The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Book Review

 


The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #3)Book Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Paranormal

Book Series: The Queen of the Tearling #3

Released: 11/29/16 by Harper

Pages:  496 Price: $25.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has grown from an awkward teenager into a powerful monarch and a visionary leader.

And as she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she has transformed her realm. But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies – chief among them the evil and feared Red Queen, who ordered the armies of Mortmesne to march against the Tear and crush them.

To protect her people from such a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable – naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne.

So, the endgame has begun and the fate of Queen Kelsea – and the Tearling itself – will be revealed…

My Review:

Wow, that was quite the ending!  It was well worth the wait for my turn to find out what happened.  If you’ve been frustrated with so many of the looming questions left unanswered in the first two books I am pleased to report that most if not all of them were answered in the final book in this trilogy. Like others have mentioned the ending was a bit abrupt but it didn’t really disappoint or frustrate me I guess.  Oh sure, I want to know more about Kelsea’s life afterward but I’m fine filling in my own details of what I imagine life has in store for her.

This book worked so well for me that it almost lifts up my opinion of earlier books.  Now that I KNOW what all happened it all makes so much more sense.  This story has so much to offer that I almost want to listen to it all over again to truly grasp the morality lessons it delivered.  Like the story, itself states works of fiction teach us empathy and hold up a mirror to our society and allow us to take a good hard look at ourselves.

The themes that I particularly enjoyed in this trilogy are the examples of extremism and fanaticism.  Also of what happens when the church takes over a society.  I almost wish that the author hadn’t solved these problems with magic but it is what it is.  Then there is the whole plot of a utopian society gone wrong that was a pure delight to explore.  The story shows us why you simply can’t run away from problems for they will simply follow you.  Change is a long and hard road with no easy answers to complex issues and can not be had without great sacrifice.

There were a few surprises near the end and a couple of things I would have done differently but overall I was so satisfied when I finished this story that I can’t even fault the story over them.  The last book ended up being my favorite which doesn’t often happen in trilogies.  Sorry that the trilogy is finished but happy that I took the time for it.

My Rating: 5 stars

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Death and the Girl Next Door by Darynda Jones

Book Review

 


Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1)Book Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy,

Book Series: Darklight #1

Released: 10/2/2011 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 274 Price: $9.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed a copy of this audiobook from my library.

Book Synopsis:

Sophomore Year Was Never Supposed to be This Complicated
Ten years ago, Lorelei McAlister’s parents disappeared without a trace, and she is finally beginning to accept the fact that they’re never coming back. Life must go on. She’s got her grandparents and the support of her best friends, and high school is not quite as painful as she thought it would be.
But This is What Happens When You Fall for the Angel of Death.
Until the day the school’s designated loner, Cameron Lusk, begins to stalk her, turning up where she least expects it, standing outside her house in the dark, tough, sexy Jared Kovach – comes to school. Cameron and Jared instantly despise each other, and Lorelei seems to be the reason for their animosity.
Life as She Knows it is About to Change Forever.
What does Jared know about her parents? Why does Cameron tell Jared he can’t have Lorelei? And what will any of them do when Death comes knocking for real? Thrilling, sassy, sexy, and inventive, Death and the Girl Next Door proves Darynda Jones is a force to be reckoned with.

My Review:

I believe I have mentioned a time or two before how I am long over YA books.  I am, however, a huge fan of Darynda Jones.  So when I stumbled across her YA series at my public library I decided to give it a shot.  This trilogy is also narrated by the same actor that narrates her Charley Davidson series so that was another plus.  I needed to wait my turn but over the weekend the first book became available.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started the book as I knew little about the trilogy.  I was hoping for Ms. Jones’s trademark humor and character comradery.  The cover looked to offer a love triangle as well.  If you are a fan of her adult series I believe you will probably like this one, as well, as they are pretty similar, but I’ll get to that in a minute.  The teenage drama is pretty light and the characters don’t actually spend a ton of time in school.  I did make an observation though that the adults in the story seem to let the teens off the hook pretty easily and are far more gullible than must adults would normally be, in my opinion.  The romance and language is very clean so don’t hesitate to let younger readers pick this series up.

