Sunday, February 26, 2023

Annette Marie: The One and Only Crystal Druid

In the first of a series, Annette Marie shows that there are even things that the Fae are scared of:

Ten years previously Saber risked everything in order to escape the horror that had become her life, but it only lead to death, a murder conviction and amnesia. She cannot remember anything that happened that night, maybe that is why the MPD decided to let her out on parole eventually. Now Saber works for an animal rescue agency as well as at vet clinic as a vet tec, trying to keep a low profile, trying to stay out of trouble. But trouble finds her one night as she hunts for a man who has mistreated horses that were dropped off at the rescue, when the Crystal Druid shows up hunting a powerful being that is hunting and killing animals and Fae, by stealing their hearts. Saber offers to help to save herself, but this creature is far more sinister and powerful than Saber could ever have imagined, so much for keeping a low profile.

This is the first book that I have read for Marie and I am here for the very cool world that she has created. I love that there are witches and druids and so many things that go bump in the night. I found that the  all the different creatures that Saber encounters along the way in just this book to be extremely interesting and suspenseful at time as you never really know what is going to jump out behind the next corner. I also appreciate that Marie takes things darker at times, from when Saber fights with her switch blade to when her and the Druid, Zak, decide to get it on a bit.

I enjoyed Saber as a character, I would say that she is a morally grey character and really the anti-hero at times when she encounters someone who has harmed an animal. I cannot fault her for her love of all creatures. I enjoyed that Marie took the time to show us parts of Saber's past, but yet at the same time, I feel like I did not really know her as a character and I still have so many more questions, mainly around why she is unable to perform magic, and I still don't fully understand her background completely, or what happened that day with her Aunt.

Zak is an interesting character and I want to know more about him and all the favours that he has garnered from the Fae to get the powers that he has, as well as the mistress he seems to have as well. 

So this was a good read, but I want to know more about the main characters and have them feel more developed in order to really enjoy this series. I look forward to reading the next book in the series

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Sunday, February 19, 2023

Alice Feeney: Daisy Darker

Alice Feeney shows that our darkest secrets will always haunt us:

After years of avoiding each other, all of the Darker family have been summonded to Seasglass, the home of the matriach of the family Nana, to celebrate her 80th birthday one that she believes will be her last. As each arrives, each family member harbour  secrets they don't want anyone to know. The funny thing about seaglass that it becomes an island as the tide comes in, no one can come or go safely until the tide is gone, 8 hrs without anyone able to access it. The at the stroke of midnight, Nana is found dead and a strange poem is written on the wall and then the next hour another body is dicovered. The family is trapped on the Island with a killer and the answer as to who is hidden in the past.

I will admit that after I read And Then There was None by Agatha Christie a few years ago, I did wonder if the book could be modernized in some way. Though this book does not take place today, it does take place in the time of flip phones and lacking of cell phone coverage.

Due to the fact that this book is based upon / uses another book as a major plot aspect i'm not really sure to how to review it without giving some thing away from both this book and And Then There was None.

Overall,  I am not 100% sure how I feel about this book. I did enjoy it and did not see the large twist that occurs in the end (which honestly the book needed or else it felt too much like ATTWN up until that point) but I just wanted more. And if I'm being entirely honest it is the twist that makes this book but I felt that the book relied a bit too much on Christie's novel to truly make it Feeney's own. The similiarities are, multiple POV, The Poem, The Poem telling how each person will die, all happens in one Night/Day and the overall reason that each person has been chosen to die. I mean the book is creative in it's creation of the Poem and how it goes about modernizing it, I think i just wish on a little less reliance on the original book.

I think Nana was my favourite character and even though she is the first to be killed off, you really get a sense of who she was with all the scenes from the past that are played out. She is truly the only one who seemed to show love in the Darker family and not just always to Daisy but the other people in the family as well, though not shown as frequent.

I'm torn whether you should read And Then There was None by Christie before this book or after as  I think you should read it not only because of how heavily it influenced this book but it is a book that holds up from when it was originally printed (minus the name and the poem which have been changed) in regards to plot and how it all plays out. Christie really was ahead of her time.

