
Publish Date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Belle Books
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher’s DescriptionKauai, Hawaii—tropical paradise, vibrant jungle, turquoise sea… and sensuous nights that hide vampires so powerful they can change the world.

Raphael—powerful, extraordinary, arrogant. He’s been eliminating rivals and gathering allies, determined not just to survive, but to demolish the Europeans who think they can steal what he’s worked for centuries to create. In a final bid to avert a war that seems inevitable, Raphael agrees to meet an enemy he knows of old. She is formidable, wily, and not to be trusted. But in his arrogance, Raphael believes he can foil whatever treachery she has brewing.

Cynthia Leighton—Raphael’s human mate, beautiful, smart, and deadly when threatened. She doesn’t trust anyone, much less a powerful vampire claiming to want peace. So while Raphael prepares to negotiate a treaty, Cyn is preparing for the inevitable double-cross that she knows is coming. Raphael worries about saving thousands of vampire lives. She only cares about one, and she will do anything to keep him alive and in her arms.

When Cyn is proven right, when it all falls apart and Raphael’s enemies draw on ancient magic to trap him, taking him away from Cyn and out of the war, it all falls to her—to find Raphael, to save the thousands of vampires who will die if she doesn’t succeed… and to kill every single being, human or vampire, who gets in her way.


Nell 100

Nervous Nellie says…

Main Characters: Cyn is tough. As a diamond blade, she has to be if she’s going to be with Raphael. I am pleased to report that even though she is living with THE HARDEST vampire there is, she is retaining her human side. She was very distracted in this book, so her snark level wasn’t as high as usual, but her friends and support staff made up for it. Raphael is a HARD man. It is awesome to see him be soft around his inner circle, but they know how powerful he is. I don’t think there is anything that Vampire can’t do.

Other characters: I LOVE Lucas (though Duncan is my favorite). He makes an appearance in this book and he is brilliant as always. Juro, Ken’ichi, Elke, Robbie, and lastly, Jared are there too. I still like Juro better than Jared. We meet a new character that I hope sticks around. He has the hots for Elke, who she may or may not return. We again meet Nicodemus Katsaros and were enlightened as to why Raphael hates Nick so much… other than Nick having history with Cyn.

Story: The story starts out two weeks after the events in Mexico, which were horrendous. The European vampires will not give up, and they want Raphael’s territory as well as Raphael’s death and destruction. They need more room, more territory, for all of their vampires, so they make a play for the West. After the West, they will move on to the Plains, because, after all, they *THINK* they are so much more powerful than the vampires that already hold lordship in those areas.

The book is action filled right at the start and hardly ever gives you a chance to catch your breath. There are equal amounts of sex, violence, and death with a whole lot of deception mixed in. There are power plays against the bad guys that just want me to laugh maniacally. It’s a great story, and there is no cliffhanger, but Ms. Reynolds does give you a taste of things yet to come.

Series list and reviews…

  • Raphael, Book 1
  • Jabril, Book 2
  • Rajmund, Book 3
  • Sophia, Book 4
  • Duncan, Book 5
  • Vampires In America, The Vignettes, Vol. 1, Book 5.1
  • Betrayed, Book 5.5
  • Lucas, Book 6
  • Hunted, Book 6.5
  • Halloween Memories, Book 6.75
  • Aden, Book 7
  • Unforgiven, Book 7.5
  • Vincent, Book 8
  • Deception, Book 9
  • Christian, Book 10
  • Compelled, Book 10.5
  • Lucifer, Book 11
  • Relentless, Book 11.5
  • Quinn, Book 12
  • Vampires in America: The Vignettes, Vol 2., Book 12.1

Prison of Hope by Steve McHugh

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

cover62128-mediumTitle: Prison of Hope
Author: Steve McHugh
Series: Hellequin Chronicles (Book 4)
Publish Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: 47North
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Publisher’s Description: Long ago, Olympian gods imprisoned the demon Pandora in a human—Hope—creating a creature whose only purpose was chaos and death. Remorseful, the gods locked Pandora away in Tartarus, ruled by Hades.

Now, centuries later, Pandora escapes. Nate Garrett, a 1,600-year-old sorcerer, is sent to recapture her and discovers her plan to disrupt the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, killing thousands in a misplaced quest for vengeance.

Fast forward to modern-day Berlin, where Nate has agreed to act as guardian on a school trip to Germany to visit Hades at the entrance to Tartarus. When Titan King Cronus becomes the second ever to escape Tartarus, Nate is forced to track him down and bring him back, to avert a civil war between those who would use his escape to gain power.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!).


Ivana! Guess what I got to do over the weekend?!??!

Hard to tell with you. What?

I got to review Prison of Hope by Steve McHugh EARLY! It’s not released ‘til April 14, 2015!

Really? Well, I won’t ask who you had to kill for that honor. What’d you think?