The main thing I noticed about this book is how very similar it is to her adult series.  I believe one of the names is the same and the supernatural elements are almost the same as well.    I was surprised to see that this was actually published after the first Charley Davidson series because it feels like a predecessor to that series.  Not a prequel but more like a first attempt, if you know what I mean.  For example, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s first league book Born in Ice was actually written before her first Dark Hunter books and some of the characters in that book feel like first drafts to some of her later characters in the second series.

Regardless of how Death and the Girl Next Door came to be, I liked it.  Not as much as her other series but enough to put book number two on hold.  I’m not quite sure if I want to continue for this world’s potential or to see how it compares to the second series.  I almost wish it was a spin-off from the Charley Davidson series.  I think a YA book about a teenage Charley and Reyes could be a lot of fun or a series about their daughter’s life in the future.

Anyway, again it was a good book and I’m glad I tried it.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs (reread)

Book Review

 


Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, #2)Book Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Mystery

Book Series: Alpha & Omega #2

Released: 8/25/2009 by Ace Books

Pages: 286 Price: $7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either…

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything…

My Review:

This continues to enthral me as I continue with book two in my reread.  For some reason I thought this story was part of Mercy’s series and had been waiting for it as I reread the main series.  Guess I have been blending the plot lines in my memory.

In book two we continue to watch Charles and Anna build their relationship and learn to function as a team.  Lots of pack politics in this story, which I loved, but also a nice amount of romance as the couple grew closer.  We are in Seattle for this story so we have a new PNW playground to explore and lots of new alphas were introduced.  Fae and Vampires continue to be the big bad guys and while I’m fine with the Fae being dark I continue to wish the vampires were not.

The narrator did an excellent job with the different accents of the different foreign alphas visiting and it was fun to hear him switch between them.  Charles’s and Bran’s voice throws me a bit as I heard something quite different in my head.

The next book in this series comes out tomorrow so I hope to get my turn with the next couple books so I can read the new release sooner rather than later!

My Rating: 5 Stars

Envy of Angels by Matt Wallace

Book Review

 


Envy of Angels (Sin du Jour, #1)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Novella

Book Series: Sin du Jour #1

Released: 10/20/2015 by Tor

Pages: 225 Price: $12.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

In New York, eating out can be hell.

Everyone loves a well-catered event, and the supernatural community is no different, but where do demons go to satisfy their culinary cravings?

Welcome to Sin du Jour – where devils on horseback are the clients, not the dish.

My Review:

This series is simply not for me.  Not a fan of the humor used in this book or the gore factor.  It wasn’t a long audiobook so I decided to tough it out but had I been reading I would have put this one down.

There wasn’t a lot that I liked but there isn’t anything I really hated either.  Lots that I found gross, however.  Tons of characters which was alright in audio format because the narrator did a great job with differentiating the voices.  Not a long book which I was thankful for but plenty there to introduce you to the series.  If you are going to give this one I try I do suggest the audiobook.  The actor reading the story did a great job.

My Rating: 2 Stars

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs (Reread)

Book Review

 


Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1)Book Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Mystery

Book Series: Alpha & Omega #1

Released: 7/29/2008 by Ace

Pages: 294 Price: $7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Anna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack… and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer—and son—of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.

Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna’s inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf—a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack.

My Review:

If you are new to this spin-off from the Mercy Thompson series please do not start with this book.  Go and read the Alpha & Omega prequel book because then this one will make much more sense.  The first time I read it I did not and that is probably why I enjoyed it more this time having known what happened in the prequel.

And I did, enjoy it more the second reading or listening that is.   In fact, I had forgotten so much of the story it was almost like I was discovering this series all over again!  A perk of getting old and reading so much, series you once loved can be fresh and new all over again…  Anyway,  I have always liked Charles and Anna more than Mercy and Adam and this reread simply reinforced that opinion.  Mercy’s series is told mainly from Mercy’s POV while Anna’s series you get the opportunity to be in several different character’s heads and learn their background story too.  You also get to experience some scenes from multiple POV which simply enriches the story in my opinion.

