The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

 

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

15750874 Title: The Glass Arrow 
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publish Date: February 10, 2015 by Tor Teen
Genre: YA Dystopia
Source: Provided by Publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionOnce there was a time when men and women lived as equals, when girl babies were valued, and women could belong only to themselves. But that was ten generations ago. Now women are property, to be sold and owned and bred, while a strict census keeps their numbers manageable and under control. The best any girl can hope for is to end up as some man’s forever wife, but most are simply sold and resold until they’re all used up.

Only in the wilderness, away from the city, can true freedom be found. Aya has spent her whole life in the mountains, looking out for her family and hiding from the world, until the day the Trackers finally catch her.

Stolen from her home, and being groomed for auction, Aya is desperate to escape her fate and return to her family, but her only allies are a loyal wolf she’s raised from a pup and a strange mute boy who may be her best hope for freedom . . . if she can truly trust him.

 


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

You may be thinking: “Oh great. Another YA dystopian novel where the girl has multiple love interests and over throws an oppressive government all on her own at the age of 16.” WRONG! This standalone is about an headstrong girl stuck in a cruel man dominated world but the only thing she wants is to liver her life the way she wants. To no belong to anybody but herself. There is no teenager starting a rebellion. No tyrannical government leader. I love that this is what makes this book one of a kind.

I kept waiting for those protesters to do something drastic and the main character to take up their cause because that is what I am used to. But it never happens. The characters in this novel don’t have that luxury. If they even looked at someone wrong they got killed. Theirs truly is a ruthless world. So it was very refreshing to see that many of the characters looked out for themselves. It is realistic.

I alternated between devouring this novel and wanting to throw it against the wall. Purity is highly valued and fertile women from the wilds even more so because women from the city seem to have infertility problems due to diet supplements. The tone of this book is dark and heavy when it comes to the theme of abuse, sexism and sexual assault. this was usually the point where I would want to throw it against the wall and scream “For the love of God! Someone DO something!”

I love, love, loved the fact that the romance was very slow. It wasn’t insta-love and there were times where Aya was confused as to what these feelings were. Again this is something that is very realistic not just for girls but for teen and even adults as well.

badge5v5Overall The Glass Arrow is a thrilling read. There are a few instances of sexual abuse and allusions to rape. It can be slow in some areas. Simmons will be on my author watch-list from now on. I give this novel 5 arrows.

Other recommendations…

Check out these other great reads! Tracked by Jenny Martin, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Dove Arising by Karen Bao

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

 

Stay tuned for a Q & A with the author and an excerpt from The Glass Arrow!

The Fire Ascending by Chris D’Lacey

Luna wraps up her Last Dragon Chronicles read-along with the final book, The Fire Ascending.

Title: The Fire Ascending
Author: Chris D’Lacey
Series: The Last Dragon Chronicles, Book 07
Publish Date: April 5, 2012
Genre: MG Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: The much anticipated final book in Chris d’Lacey’s NEW YORK TIMES bestselling Last Dragon Chronicles!

On Earth, at the battle of Scuffenbury Hill, time has been suspended. Dragons and their natural enemies, the Ix, are trapped in a bitter, unresolved conflict. But at the dawn of history, something is working to change the past — and the future. A mysterious force is rewriting the timelines, turning what was once legend into startling reality. But is David Rain strong enough to save himself and those he loves from being written into a deadly new destiny?

David, Zanna, Lucy, Alexa, and the Pennykettle dragons return, along with some new friends and enemies, to embark on their most dangerous, most thrilling, and most magical adventure yet. Bridging the magic of the first five books with the world and characters introduced in FIRE WORLD, this fiery and action-packed final installment of the Last Dragon Chronicles will have readers racing to the exciting conclusion.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna Lovebooks says…

The story line for The Last Dragon Chronicles is fairly good, especially the first three installments: The Fire Within, Icefire and Fire Star. But as the series goes on, it loses its whimsy and becomes way more metaphysical. I kept finding myself wishing for the silly mayhem and the little clay dragons that may or may not come alive that we saw in the first few books.

As for The Fire Ascending itself, it was my least favorite in the series. It started out interestingly enough but by the twists at the end I was not impressed. It does wrap events up but I feel like it was a cop-out in order to make things come full circle. The big battle between good and evil that I was waiting for never really happened.

I did like that the legend of Agawin and Guinevere goes into more detail – even if it is a different timeline. We get to see the events of the legends from the first few books playout as they would have – for the most part, again we have alternate dimensions and timelines. Upon looking at other reviews for this novel, it appears that most fans are in agreement that the first few novels of this series were the best and many became increasingly frustrated that the events took the turns they did.

While I would give the overall series a 4, I give this novel 2 dragons.

Other recommendations…

…you might try Doomraga’s Revenge by T.A. Barron, Bloodhoney by Paul Stewart, Black Dragon Codex by R.D. Henham

Tarnished Legacy by Ann Gimpel

After centuries of being in her wolf form, Tairin is now human again. Will she find her mate? Or will she be banished from the Romani she has come to call family?

