Friday, August 16, 2019

Keri Arthur: Cursed


This is the second book in Keri Arthur's Earth and Air series, Unlit is the first book but there is no connection to the first books in the series. I enjoyed the first, so if you can pick it up too.


Keri Arthur enters back into the world of Earth and Air but something is draining the Earth of it's magic:

Whomever draws the sword from the Glass Throne is destined to be the next ruler and bring peace and prosperity to Cannamore. For thousands of years that individual was the first born son but Princess Nyx Bel-Hannon is not male and not the first born but she and not her brother was able to draw the sword. As this defies tradition and her father's plans Nyx is forced into silence and her powers muted. But darkness is starting to flow across the land, The Earth is losing her power, her voice and those in power continue to ignore it. As punishment for a crime Nyx is sent to the front lines to battle of the battlefield in the hope that she will be killed but Nyx has extremely different plans. To free herself from the bonds that tie her and to take her rightful spot on the throne and to save the land that she loves.


Although this was the second book in this series, you really could lead it as a stand alone. I actually do not know where in the timeframe this book takes place after the first, maybe thousands of years later or maybe just a distant land. We are really given no frame point, which I am kind of disappointed in as I enjoyed the first book. There are some similar themes between the two book such as being an outcast, never truly fitting in, hiding/concealing true power, fears of discovery, flaunting authority etc. Additionally, the creatures are similar to the first one, bug like creatures that live within the Earth and want to rule all. As it was similar to the first I felt like I knew what was going to happen as after reading this book it does not feel completely unique as I found the first.

Nyx is a great lead character, and hardly the princess that anyone expects her to be (really they think she is a trollop who will sleep with anyone). Nxy was never the daughter that her father wanted and with her mother dead, he takes full advantage of his power over her. The hatred that Nyx has to her father and brother is really what she uses to survive as long as she did and her thirst for revenge. She does not trust anyone, other than herself, and she can come across as spoiled at times in her comments as she thinks she knows best but she is really just trying to protect herself. What I liked about Nyx was her resilience to be true to herself when she could, as well as, never forgetting what has happened to her and powering through it all to learn new skills and help others. 


As this was a Keri Arthur book I knew that there was going to be some type of romance in the novel, however, I was pretty surprised how the romance is downplayed, really  more flirting and sexual tension for the most part. This probably has much to do with Nyx's past and what she was forced to do as her father could control her. However, there is quite a bit of talk /innuendos about man parts and sex.


This was a good read and an interesting different, but yet the same, take on the world that Arthur has created (still wishing there was more connection to the first). Nyx was the standout for me in this book, kind of like Neve in the first book in the series. I look forward to picking up the third book in the series.



Enjoy!!!
If you Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2014/01/rebekah-turner-chaos-born.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2014/07/anne-bishop-written-in-red.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2016/03/keri-arthur-city-of-light.html

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Wendy Walker: The Night Before

In her new book Wendy Walker takes a look at what happens when meeting someone online for a date goes terribly wrong:
Laura Lochner has never had any luck with men or love, starting from when she was a child. She remembers her childhood as always being second to her older sister Rosie and that her parents loved Rosie more than her but it never stopped Laura from looking for love. This trend has followed her into adult life, always falling too hard, too fast for the wrong man. Laura has decided to change her approach and be a different Laura after another heartbreak. She decides to go on a blind online date with Jonathan Fields. The problem is Laura doesn't come home that night. Her sister Rosie fears the worst, there are some violent events in Laura's past that have never been explained and Rosie worries that this might be another one. Where is Laura and who is this Jonathan Fields, Rosie is determined to find out what happened The Night Before.
I am a Big Fan of Walker, I loved her first two books, especially her debut All is not Forgotten, but for me this book is the weakest of the three. This is not to say that I did not enjoy this book in the end, I just enjoyed the previous two more. I found this book hard to really become engaged with the characters and story until over half the book was done as there were times it failed to hold my attention. And I will admit that I almost didn't finish reading it but I knew there had to be something big in the end, and there was, I personally was able to see it coming, but the twist was there. I just felt like Walker has a lot more to give and there was something lacking or even cliché about this book.

