Monthly Archives: November 2016

Esper Files by Egan Brass

Superheroes fighting on the side of humans that shun them and make them outcasts. The Espers take the high road and do what they can to keep the bad guys from taking over and make life an overall better place.

I received an ARC of this book book from the author/publisher.

Esper FilesTitle: Esper Files
AuthorEgan Brass  also known as Ryan Attard
Series: Esper Files #1
Publish Date: October 26, 2016
Genre: Steampunk Fantasy
Cover: Alexandre Rito
Source: Publisher

Publisher’s Description:  Set in London during the latter part of the 19th century. An experiment goes wrong at The Oxford Academy of Science, giving certain people extraordinary powers which turns them into ‘Espers’. An institute is set up to teach Espers how to control these power, and stop corrupt Espers from abusing theirs. Nathan and James, two agents from the Institute team up with Freya, a young Esper whose brother (gifted with the strange ability to manipulate emotions) is abducted by a ruthless Baron. The group has to fight against a dark threat to protect the fragile peace of Victorian London… And the rest of the world. 

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


Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

This is a superhero based fantasy with a steampunk spin. No sex. Very little bloody death, more super power based instead. Lots of action, some wishful romance and fun banter between characters. No cliffhanger but there is edge of your seat exploits.

If you like the X-men stories, you’ll like the Esper Files. It’s got the Professor and the out of control at times superhero. It’s got evil plans and a super villain. It’s got world dominance and plenty of darkness in those that are trying to save humanity.

badge3v4This story takes place in a parallel London with transport obtained by steampunk type dirigibles. The characters were very reminiscent of characters we’ve all seen at one point or another, but there were a couple of twists and turns that weren’t expected. The heroes aren’t perfect, in fact, far from it. They are all fighting the emotional fight between doing the right thing and being outcast because they are different.

I enjoyed the story and I’m looking forward to book #2 which is to be released January 25, 2017.

esper-files-sky-cultTitle:  Esper Files: The Sky Cult
DescriptionThe dramatic and exciting sequel to the Best Selling Esper Files by Egan Brass.

After the events of the first book, Freya thought the worst was over. Sure, her nine-year-old brother is in a coma, and she is now part of the Institute — an organization set up to help Espers like her control their powers… But she’s finally found a home.
She’s finally found peace.

That is, until Anti-Esper weapons find their way into the hands of a radical group who hates people with powers, and is determined to kill every last one of them.
At the same time, the Sky Cult has arisen, claiming that Espers have the right to rule over lowly humans.
And all of this happens three days before Esper Day, the first holiday designed to show that humans and Espers can indeed coexist.

Now Nathan, Freya, a handful of Espers, a thief, and maybe a psychotic killer, are in a race against time before either one — or both — of these radical groups tip the scales, and plunge the entire world into their own version of Armageddon.

I received an ARC of this book book from the author/publisher.

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Witch’s Bounty, Witch’s Bane & Witches Rule by Ann Gimpel

Only three demon assassin witches exist and only a zillion demons to assassinate.  The score doesn’t look so promising.  The Sidhe pawned off the job on witches only to have them nearly become extinct because of their selfishness.  Can this all be fixed?

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

witchs-bountyTitle: Witch’s Bounty
Author: Ann Gimpel
Series: Demon Assassin #1
Publish Date: September 6, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Source: One of three remaining demon assassin witches, Colleen is almost the last of her kind. Along with her familiar, a changeling spirit, she was hoping for a few months of quiet, running a small magicians’ supply store in Fairbanks, Alaska. Peace isn’t in the cards, though. Demons are raising hell in Seattle. She’s on her way to kick some serious demon ass, when a Sidhe shows up and demands she accompany him to England to quell a demon uprising.

Gutsy, opinionated, and outspoken, Colleen refuses to come. Witches need her help, and they trump everything else. Despite breaking a prime Sidhe precept concerning non-interference in mortals’ affairs, Duncan offers his assistance. Colleen fascinates him, and he wants to discover more about her. Lots more.

The Sidhe might be the best-looking man Colleen’s ever stumbled over, but she doesn’t have time for him—or much of anything else. She, Jenna, and Roz are Earth’s only hedge against being overrun by Hell’s minions. Even with help from a powerful magic wielder like Duncan, the odds aren’t good and the demons know it.

Sensing victory is within their grasp, they close in for the kill.

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


Nervous Nellie says…Nervous_Nellie_100

This is an urban fantasy romance. A little violence, a little bloodshed but for the most part this is a romance with a mystery mixed in.  There is some rather colorful language, so the book doesn’t qualify as cozy.

I didn’t especially bond well with the characters in this book.  Duncan and Colleen took about 35 seconds to fall in love.  They also were very guishy and I could practically see the little hearts swirling around their heads. There wasn’t much room for growth between the couple and there didn’t have to be because their perfectness was seen in the stars.  Yeah, well, I’m not much into fluffy romance stories and with the series title of Demon Assassins, I expected a little more action and adventure.

I’d like to rate Witch’s Bounty higher, but it was just meh.