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

Title: Tarnished Legacy
Author: Ann Gimpel
Series: Soul Dance, Book 02
Publish Date: January 2017
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Provided by the publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionGermany, 1940

Half Romani, Tairin’s no stranger to hiding her mixed blood from gypsy caravans. What she can’t hide is her perpetual youth, courtesy of her shifter heritage. Every few years, she drops out of sight, resurfacing in a new country to join a caravan where no one knows her. She’s overstayed her welcome where she is, but Germany is at war, and travel has become all but impossible for everyone targeted by the Reich.

Elliott’s clairvoyance is strong, even for a Romani. Seer for all the caravans in Germany, he catches Tairin eavesdropping outside their leader’s wagon one night. He should turn her in, but it would mean her execution, and he can’t bring himself to do that. Instead, he interrogates her. Her magic is different, but he can’t figure out quite what she is.

Any association between Romani and shifters is forbidden, and Tairin shields herself from Elliott’s probing. She should leave right now, tonight. It would be easy enough. Shift to her wolf form and run, keeping out of hunters’ gunsights. She’s on the edge of flight when Elliott suggests a covert task to prove her loyalty. Tairin agrees immediately, kicking herself for being weak where he’s concerned. Shifters and Romani have no future together. Zero. Zilch.

She should be smart about this and vanish into the night—before he discovers what she is and destroys her.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna Lovebooks says…

I must say that I liked this much better than the short origins story. We get a glimpse of the struggles that Tairin went through and that was more intriguing to me than actually reading about them. I love the way that Tairin has grown up and matured since her time in Egypt. She is still childish at times throughout the novel but not annoyingly so. I am in love with Elliot! He was a powerful seer and for him to look past the superstitions of his people and fall for Tairin is amazing. My favorite character would have to be Meara. She is crazy powerful and doesn’t take crap from the men in the novel.

The plot was interesting enough. Nazis get their power from vampires – who knew? While this is a paranormal novel, I would have liked to see more about how the shifters and Romani came together to defeat the Nazis instead of vampires. This is what the novel starts out as and I would have liked to see more of that plot line. There is romance in the plot but I feel like it was secondary to the defeating of the vampires that were aiding the Nazi soldiers. There are a couple of brief sex scenes but I wouldn’t go so far as to classify them as erotica.

I really enjoyed this novel and can’t wait to read the next one. I give it 4 charms.

Other recommendations…

…you might try Thunder & Roses by Mary Jo Putney, Masquerade by Hannah Fielding, Gypsy Lover by Connie Mason

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

Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price

Alex Craft is finding herself mixed up with a case that has a necromancy connection.  She hates what this person is doing to people and will stop them if it takes all her magic to do it.

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

Title: Grave Ransom
Author:  Kalayna Price
Series:  Grave Witch #5
Publish Date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Net Galley

Publisher’s Description:  Grave witch Alex Craft is no stranger to the dead talking. She raises shades, works with ghosts, and is dating Death himself. But the dead walking? That’s not supposed to happen. And yet, reanimated corpses are committing crimes across Nekros City.

Alex’s investigation leads her deep into a web of sinister magic. When Briar Darque of the Magical Crimes Investigation Bureau gets involved, Alex finds herself with an unexpected ally of sorts. But as the dead continue to rise and wreak havoc on the living, can Alex get to the soul of the matter in time? (less)

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


Nervous Nellie says…  

This is an urban fantasy.  No sex, no cliffhanger, some violence and lots of seeing dead people.  This book was a page turner and one I could not put down.  The characters are defined and the worlds are vivid.

This is one of the best series ever.  It’s been a few years since the last release, but I swear that once I picked up book #5, Grave Ransom, and started reading it was like we were never separated.

Alex Craft is a grave witch, a fae and a plane weaver.  She is also under the watchful eye of the Winter Knight because the Winter Queen expressly ordered Falin Andrews to do so and he can’t refuse. The Winter Knight, Falin Andrews, is also the lead detective of the FIB.  Alex Craft is the lead investigator for the Tongues of the Dead agency.  Both are thrown into cases together even though they are ex-lovers.  Falin burned some bridges in books past and I was totally over him jilting Alex.  He was a jerk and broke Alex’s heart so I started rooting for the impossible relationship between Alex and Death.

Death is a soul collector.  Alex can’t contact him and he can only be with her when he’s not called to work.  Also, their relationship is totally forbidden.  He holds a lot of secrets from her so their relationship isn’t exactly much more than sex even though he claims he loves her.

In this story, someone is killing people and putting their soul into another dead person.  If that wasn’t bad enough, that someone is making those people do things for him/her, like robbing banks, with the promise of putting their souls back into their bodies.  Yeah. No, it doesn’t work that way.

Kalayna Price is a plane weaver of her own right.  She weaves the magic of Faerie and Alex’s world together with absolute genius.  She also made me like Falin again.  Dammit.  I flip flopped again.

