Category Archives: 5-Great

Cold Reign by Faith Hunter

Yellowrock Clan is back to battle revanants, European Vampires, traitors, spies and conspirators.  Another day in the life of Leo’s NoLA Enforcer and her people.

Title:  Cold Reign
Author: Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock #11
Publish Date:  May 2, 2017
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Source:  Reviewer purchased book and audio

Publisher’s Description:

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most. Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official enforcer to Leo Pellisier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.

But there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.

Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds… 

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says…

Dang ninja vamp.

This is an urban fantasy with hints of sex – nothing descriptive, lots of blood and gore.  Plenty of scheming and manipulation – vamps are good at that and magic.  The ending isn’t a cliffhanger but the game has changed dramatically so it will be impossible to stay away from the next installment. There is only one word for this book and it has to be “EXCELLENT” or how about two words..”Solid Gold”.

I have loved this series since it began.  Jane Yellowrock has grown and grown into a force that no one can deny.  Even the fangheads have to respect her because she CAN and much to her independent nature WILL take them out.

This story threw me into the action right away with Jane and Eli fighting a revenant.  There are NCIS investigations into dead sailors and since the dead sailors were drunk dry, Yellowrock Securities or rather Leo Pellissier’s Enforcer were called.  That had me hooked from the get-go.  Seriously? NCIS and Jane Yellowrock in the same paragraph? I am SO in.

The action doesn’t stop there.  Nope.  Not even close.  The revenants are the main story line and why they are all of a sudden digging themselves out of their graves 200 years after they were put there is the million dollar question.  And then comes the riots.  And then the storms.  And then the attacks on Leo and his HQ.  The suspense and treachery reach a friendzied pitch and then back down just as I was on the edge of my seat.  When I finally relax a bit, here goes the action and mayhem all over again.  Jane and her team get thrown in head first time and time again while Leo sits back with his drink and his toys just waiting for Jane to fix things.  He’s such a jerk.

Leo doesn’t come out of this adventure unscathed, however.  He suffers some loss although the loss isn’t as great to a vamp as to normal people. They have games not relationships.  Now, I may be a bit biased because I don’t like Leo much.  I will concede that he does seem to treat his people well and he pays Jane well.  I hate the vamp politics and the long game they play to one up each other.  He’s just too devious for his own good.  And pretty.  And a schmoozer.  And a liar.  And just plain fangy.

Relationships expand in Jane’s household in this book.  She gets herself a Primo, a Secundo and to top it all off – an Enforcer.  Jane has worked dang hard for her place in vamp hierarchy and she deserves happiness.  Enter Bruiser.  *Swoon*  Yes, he is pretty and romantic as ever.  I think they make a super pair.  It makes me all warm and melty.  Of course I couldn’t get comfortable with that because THEN things so a bit sideways because Ricky Bo makes an appearance.  He makes it known that he wants Jane back and (this is the part that is cool) Jane is the one that tells him to…um…go jump in a lake.  Bruiser is not the one flexing muscles here and going all alpha protective over Jane because Jane can take care of herself.  Go Jane!

I cannot rate this any higher than 5 stars though I’d want to give it 20.  Faith Hunter’s writing is out of this world and her story line is one that is original and engaging.  Go Faith!

 

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try  Soulwood series by Faith Hunter

 

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Beast by Megan Crewe

What do you do when your best friend becomes a monster?

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

TitleBeast 
Author: Megan Crewe
Series: Stand-alone.
Publish Date: May 23, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Another World Press
Source: Provided by the author.

Publisher’s Description:

“You think you have it all figured out, Max, but this isn’t your game anymore.”

Max Weston knows that life is a game: Turn on the charm, say what people want to hear, and whatever you want is yours for the taking. What do a few lies matter if everyone ends up happy? His best friend, Davey, can’t look a cute girl in the eye and barely scrapes by in school, so yeah, Max hassles him sometimes. But he always has the guy’s back—even when a strange beast attacks Davey in the woods.

As Davey heals, something awakens inside him. Something with razor-sharp teeth, vicious reflexes, and no patience for Max’s ploys. Suddenly Davey is challenging Max, getting smarter, stronger, faster—and harder to control. Max plunges into a series of schemes to save his friend, but with each move he makes, Davey lashes back twice as hard. The monster inside him is calling the shots now, and the game it wants to play has deadly consequences for everyone Max loves.