Now, Witch’s Bane on the other hand was much, much better.  Roz and Ronin is a whole different story.  Roz’s jealousy regarding Colleen’s love life is very relatable.  She’s been disrespected and used.  It’s hard to be lonely and see a friend so moony in love.

I like Roz and she’s a pretty tough cookie.  Ronin hasn’t had life all unicorns and rainbows either.  His human woman died giving birth to his son, who also died.  That kind of sent Ronin off the deep end and he’s been alone ever since.  I can respect that.

I enjoyed Witch’s Bane and I will give it a higher rating because it was such an improvement over book #1.  I liked the characters much more and their relationship seemed more substantial and something I could get behind.

Witches Rule is the 3rd in the series and I didn’t get it finished in time for review.  I’m interested to see how Jenna finds her love match so I’ll be sure to get it done.

All in all, this series was pretty ok.  I think it is geared to a less gritty audience than me.  I would recommend these stories to those who like a little kick ass with their romance instead of a little romance with their kick ass.

Witch’s Bounty
Witch’s Bane
Witches Rule

Available at:

Amazon    BN    Kobo    iBooks    ARe    Google Play    Author’s Store

 

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The Red Queen by Christina Henry

After a horrifying journey through the Old City to win her freedom and her magic, Alice leaves the city with her companion, Hatcher, in search of his daughter and, perhaps, a little peace.

red-queenTitleThe Red Queen
AuthorChristina Henry
SeriesThe Chronicles of Alice, Book 02
Publish Date: July 12, 2016, Ace and Recorded Books
Genre: Fantasy
NarratorJenny Sterlin
Source: Purchased in audio

Publisher’s Description: The author of Alice takes readers back down the rabbit hole to a dark, twisted, and fascinating world based on the works of Lewis Carroll…

The land outside of the Old City was supposed to be green, lush, hopeful. A place where Alice could finally rest, no longer the plaything of the Rabbit, the pawn of Cheshire, or the prey of the Jabberwocky. But the verdant fields are nothing but ash—and hope is nowhere to be found.

Still, Alice and Hatcher are on a mission to find his daughter, a quest they will not forsake even as it takes them deep into the clutches of the mad White Queen and her goblin or into the realm of the twisted and cruel Black King.

The pieces are set and the game has already begun. Each move brings Alice closer to her destiny. But, to win, she will need to harness her newfound abilities and ally herself with someone even more powerful—the mysterious and vengeful Red Queen…

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

After listening to and enjoying Christina Henry’s Alice, and Jenny Sterlin’s beautiful narration, I started The Red Queen immediately. It’s just taken quite a while to find a space on the calendar for this review. 😉

Broken though they are, Alice and Hatcher share a great love. Out of that love, Alice commits to the journey to find Hatcher’s daughter, whom he hasn’t seen since she was a baby. Leaving the horrors of the city behind, they expect to find a kinder, more sensible land—once one has escaped a tragic situation, one should live happily ever after, right?

As most survivors know, this is not the case. Alice and Hatcher find just as much insanity, just as much treachery, just as much misery as they did in the city. Alice loses Hatcher to the wiles of the White Queen, who has destroyed the land and its people in her battle with the Black King. Now Alice has to decide who she is and what power she has in order to save Hatcher and reclaim her life.

The Red Queen felt to me like a book about growing up, or maybe about transformation. Alice’s growth as an adult had been stunted because of her time in the asylum. Now she’s escaped her past and the indiscretions of her youth, along with her captivity, and can look forward to her future. She has the chance to remake herself, and now must choose who she will become.

badge4v4This is the last planned book in the Chronicles of Alice. I admit I was surprised by that. Having been told in Alice that Hatcher’s daughter was a famous courtesan in the Middle East, I assumed that the encounter with the White Queen was just an interlude on their way to the end of a trilogy, in which they would find Hatcher’s daughter and rescue her from her own version of The Walrus or The White Rabbit. Plus, I imagined the Middle East might hold some knowledge Alice would need to develop her skills as a magician. However, our protagonist didn’t have to travel as far as the Middle East to rescue children, learn about her magic, or decide what kind of person she would become.

Our reviews in this series…

Nell’s Gossip and Sunday Book Hunt 11/27

Welcome to One Book Two. I love gossip and what gossip is any better than book or author gossip? Normally, I’m not one to spread rumors, so be sure you listen close the first time.

This Weeks Gossip:

amy-braun-smoke-skyI have a cover reveal! Maybe everyone has seen it, but I hadn’t yet, so I’m sharing.  Amy Braun is publishing Gemma’s story in Smoke Sky that will be released December 6, 2016.  I read about Nash’s story in Amber Sky, so I’m excited to read Gemma’s.  This trio (before Claire) are really mismatched and only made allies through circumstances, but made friends due to caring for one another.  It’s a pretty cool post apocalyptic steam punk kind of story with big monsters that made me leave the light on.