There are very few authors that I would wait this patiently for a new book in their series, but this Grave Witch series is one of them.  I can’t tell if this is the series finale or not, so I’m hoping it’s not.  It certainly could be if Ms. Price wanted it to be, but according to Goodreads, there is a book #6 brewing.  The story was very good and the time reading was well spent.

Other reviews in the series:

Grave Visions

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

SPOTLIGHT Grave Ransom by Kalayna Price

GRAVE RANSOM

Alex Craft #5

Kalayna Price

RELEASED July 4, 2017

Ace Mass Market | ISBN: 9780451416582| $7.99

Available at:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-A-Million
Book Depository 

In the thrilling new novel from USA Today bestselling author Kalayna Price, Alex Craft comes face-to-face with the walking dead….

Grave witch Alex Craft is no stranger to the dead talking. She raises shades, works with ghosts, and is dating Death himself. But the dead walking? That’s not supposed to happen. And yet reanimated corpses are committing crimes across Nekros City.

Alex’s investigation leads her deep into a web of sinister magic. When Briar Darque of the Magical Crimes Investigation Bureau gets involved, Alex finds herself with an unexpected ally of sorts. But as the dead continue to rise and wreak havoc on the living, can she get to the soul of the matter in time?

 

Kalayna Price is the USA Today bestselling author of the Alex Craft novels including Grave VisionsGrave MemoryGrave Dance, and Grave Witch. Ms. Price draws her ideas from the world around her, her studies into ancient mythologies, and her obsession with classic folklore.

 

Read on for an excerpt of Chapter One…

Chapter One

The first time I realized I could feel corpses, I had nightmares for a week. I was a child at the time, so that was understandable. These days I was accustomed to the clammy reach of the grave that lifted from dead bodies. To the eerie feeling of my own innate magic responding and filling me with the unrequested knowledge of how recently the person died, their gender, and the approximate age they were at death. When I anticipated encountering a corpse, I tightened my mental shields and worked at keeping my magic at bay. Usually that was only necessary at places like graveyards, the morgue, and funeral homes—places one might expect to find a body.

I never expected to feel a corpse walking across the street in the middle of the Magic Quarter.

“Alex? I’ve lost you, haven’t I?” Tamara, one of my best friends and my current lunchmate, asked. She sighed, twisting in her seat to scan the sidewalk beyond the small outdoor sitting area of the café where we were eating. “Huh. Which one is he? I may be married and knocked up, but I know a good-looking man when I see one, and girl, I don’t see one. Who are you staring at?”

“That guy,” I said, nodding my head at a man in a brown suit crossing the street.

Tamara glanced at the squat, middle-aged man who was more than a little soft in the middle and then cocked an eyebrow at me. “I’ve seen what you have at home, so I take it this is business. Did you bring one of your cases to our lunch?”

I ignored the “at home” comment, as that situation was more than a little complicated, and shook my head. “My case docket is clear,” I said absently, and let my senses stretch. When I concentrated, I could feel grave essence reaching from corpses in my vicinity. All corpses. There were decades of dead and decaying rats in the sewer below the streets, and smaller creatures like insects that barely made a blip on my radar, but like called to like, and my magic zeroed in on the man.

“He’s dead,” I said, and even to me my voice sounded unsure.

Tamara blinked at me, likely waiting for me to reveal the joke. Instead I pushed out of my seat as the man turned up the street. Tamara grabbed my arm.

“I’m the lead medical examiner for Nekros City, and I can tell you with ninety-nine point nine percent certainty that the man walking down the street is very much alive.” She put extra emphasis on the word “walking,” and on any other day, I would have agreed with her.

My own eyes agreed with her. But my magic, that part of me that touched the grave, that could piece together shades from the memories left in every cell of a body, disagreed. That man, walking or not, was a corpse. Granted, he was a fresh one—the way he felt to my magic told me he couldn’t have been dead more than an hour. But he was dead.

So how the hell had he just walked into the Museum of Magic and the Arcane?

I dropped enough crumpled dollars on the table to cover my portion of the bill and tip before weaving around tables and out of the café seating. Behind me, Tamara grumbled under her breath, but after a moment I heard her chair slide back as she pushed away from the table. I didn’t wait for her to follow me out as I all but sprinted across the street to catch up with the walking corpse.

The museum’s wards tingled along my skin as I stepped through the threshold. I’d been inside the museum a few times, and the collection of rare and unusual artifacts from both pre- and post-awakening was impressive, but I was a sensitive, capable of sensing magic, and between all the security wards and the artifacts themselves, the museum tended to be overwhelming. Definitely migraine-inducing in large doses. I noted that the magic in the air was particularly biting today, like one of the security wards had recently been triggered. I sucked in an almost pained breath, trying to adjust to the sudden crush of magic all around me. The extra sting of the deployed ward didn’t help.

I should have walked the extra few steps to clear the entrance wards.

 

 

Save