Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Neil Russell: City of War

In the first of a new series Neil Russell what a rich ex-Delta Force gets up to when he sees a wrong being committed:

Rail Black is stuck in traffic when he sees a cargo van door open and naked woman leaps out, he know he has to help her. What starts as help on the freeway turns into a deadly cat and mouse game that is rooted in history. Kim has found some information that has lead to murder, a rare treasure and the greed of those who want it. Rail didn't know it at the time but he is about to put all his resources and training to use as he tries to help Kim not only stay alive but discovery what is the City of War.

I'm a little on the fence with this book, while I enjoyed the plot and story that was laid out, I wasn't a big fan of the characters and you're supposed to like them in this book so that tampered my ability to really enjoy this book. There are many points in this book and characters that are pretty far fetch. I guess I just question if there is a man like Rail out there, just like maybe you question whether James Bond could work in the real world (as portrayed in the movies) and I guess the richness with all the connections and toys kind of feels a bit Bruce Wayne to me. All these factors should make for an interesting character in Rail right? Well, in my opinion he fell flat and was pretty full of himself (alright if a guy was a Bond/Batman hybrid he would be full of himself). Additionally, it seemed like Rail had charm for days and every woman he meets wants to sleep with him and that right there basically sums up how Russell portrays female characters in this book and there are quite a few of them.

Where Russell excels in this book is the mystery. I didn't have a clue as to what the Kim was hiding and what The City of War was or its importance as Russell does a great job of hiding this from his readers. When Rail or Kim or Archer discovers something the reader is discovering it for the first time as well. There are so many twists and turns within this book that you may get dizzy but I loved the intricate plot that Russell decided to put in a book that could have been all action and know substance. I enjoyed that Russell looked to history for this book and in crafting the conspiracy aspects around the City of War and what it really means.

Well you can tell a man wrote the sex scenes in this book and there are quite a few of them which was surprising, but they are short which I appreciate. However,  there is really only one sex scene where I was like WTF; It involves using caviar as lube for anal sex.... really??? (sorry if I just put that image in your head). Maybe I’m a prude but this just coincides with how Russell portrays his female character, sexy and ready for "action" at any time.

I enjoyed the mystery/conspiracy aspect of this book, most of the characters I could take or leave, there was nothing really interesting about them even when Russell was trying to make them flawed or different. I think I would read the next in the series just to see the story that Russell is able to weave but I'm out of there is there is another caviar scene.

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Friday, June 7, 2019

Sarah J. Maas: Court of Thorns and Roses

In the first of a series, Sarah J. Maas explores what happens when a human enters the world of the faerie:

Feyre is the sole provider of her family, she does the hunting, the meal preparations as well as preparing the hides for market, her two sisters and father rely on her. When she gets a chance to kill a wolf she makes sure not to miss, but this shot will change her life forever. This act leads her to be dragged into the magical kingdom on the Faerie and the land of Tamlin, who is everything that Feyre has been told to fear about the faeries. As Feyre grows closer to Tamlin dark forces emerge who want to keep them apart and Feyre soon learns that she may be the key to save them all from a cursed fate.

Alright, I will admit that I am slow to the party that are Maas' books. This is the first that I have read in any of her series, and overall I was really impressed with this book which had me hooked from the opening pages. From the character development to world building there is not one point that Maas seems to fail at in this book. All of the characters are interesting with their own flaws, the romance/relationship never seemed forced (although you know its going to lead to it) and the drama/darkness that Maas builds into the book is beautifully done. I will admit that did question what I had gotten into with the beginning of the book as the first half is very slow. However, the further you read in the book you realize that Maas did this on purpose as she needed to build the relationship between Feyre and Tamlin as it is a key aspect of the plot and everything else hinders upon it. Normally I would not be a fan of a book that is based upon a romance, but Maas really could not have written this book any other way with the same result.

Within the second half of the book the true plot begins to unfold, this is what the first half has been building up to the "fall" and trial of Feyre and Tamlin's relationship. This is where the book takes a turn towards the Darkness as Feyre is put to on trial and must face a series of tests as well as be humiliated and paraded around like some sort of prize to be won. Here is where we get to see what Feyre is made of and she has to determine who she can trust, who is manipulating her and who can she manipulate.

If I was going to nit pick (and you know I will, lol) I personally found the riddle easy to solve, so I was confused why Feyre was not able to do so maybe it is an age thing.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book I feel like (I've blocked the next part out as it is a spoiler for the book, so if you want to read it highlighting it) I know that there is going to be a love triangle coming up and that's really not my thing and way over done these days (thank you Twilight and the Hunger Games). So right now I'm not sure I will read the next book in this series, unless someone can tell me otherwise (and I really hope you can tell me differently).

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