I did enjoy the book but not as much as I was wanting or expecting to. I know that I want to read more by Feeney and look forward to another book I read by her.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Marissa Meyer: Cursed

You will need to read the first book in this series, Gilded, before you read this one as you will not fully understand and appreciate this book if you have not read it.

Marissa Meyer is back with the second book in her Rumplestiltskin retelling and the darkness wants to take over the light:

The Erlking has one goal to capture a God and wish for the return of his lover, the huntress Perchta from the underworld. Serilda and Guild know that they cannot let that happen but what can they do in this world. They know that they have to break the curse that binds them to the dark side of the veil but they need to find their bodies first. As Serilda and Guild search throughout the castle, Serilda soon makes a shocking discovery, that the Erlking may not be just looking to bring back Perchta but to make sure that they are never on the dark side of the veil again.

When a book is in a trilogy or a duology, it can be hard to impress or compete with the first book as expectations have been set high. There are few series where I would choose the second book as my favourite one. But for this duology I liked this book better than the first one. I found that the book was darker, information about Serilda and her power is revealed and there was less side story telling, which I found distracated from the overall plot of the first.

This book really picks up after the first one ends and the darkness of the first continues into this one. I found that the book got darker the farther the book went on. You know that the Erlking is cruel from the first book and after what happened to those Serilda cared about but you see even more of his cruelty in this book. What is also interesting is there are times that Meyer has the Erlking try to relate or get to know Serilda more but you never know if it is jus a game to him or a means to an end.

I found that Serilda grew up more in this book and was less annoying as a character, she just seemed smarter and beginning to learn from the mistakes that she had made in the past. What she is willing to give up in the book is quite shocking as well, and her sense of right and duty is high

I will admit, I was slightly and I mean slightly disappointed by the ending, but that did not take away my overall enjoyment of this book and duology.

If you enjoy re-tellings then I highly recommend that you check out this duology, Meyer knows how to do it right. I look forward to reading more of her re-telling especially if they are this dark.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Elle Cosimino: Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun

You will need to read the first 2 books in this series (Finlay Donovan is Killing it & Finlay Donovan Knocks' Em Dead) to understand the plot and relationships presented in this book. 

Elle Cosimino is back with in Finlay Donovan book and this time it's time to take Finlay to school; Police Academy in fact:

Finlay seems to have even more on the line before. Felik, The mobster, is determined to use Finlay's pervious actions (or what her actions look like) against her and has told her she has to find out who Easy Clean and make sure they are silent. Finlay is convinced that Easy Clean is a dirty cop on Nick's team and what better way to figure it out than some one on one time with people on Nick's team at a Police Academy. But the more that Finlay and Vero get to know the officers on Nick's team there seems to be more than one possibility for who Easy Clean could be. They need to not only figure out who Easy Clean and "take care" of them, keep the bookies away from Vero, but Finlay needs to finish her latest book by deadline and one steamy scene seems to beyond her ability to write, oh and keep all her secrets intact from her sister and Nick. It's going to be one Hell of a week at the Police Academy.

This was a good book, but I do not think that this was as good as the previous two. As this is the third book in the series, things can get a bit stale as certain jokes or formula or scenarios that were once fresh and funny then to fall a bit flat.  I also felt that the overall plot was muddied along the way, in that Cosimano was trying to do a bit too much in this book.

This book really had two things going for it, the Setting (Policy Academy) and Vera. Am I the only one who thinks that Vero needs to start having some chapters from her POV? Vera is just a fantastic character, I find most of the funny parts come from her and I just love her and the things that she ends up talking Finlay into.

I think the mob aspect has played itself out by now, I mean how long can Felik hold everything over her head and the amount of lies that Finlay continues to tell in order to keep her head above water. Everything has to come to a head sooner rather than later, though how the book ends (cliffhanger) I'm not sure that we are going to get there in the next book.

I'm happy that Finlay finally chooses which guy she wants to be with in this book, but part of me wonders how long that will last, I hope till the end, but for some reason I don't think so.

Although this was my least favourite book in the series, I still found the book enjoyable and some laugh out loud moments and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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