For some reason I could not become invested in either Laura or Rosie. Yes, I felt sorry for Laura at times, but at the same time I found that she acted more like a teenager than an adult. I also found her thought process became too repetitive throughout the book, about not trusting her emotions or instincts, when those things had saved her time and time again. She was trying to be a completely different person in a moment when she knew that she shouldn't. Rosie I just felt came off as a whiny character, and I do not think that her perspective in the book really brought anything out in the story, other than it is her, her husband Joe and their long time friend Gabe who are actively looking for Laura. I'm not sure who Walker could have used instead for the present point of view but I just wasn't feeling Rosie

The one thing that I love about Walker is how she has decided to tell her stories. I love the back and fourth between the past and present and how the past slowly catches up to the present timeline. I find that this adds to the overall suspenseful feeling that you are supposed to feel while you are reading her books as you greatly anticipate what it going to happen next, what will Walker reveal.


While not my favourite book that Walker has written, it was able to grab me more in the latter half of the book. I know that this will not stop me from reading her novels and I anxiously await the next book that she releases. Pick up this book if you like more of a psychological suspense or domestic suspense read.
Enjoy!!!
If You Like This,
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http://j9books.blogspot.com/2016/02/william-landay-defending-jacob.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2017/08/wendy-walker-all-is-not-forgotten.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2018/03/wendy-walker-emma-in-night.html


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Holly Black: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Holly Black takes readers to Coldtown, where Vampires rule, human are there for their blood but hoping to make the eternal turn:


It was supposed to be just another summer party, that was until a window was left open by mistake. Tana awakes in the bathtub, and thinks it must have been some party. As she leaves the bathroom, things do not make much sense, where is everyone? When she enters the living room, she sees the horrors that unfolded in the night. All her friends are drained of blood, there is chaos everywhere. As Tana struggles to come to terms with what has happened she hears cries for help from the bedroom. Her ex-boyfriend is there tied to the bed, bitten and the soon to be snack for the vampire chained in there. Tana has a decision to make, does she flee and try to find help but risk Adian dying or help those in the room. Tana chooses to stay and help which changes her life is forever.


This was a good read, what would have made this an exceptional read is not having the main female character fall for the crazy vampire (and I mean legit crazy, was tortured to be crazy and now has very few sane moments). I get that this romantic connection or fascination that Tana feels towards Gabriel fuels many of the decisions that Tana makes and even to some extent Gabriel too but urggghhh I just don't get it. I get that Black was trying to un-pretty the vampire genre a bit when this book was written, but she still had this dysfunctional relationship in here book but all the vampires are still beautiful. While the setting of a Coldtown is nothing fancy sound more like a slum at points, the Vampires themselves are still beautiful. Other than that I really enjoyed this book.


In this world when you are bitten by a Vampire you have 87 days to not drink human blood. If you make it that long you don't turn you go back to human (I believe, not sure if you are forever changed but the hunger will have passed). The catch is the longer you stay "cold" the more you thirst for blood and basically become crazy with the need of it, so I'm guess not a lot make it that far. Hence the need for the creation of Coldtowns. A place where people can go after they are bitten so that they do not harm anyone else. Problem is once you enter a Coldtown it's almost impossible to get out, for a human.


Black’s concepts of coldtowns was interesting with the perceived safety and regulations they present to the human populations. The have created a reserve type system but with way more regulations and lacking of some modern conveniences and foods. It was also interesting that some of the towns were just created while the human population was still living there so you have people that will never be able to escape. Black also did a great job at highlighting the use of social media and how this affects not only how people think but act as well, and the misrepresentation that is often presented in this medium, not everything is rainbows and gum drops which many of our characters quickly learn. Additionally, some of the vampires have used social media in order to not only promote themselves, but entice humans to come join them in Coldtowns where they do need a constant supply of blood. I think that this quite smart of them, using social media to create a fascination with them and to keep the blood supply up, even though the older Vampires did not see it this way.


Tana is a character you can really feel for and get behind (you know minus the whole falling for the crazy vampire thing, but she is a teenager, so I guess that is excepted). She is loyal, take charge, brave and will do what is best for others before herself. She is always on the lookout for her younger sister and wants to make sure that she is protected and she makes quite a few of her decisions, especially in the beginning of the book, with this in mind.


I'm not sure if this book will pan out to be a series or not but I think there are some elements here that could be further explored and I would pick up the book if there was a second. That said the book did come to a conclusion and overall I did enjoy the book especially Black's writing style.


Enjoy!!!
If You Like This,
Check These Out Too:
http://j9books.blogspot.com/2011/02/dianne-sylvan-queen-of-shadows.html  https://j9books.blogspot.com/2019/04/keri-arthur-unlit.html  http://j9books.blogspot.com/2016/07/kim-falconerthe-blood-in-beginning.html