If Max forfeits, he’s giving up on his best friend. But winning might mean losing even more.

Teen Wolf meets Pretty Little Liars in this edge-of-your-seat supernatural thriller.


Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: Beast reads like a 90s bubblegum horror movie…AND I LOVE IT! Yes, it can be cheesy in parts and it’s not remotely horrifying, but it works. Now don’t get me wrong there is bloodshed – and it can get graphic, but again it works. I love the development of the main character Max and the realizations he comes to. I also like the fact that readers get the sense that Davey is a werewolf but never specifically comes out and says that he is in fact a werewolf. I was pleasantly surprised by the ending.

Dislikes: It can be a little cheesy. The plans the kids come up with make you want to pull your hair out because you know it isn’t going to work – but honestly I’m glad they didn’t and that it ended the way it did. While these didn’t bother me, there are some graphic scenes and scenes that involve teenage drug usage.

I give this book 5 howls.

Other recommendations…

Checkout these other must read werewolf tales: The Wolfman by Nicholas Pekearo, The Wolf’s Hour by Robert R. McCammon, and The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore

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

The Storm Bringer by Ken Lange

The adventure continues and the pieces of the puzzle are starting to fall into place.

Title: Rise of the Storm Bringer
Author: Ken Lange
Series: Warden Global #2
Publish Date: April 4, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Reviewer purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionFor most people, a visit from their former in-laws is unpleasant at most. If only I were that lucky.

Mine have unexpectedly dropped by, leaving a couple of bodies in little bits and a message in blood as their way of saying hi.

Which is just great. Now I can add one more group to the growing list of nut-bags who want to tuck me in for a dirt nap. Simply put, if the in-laws don’t get me, a dead woman, the Loki, or any one of a legion of mythological beasties just might.

To top it off, I’ve learned that there’s a cosmic war that’s been raging since the dawn of creation, and somehow, I’ve found myself at the very center of it all. I know it’s gonna be a hell of a day when death might be the least of my problems.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

The only thing that matters is to do the best you can in the moment and realize that no one has all the answers.

This science fiction/urban fantasy/action adventure story takes place in NoLA,  There is death and dismemberment and often blood, gore and goo. The protagonist often gets the crap beaten out of him AND he’s almost (I said ALMOST) as clueless about what is happening to him than us readers.  Viktor is a smart ass and that’s what draws me to a good character.  The story is written like he’s telling the story to you personally. He’s got depth to him that comes from a lot of experience tending to the things that most don’t care to deal with.  Anyway, the story does have twists and turns that end up leading down a dark alley not knowing if a monster will pop out or not.  Usually does, though.  Just warnin’ ya.

There is a lot of name dropping in this book.  Brush up on your Greek and Norse mythology because it will help with the characters and where they fit into the whole scheme of things.  Actually, scratch that. You really don’t have to know the mythology, just know the individuals are important and it’ll be fine.  I happen to like to track down the mythology because I think knowing where they all came from makes the reading more fun.

There are several characters that are mentioned from book 1 as well as a couple from Accession of the Stone Born – another series from the same author.  In my opinion, the mention of other characters made my reading more like a family reunion.  I didn’t actually get to see the characters, but the mentioning made it fun for me.

It’s important, I think, to mention that it would be a good idea to start with the first book in the series, The Wanderer Awakens, because this is a series that would be hard to follow if it wasn’t started from page 1.

If you like a white hat that doesn’t really look at himself that way, with a team of good people that look out for the unknowing humans and supernatural, mythological and ancient people thrown in as well as a science fiction basis, this is a good series to begin.  Normally, I’m not one for science fiction, but I liked it.  It’s a challenging read.  It kept my brain engaged and every page there was a scene that would suck me in as quickly as the one the page before did.

Someone once said that this author makes writing look easy.  I really do believe it.  It’s complicated, but yet simple in the end.  It’s worth the time and energy.  I rate it a 5.

Our reviews in this series…

 

Elementally Priceless by Shannon Mayer

Welcome to Saturday Shorts, in which we review shorter works such as short stories, novellas, middle-grade books, and graphic novels.  You get a “two-for” when you read this novella.  The start of two series in one book. How much better can it get?