It was awesome. I figured it would be considering the last books in the series didn’t disappoint. I finally got to learn more about Nathan — all sorts of things that mean something to him personally. I got to see that he isn’t just a tough guy, that he has not entirely desensitized himself to the killing and rage that makes him the Hellequin.

So, was there romance in this book? You know I won’t read it if there is a lot of romance.

No, nothing that you’d hate. It was very subtle, but it made Nathan more realistic. He is 1600 years old and to never talk about the people that he may have loved and out-lived was making the story a little shallow from the emotional point of view.

Was there a cliffhanger? I know you hate those.

No, not really. I am letting go of some of my nervousness on this series. I think I’m trusting the author more not to start massacring characters. He’s not yet killed anyone I loved and he’s actually brought in a past love interest. I’ve read his blog and he says he has notes for a lot more books, so I’ve given myself over to the author and depend on him not to stab me in the heart.

You do realize these are only stories? No one is actually hurt or killed in the creation of this series.

I know, but I can’t help getting involved. The author is a good writer and has made me invested in the characters.

You don’t usually do that. This series must be pretty good. I’m getting interested in reading it. I know you’ve been recommending it for years. Maybe I will finally give in and start it. The first in the series is called Crimes Against Magic, right?

Yes, and Prison of Hope is the fourth book in the series. There is a novella that was published in December of 2013 that you could try first if you wanted. It could be a stand-alone to get the flavor of the characters. It’s about the missing princes and King Richard III. I wish you would read it. You’d love the history and the historical characters that the author uses. Also, Nathan lives in London, England, and I know you love England.

Wow. British royalty? History? London? AND killing rages? Why haven’t I read this series yet? I’m going to go get the books right now!


Nell 100

Nervous Nellie says…

Main characters: ♥♥♥♥♥ Nathan does not disappoint. He is a sorcerer of unimaginable strength and he has friends of unimaginable fame. To be in his circle must be a hell of a rush. He does have his enemies as well as his secrets. That’s what makes him attractive as a protagonist. He is 1600 years old – an age I cannot even imagine.

Other characters: ♥♥♥♥ There is Hope/Pandora who is the main focus of the book. Hades, Persephone and the whole lot of Olympian gods. We meet more friends and see Germany during the Nazi reign as well as in contemporary time. We meet one woman that was a love interest from Nathan’s past. We get to meet an older Kasey, whom I love and has turned into a very admirable young lady. Tommy is also accompanying Kasey as they drag Nathan along on an innocent school outing that turns into a lot more. We see Olivia and even meet King Arthur’s brother. All the recurring characters are well thought out and I feel like I’m visiting friends when I drop into Nathan’s world.

World: ♥♥♥♥ A little brushing up of Greek mythology’s dysfunctional family tree will make following the scheming and plotting easier. I like the world weaving the author delivers. The story falls into the fantasy genre, but it’s a fun world in which to get lost. There are contemporary landmarks used as well as known countries, so the world is a recognizable one. The author meshes together the contemporary time with that of Olympian Gods and historical figures. The attention to detail is fabulous.

Story: ♥♥♥♥♥ No cliffhanger ending. The story is another one of the author’s incredible designs and he does deliver some answers to past unanswered questions. I love how the author takes us back in time to the relevant history of Nathan’s and shows us that what goes around usually comes around. We learn more about Nathan, about Hellequin. There are some secrets revealed that make Nathan even more genuine. We get to experience his grief, heartbreak as well as rage and even a little laughter. The banter between Nathan and his friends make the story appealing and more solid. This is not a story that has one character that saves the world, it’s the whole team.

Overall: ♥♥♥♥ This series is a must-read. The action, adventure, and history keep the reader engaged at all times. It is a story that incorporates the emotional side of the characters, their passion for justice as well as their conflict.

I think a toy of me with a real spinning sphere of death is an unlikely action figure.

Take-away: “I’ve never been all that concerned with being right. If I’m wrong, someone will correct me, and if I’m right, then no one will. Being wrong is how we learn; it’s how species – human, sorcerer, or otherwise – have managed to survive without imploding. We learn from our mistakes.

Our reviews in this series…

  • Small Time Vengence, Book 0.5
  • Crimes Against Magic, Book 01
  • Born of Hatred, Book 02
  • Infamous Reign, Book 2.5
  • With Silent Screams, Book 3
  • Prison of Hope, Book 4
  • Lies Ripped Open, Book 5
  • Promise of Wrath, Book 6
  • Scorched Shadows, Book 7

If you like this book…

Stay tuned for more Nathan Garrett as Hellequin–according to the author’s website he has notes for several more books. Alex Hughes’s Mindspace Investigations series would be a good choice, and you might also try Craig Schaefer’s Daniel Faust series or Benedict Jacka’s Alex Verus series.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

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