Title:  Smoke Sky
Author: Amy Braun
Series: Dark Sky #0.5
To Be Published: December 6, 2016
Cover Artist:  Deranged Doctor Design
Description: To survive in a horrific world overseen by bloodthirsty monsters, young thief Gemma will do whatever she must to see another day. Even though that means working for a damaged man convinced to make her a permanent member of this thuggish family.

So when her employer tells her that he’ll release her from his clutches, Gemma is obviously skeptical. Especially since the job is easy enough– recruit the two marauders that the gang has been spying on to take her place.

But as Gemma lies to Nash and Sawyer, she commits the greatest mistake a spy can make–– she begins to see them as friends, and perhaps more. Soon, she will have to choose: Sacrifice two strangers to ensure freedom from a brutal future, or risk her life to save them…

Set two years before the events of CRIMSON SKY, this prequel novella tells the story of how Gemma met Nash and Sawyer, and what prompted her to chose their safety over her own. While best enjoyed before reading CRIMSON SKY, this bonus story can be read at any time or enjoyed as a standalone.

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Have you ever heard of instaFreebie? It’s this place on the internet that you can go and scope out new books. Nervous_Nellie_100 Authors put them up on this site and you get to get the chance to download them for free!   For example, Terry Maggert, one of our often reviewed authors has a book out called Heartborn.  If you click on this spot right here, you can claim a free copy for yourself.  It’s easy.

It’s really more for authors to connect with their fans, but I’ve found new authors by just clicking through the genre list.  It’s kind of fun!  What’s also kind of fun is that instaFreebie hosts giveaways.  Scroll through the giveaways until something strikes your fancy and enter.

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halfway Hunted2Speaking of Terry Maggert, I noticed on Goodreads that there will be another addition to the the Halfway Witchy series family.  Halfway Drowned will be released sometime during the summer of 2017.  I have no cover and no description (that’s how fresh this info is), so watch future posts for announcements.  ALSO, remember the book I mentioned above, Heartborn? This is a YA Fantasy.  It’s also primed for an addition to it’s series family too.  February 2017 will be the target release date for Moondiver.  No cover or description yet, so again, watch for future posts to get the downlow.

If you haven’t started the Halfway Witchy series, I think it would be a good idea.  This is a series about a young witch that has to protect her lands and the people, super natural or no, from the bad things that ooze out of the cracks of the cesspool of weird and scare the crap outta a person.  It’s also a bit a romance, though nothing out of hand.

now on to the part you really came here for:

BOOK HUNT!

the-dark-of-nightTitle: The Dark of Night
Author: Jason LaVelle
Description: Karen Gilbert is a survivor. More than twenty years have passed since Karen was stalked by a demon child intent on her death. Still, she can’t escape from the dark forces in her life, as she realizes her daughter has now become the target of a vengeful spirit. In this chilling follow-up to The Cold Room, Karen’s daughter Emma must now battle with an ancient evil whose powers and rage have been building for centuries.

Free on Kindle

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Heaven Sent by John G. Hartness

Glory the Guardian Angel meets John Abraham Quincy Holmwood Harker, Demon Hunter.  What happens when an angel hangs with Quincy? Corruption. That’s what.

heaven-sentTitleHeaven Sent
AuthorJohn G. Hartness
SeriesQuincy Harker, Demon Hunter
Publish Date:  July 29, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description:  It’s the summer of 2009, and Harker has a brand-new guardian angel. Her name is Glory, and she’s here to try to keep Harker from getting himself killed. Try is the operative word. Because not even a divine guardian with a Joss Whedon fetish can get Harker through this mystery unscathed.

Someone is murdering Nephilim, the rare offspring of human and angel, and using their blood for a terrible ritual. Harker, with some help from his Uncle Luke (you probably just call him Count Dracula), has to find out who the next victim is, who the murderer is, and what the plan is. All in three days. Because no matter what kind of help Heaven Sent, it might not be enough to prevent someone from raising a lot of Hell. Heaven Sent is a prequel novella, with far-reaching effects that will change Harker forever.

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


Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

This is an urban fantasy that takes place 7 years before the prior books in this series.  There is no sex, plenty of violence, a fresher faced Quincy but no less restrained.  Uncle Luke makes an appearance to help with research and Quincy meets his guardian angel, Glory.  The story isn’t a cliffhanger, but it does continue with the next book Heaven’s Door.  Be sure you have it with you because you will want to pick it up as soon as you finish with #5.

Quincy is learning that he doesn’t know everything when it comes to angels and demons.  He is not as kick ass or nearly as jaded as he is in current time, but he is still Quincy.  I enjoyed the mystery and the introduction to Glory.  The book description does tell you that the half human/half angels are being killed for a ritual, so no spoiler there.  The mystery is the who and the why.  Also, if you read carefully, you’ll badge4v4catch the story arc that continues in the next book.  Usually Quincy’s books are wrapped up in one sitting, but this story obviously takes a little longer.

I got to go to Mort’s again and visit with Christy.  I got to learn a little more about that world I also learned that Quincy is fighting creatures that are seriously above his pay grade.  Seriously, if Uncle Luke (Count Dracula) is worried about Quincy’s well being, there is something worth worrying about!

Our reviews in this series…

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