Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mini Reviews Part 3

Yes I have more I want to squeeze in!  Told you I’d been reading a LOT!

Tangled Threads (Elemental Assassin, Book 4)Tangled Threads by Jennifer Estep

Book 4 in the Elemental Assassin series begins a few weeks after the showdown at the giant’s house, where Gin Blanco declares war on Mab Monroe.   She now has another problem: Mab has hired an assassin to assassinate HER!  And it’s Christmas!  What a Scrooge Mab is!  What follows is a dark novel  with some bright rays of family and friendship.  The scenes with the assassin, LaFleur, are really well-done.  I LOVE how Gin taunts her!  I’ve been rooting for her to tell Bria who she was.  We also see more of Owen, much to my delight.  They are really so good for each other.  Of course there are the loyal, trustworthy dwarves and Finn drinking his chicory coffee.  If you haven’t read the first 3, don’t bother with this one, there’s too much history, even though the author does a bit of summarizing for us.  However, if you have read the first three Elemental Assassin books, this one is not to be missed.  My one complaint about the series is Jo-Jo has told Gin repeatedly she’s the strongest elemental she’s ever seen and Gin doesn’t use her magic much at all.  I’d like to see her practice with it more, just in case she ever loses her silverstone knives Smile

Sensuality: a few sex scenes
Rating: 5 stars

Iron Crowned (Dark Swan, Book 3)Iron Crowned by Richelle Mead

Iron Crowned is the third book in the Dark Swan series about Eugenie Markham, a shaman in the human world and a fairy queen in the Otherworld.  We see more of Dorian and Kiyo and a surprising about of Jasmine, her sister.  I have mixed feelings about this book.  The story was well-told, but I was soooo frustrated with Eugenie.  She made so many poor personal decisions.  I realize it was all on purpose and that the author has a fantastic grand design to all this, but it was rough reading it; I had to get up and walk away from the book a few times toward the end (kind of like Joey putting the book in the freezer).  I was really upset with Dorian and Kiyo in this book, they both had their own agendas  and I think Eugenie needs  an all together new man, leave these guys alone.  The ending was great but it also had some ambiguous parts, leaving the next installment wide open; the author could go in any number of directions with the series.  I do look forward to reading the next book.  If you haven’t read the first two books, you should do so before you read this one as it will make a lot more sense.

Sensuality: a few sex scenes
Rating: 3 stars

Vampire Journals series by Morgan Rice

These are mostly novellas with Destined being a bit longer.  I’m not going to review these individually, although I will put in individual links to amazon for them.
These appear to be self-published and I had some real problems with the writing.  I appreciate how difficult it must be to edit your own writing, but the author should spend some more time on it or have someone with fresh eyes read it. 

This is a young adult series, written from the perspective of a teenage girl and I read it as such but it was dizzying how quickly someone turned from an evil person to best friend, possible boyfriend to forgotten in the face of a new guy.  The timeline was seriously messed up as far as personal history of characters.  My other major complaint about the novellas is that the author merely states something and it is so.  Girl sees boy, falls in love, done deal, no real description about why or how.  The bad guy is evil to the extreme, no nuancing or redeeming qualities, more of a caricature of evil.  Also, the author spent very little time doing world-building.  How does vampirism work in this series?  Does one bite kill or can vamps sip from willing donors?  It reminded me a bit of Twilight in parts (although no sparkles!). 

The story is pretty decent;  I enjoyed the action scenes, the vamps have some interesting abilities and the coven mentality was well-done.  The quest that threads through all of them is a really good one; it involves time travel and saving the world.  I will continue reading the series and recommend with reservations.  They read quickly and are inexpensive but the writing and editing need help. 

Sensuality : very little
Rating: 2 stars

Turned (Book #1 in the Vampire Journals)Turned

Loved (Book #2 in the Vampire Journals)Loved

Betrayed (Book #3 in the Vampire Journals)Betrayed

Destined (Book #4 in the Vampire Journals)Destined

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