This book also reintroduced me to a secondary character that I had forgotten about.  Asil.  I love this character and it was a treat to have him be the focus of much of the this book’s plot.  Then there is Bran who we get to know so much better in this series than Mercy’s.  We finally get to see a bit of what makes him the big bad wolf.

This book captivated me and I found myself staying up well past my bedtime wanting to hear more of what was going on.  I’m a bit disappointed that I need to wait for my turn at the next book but excited that book five comes out next week!  I will probably hold off reading it until I get a chance to reread the next three books, however.

As far as audiobook versus print I have to confess I was a bit upset about the change of narrator.  Took me almost an hour to get used to him but in the end, I think he did a good job.  I’ve listened to the other narrator for quite some time now as she also read the Charley Davidson series that it was a bit of a shock to listen to a male reading the story to me.

My Rating: 5 Stars, raising it one star because I enjoyed it so much more this time.

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs (reread)

Book Review

 


Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, #4)Book Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Mercy Thompson #4

Released: 2/3/2009 by Ace Books

Pages: 287  Price$24.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she’s out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won’t be Mercy’s blood Marsilia is after.

My Review:

Going to have to take another break in rereading of this series as I need to wait my turn for the next book.  Oh sure, I have the next one up on my shelves but I’m enjoying the narrator and want to continue listening to the story.

I am falling back in love with this series!  I remember most of the plot and action but I had forgotten details and knowing what happens next I’m able to pay attention to the development of supporting characters more.  My only frustration with this series is the continued portrayal of vampires.  I wish they were not put in the role Ms. Briggs picked for them.  Stephan is one of my favorite characters and I don’t like how vampires are tainted in this world.

A big development in Adam and Mercy’s relationship in this book much to the chagrin of several pack members.  I know that there will be drama surrounding her place among them in future books.  That is something else that has irked me about the series.  Most of them don’t deserve her.

Met another interesting Fae in this story and my favorite walking stick was back and played a pretty important role in the plot this time.

This was a quick listen I finished it in just under a day and I anxiously wait for the next book!

My Rating: 5 Stars

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Book Review

 


Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery

Book Series: Mercy Thompson #3

Released: 1/2/08 by Ace Books

Pages:  Price: $19.99 Audiobook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape – but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it’s up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.

Mercy’s loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can’t decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her…

My Review:

The first three books of this series feel like an introduction to the other species that share the planet with humans.  Book one focused on the Werewolves, book two the Vampires, and in book three the Fae get their turn.  It is nice that they each get a separate book to explain the rules and particular quirks that make up each race.

In this series, my preference or interest ranks Werewolves, Fae, and then the disappointing vampires.  The way the Fae are portrayed in this series always makes me want to go back and reread some faerie tales from childhood and take a look at the characters with an adult eye.

While Zee wasn’t in this book much I had the feeling like we got a chance to know him far better than in the previous two books.  It was also nice to meet some of the other powerful Fae like the Gray Lords.  We also meet one of my favorite recurring non-human characters, the walking stick.

The love triangle comes to an end in this book and Mercy goes through a brutal ordeal that almost breaks her.  I don’t want to give anything away but there is a scene in the book that might trigger abuse survivors.

While I’m enjoying my reread I’m afraid I have to take a break from the series while I wait for my turn at the next book.  I’m really enjoying this revisiting of series I enjoy and it helps a lot to have such a great narrator.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Book Review

 


Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)Book Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Mercy Thompson #2

Released: 1/30/07

Pages: 292  Price:$19.99 Audiobook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed a copy of this audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.

My Review:

Continuing on with book two of the Mercy Thompson series and still surprised at how much I don’t remember.  I have the major plot lines down but some of the subplots felt completely fresh to me.   I’m afraid I will only be able to do one more book in this series before being forced to take a break as I wait for the next book… Might have to resort to borrowing something new-to-me as I continue to wait for book seven in the Charley Davidson series.

I reread the short review I wrote up when I first read this book and I mentioned how I didn’t care for the vampires in the world being monsters instead of more benevolent.  This continues to be my main issue with the series and book two.  I guess I simply don’t like my vampires being the bad guy.

In this book, Mercy still has three guys vying for her affections.  While I know who she ends up with, actually knew who she would end up with when I read it as it is pretty obvious, I can’t help but feel bad for the two that don’t win her hand.  I like who she ends up with but I also like the other two too.