Title: Elementally Priceless
Author: Shannon Mayer
Series: Rylee Adamson #0.5    and   The Elemental #0.5
Publish Date: January 20, 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description: “My Name is Rylee, and I am a Tracker”

This is the story of my first salvage, seeking out a missing child that my mentor has warned me away from.

What I find is more than one child: I find my destiny.

“They call me the Destroyer.”

I’ve been banished to the desert for years after saving a life I should have let the darkness take. But as an earth elemental, I couldn’t turn from the pleas for help any more than I can turn from them this time. Except that this time, I have a Tracker to deal with.

This is about to get interesting.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


Nervous Nellie says…

This is an urban fantasy with some swearing.  There is no sex, no graphic violence, no romance. There is no cliffhanger, but there is an excellent hook at the end of the book. There is sword play, elementals, goblins, Minotaurs and a host of other creatures.  This is the kind of book I live for and it was excellent.

The book is divided chapter by chapter from each protagonist’s point of view.  So, you have Rylee in one chapter and the next will be Lark.  I could get a feel for both and decide if I like them well enough to proceed with the series.  I liked them.  A lot.

Rylee is what the supernatural world calls a “Tracker”. She can find anyone anywhere at any time as long as she has a picture and a name.  She uses her gift in finding the missing – mostly children – which is a noble calling.  Lark is an “Elemental”.  She has a reputation for not following the rules set in the Elemental’s world.  She has incredible power and a moral compass that will not be ignored.  She risks everything – and I mean not just her life, but risks being imprisoned for decades, maybe centuries for breaking the rules she feels need broken in order to save the world.  That’s pretty honorable too.

This novella will take a couple hours to read – it’s only 102 pages.  It’ll give you the taste and feel of Rylee and Lark’s lives.  I found their lives exceedingly worth reading, so I give this novella a 5.  I’ll be hot on the heels of book 1 in both series.  I gotta see what happens next.

Other recommendations…

…you might try  Immortal Vegas series by Jenn Stark, The Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep,  Harbinger P.I. Series by Adam J. Wright,  Prof Croft series by Brad Magnarella and I could go on and on and on…

 

Sleipnir’s Heart by Ken Lange

Take a trip through Romania in search of the thing that will help his friend survive and come face to face his own savior from years ago.

If you’re looking for a copy of this short story you can pick it up here… https://instafreebie.com/free/on8nP?s…

Title: Sleipnir’s Heart
Author: Ken Lange
SeriesWarden Global
Publish Date: March 18, 2017
Genre: Science Fiction/Action Adventure
Source: Free download instafreebie.com

Publisher’s Description: When I crashed on this planet fifteen thousand years ago, I thought that my friend—the living spaceship Sleipnir—was destroyed. But it turns out the mysterious signal I’ve been receiving for the past nine years is his cry for help. It’s led me back to Romania, back to the mountain I almost died on, and—just maybe—back to the legendary being who once saved my life.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says…

This is a mind bending series.  I’m just gonna start with that.  Next, I’m gonna tell you to scope out the author’s web page.  It will clue you in to what started this whole adventure of the Stone Born.  Normally, I really don’t mention much about the web sites, but this one is rather cool.   Anyway, back to the series.  It’s got time travel, a spaceship, supernatural creatures, ancient beings and mythological connections-pretty much something for everyone.  That’s the series, though.  The short story is a short adventure to retrieve something very important and is only a tiny blip in the whole big picture.

This short comes between book 1 and book 2, but please, for goodness sake, DON’T start the short first!  This is not one of those series that you can just hop in the middle and think it’ll be ok.  It’s a twisted tale with a puzzle beneath the surface as well as one wrapped around the outside.  It’s reading time well worth spent, that’s for sure.

Like I said, it takes place right after the ending of The Wanderer Awakens.  It sheds a little more light on the living spaceship that is bonded to Viktor.  The story explains what Viktor is looking to retrieve to hopefully help Sleipnir mend.  It’s a well written quickie that will leave you wanting to quickly move on to The Storm Bringer, which, trust me, is something you’ll want to do.

 

Our reviews in this series…

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