I forget what happens in the next book but I don’t have to wait long to find out.  All I need to do is end this review and hit play.  So that’s what I’m going to do.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (Reread)

Book Review

 


Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Audiobook

Book Series: Mercy Thompson #1

Released: 1/31/2006 by Ace

Pages: 288 Price: $19.99 Audiobook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed an audiobook copy of this book from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Mercedes Thompson, aka Mercy, is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…

My Review:

The great reread of 2018 continues with another paranormal series I enjoy.  This book is narrated by Lorelei King the same person who narrates the Charley Davidson series and does a great job of bringing these stories to life.

I hit a wall with the Charley Davidson series am on a pretty long wait list for book seven.  Not wanting to give up working on my blanket while I wait I decided to see what other audiobooks series I might enjoy.  I was delighted to see this one is read by the same person and decided to reread the Mercy Thompson series too.  Hopefully, between the two I have enough books to finish my blanket.

Again I was surprised by how much I didn’t remember about how this series started.  Of course, some was familiar but there were parts that were totally new to me.  As with other reread titles I decided to listen to I have also learned just how off I am on names of different characters.

This was a fun title to revisit in audio format and I only have one tiny complaint.  I’m not a fan of the accent that is used for the main vampire character.  It feels a bit too cliché.

My first time reading this book I left kind of lame review so I will try to write some better reviews for the next few books I listen to.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Sixth Grave on the Edge by Darynda Jones (Reread)

Book Review

 


Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson, #6)Book Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Audiobook, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Charley Davidson #6

Released: 5/20/14 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 326  Price: $39.99 Audiobook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Few things in life can come between a grim reaper and her coffee, but the sexy, sultry son of Satan is one of them. Now that Reyes Farrow has asked for her hand, Charley Davidson feels it’s time to learn more about his past, but Reyes is reluctant to open up. When the official FBI file of his childhood abduction lands in her lap, Charley decides to go behind her mysterious beau’s back and conduct her own investigation. Because what could go wrong?

Unfortunately, another case has fallen into her lap—one with dangerous implications. Some very insistent men want Charley to hunt down a witness who is scheduled to testify against their boss, a major player in the local crime syndicate. If Charley doesn’t come up with an address in 48 hours, the people closest to her will start to disappear. 

Add to that a desperate man in search of the soul he lost in a card game, a dogged mother determined to find the ghost of her son, and a beautiful, young Deaf boy haunted by his new ability to see the departed as clearly as he sees the living, and Charley has her hands full. The fact that Reyes has caught on to her latest venture only adds fuel to the inferno that he is. Good thing for Charley she’s used to multi-tasking and always up for a challenge…especially when that challenge comes in the form of Reyes Farrow.

My Review:

I think I enjoyed this book more the second time than I did the first.  In my initial review, I mentioned how there was too many plot thread and being a little overwhelmed by them.  The book was a little tough to follow.  I also mentioned frustration over some of the plot threads that didn’t seem to be going anywhere.  Well now that I have read all the way up to book 12 and know what is going to happen this time I was able to relax and just enjoy the story.  I wasn’t spending all my time looking for clues as to what was going to happen next because I already knew. I also had my first few instances of noticing important plot points that I might have the first time.

At book six we are at the half-way point of the books already released.  Charley and Reyes relationship is developing nicely and a few important characters are still being introduced.  The mystery of who Charley really is and her full potential is still being fed to us at a teasingly slow pace but that is what keeps it interesting.  Of course, I might be just saying that because I know what is going to happen…

I’m still enjoying the reread and have hit a wall in my progress.  I’m 17 in line for one of the two audiobooks available from my library and that means I will have to wait a while to continue.  The standard check out is two weeks so I’m guessing it will be a couple of months before I can continue.  I could just read the next book but I’m really digging listening to this one and want to continue in the audio format.  So I’ll wait… Dammit.  I do have a couple other audiobooks to listen to in the meanwhile and heaven forbid I actually read a print book.

I’m not going to change the rating because I haven’t any of the others, but I am surprised that I enjoyed this book more the second time.

My Rating: 4 Stars