A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Book Review

 


A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2)Book Genre: Science Fiction 

Book Series: Wayfarers #2

Released: 3/14/17 by Harper Voyager

Pages: 364 Price$16.99

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers)

Source: I borrowed a copy of this book from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Embark on an exciting, adventurous, and dangerous journey through the galaxy with the motley crew of the spaceship Wayfarer in this fun and heart-warming space opera—the sequel to the acclaimed The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet.
Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in a new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who’s determined to help her learn and grow.
Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.

My Review:

This book was way different from the first in its series.  If you happen to pick this book up not knowing it was second in a series you will be fine reading this as a stand-alone or even out of order.  Not much is going to be spoiled from the first book, only one plot point.  I highly recommend going back and reading the first book as it is also an excellent story.

I almost enjoyed this story as much as the first, just a tad less and am unsure if it is even enough to deduct a star or not.  Maybe I’ll know by the end of the review.  Like I said this story was structured differently from the first.  The story revolves around two points of view instead of multiple and shifted back and forth in time.  We follow Lovey as she adjusts to a life that didn’t go as planned and her struggle to find purpose.  We also learn how Pepper’s back story and some startling revelations as to what has become of humanity among the stars.  Have to say it was a bit disappointing…  Not going to go into more to avoid spoilers.  Pepper struggled with much of the same issues as Lovey only from an organic existence instead of an artificial one.

The book also delves into the question of what makes us human and what defines self-awareness and artificial intelligence which probably isn’t too far off from being an issue in our world.   Soon we will be needing to answer questions as to what rights AI will have and if a machine can be alive and have a sense of self.  Interesting ideas to ponder.

While the first two books in this series had a different feeling to them they both share a lot of heart.  I felt for these characters like I did the first crew.   Both stories tackle interesting issues and gave my brain something to chew over for a while.  I see that there will be a third book in this series and I look forward to reading it as well because this is a talented author that delivers a thought-provoking and entertaining story.

My Rating: 5 Stars

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The Gunslinger by Stephen King

Book Review

 


The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1)Book Genre: Fantasy, Western, Post Apocalyptic, Adventure

Book Series: The Dark Tower #1

Released: 6/10/1982 by NAL

Pages: 231 Price: $20.00 paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger

Source: I borrowed this book from my library

 

 

Book Synopsis:

In The Gunslinger (originally published in 1982), King introduces his most enigmatic hero, Roland Deschain of Gilead, the Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting, solitary figure at first, on a mysterious quest through a desolate world that eerily mirrors our own. Pursuing the man in black, an evil being who can bring the dead back to life, Roland is a good man who seems to leave nothing but death in his wake.
This new edition of The Gunslinger has been revised and expanded throughout by King, with new story material, in addition to a new introduction and foreword. It also includes four full-color illustrations in the hardcover and trade paperback formats.

My Review:

This my second reading of this book. The first time took place in January of 1991 when I was in high school.  How do I know this? Because I wrote the dates I finished each section in the table of contents of my book which is currently being read by my husband.  All through middle and high school I read everything I could get my hands on written by Stephen King.  Partially because it was a way to rebel, another because these were books my deceased mother had read, and because I enjoyed how pieces or clues to this epic series would be found hidden within other stories he wrote.  I have long since broken up with the author but still, I hang onto the main books in this series in case I ever wanted to revisit them.

My husband and I recently went to see the movie loosely based on the books and my husband enjoyed it so much he decided to read the first book.  Not wanting to pass up an opportunity to read the same book he was I decided to check this one out from the library and read it too.  I was also curious to see if I would feel the same about this epic fantasy that I once did.  I was obsessed with this series, after all, it was time to see if I still was.

I wasn’t.  I can see why my younger self was so enamored by the story but my 26 years older self found a lot lacking.  Younger Amy fell hard for the epic good vs evil the magic and the mysticism.  She wanted a story to get lost within something to sink her teeth into.  Older Amy knows how this story plays out and isn’t interested in taking this journey twice.  Ironic when you think about how the last book ended.  My older reading self comes to this story with more experience and was able to see the flaws of this story.  It wasn’t awful but I’ve read better where my 17-year-old self most likely hadn’t.

Basically, I’ve moved on much like the world Roland inhabits.  There were a time and place for this series in my life and it was 26 years ago.  This is one I am fully able and willing to let go because after reading this book for the second time I will not be rereading the rest. The book was a bit slow-paced for me and near the end, I kept thinking I should just put it down. But I finished it and now the husband and I can discuss it over lunch sometime.  I didn’t care for the characters much, Roland was alright and Jake was just annoying.  The man in black was probably the most interesting which surprised me.  If they ever make a second movie I’ll probably go see it but quite frankly I don’t think that is going to happen.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Blood Song by Anthony Ryan

Book Review

 


Blood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1)Book Genre: Epic Fantasy

Book Series: Raven’s Shadow #1

Released: 1/22/2012 by Anthony Ryan

Pages: 591  Price: $18.00 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book:  Blood Song (A Raven’s Shadow Novel)

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

“The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm.”

Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.

Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the unified realm. Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright and dropped at the doorstep of the Sixth Order like a foundling knows no bounds. He cherishes the memory of his mother, and what he will come to learn of her at the Order will confound him. His father, too, has motives that Vaelin will come to understand. But one truth overpowers all the rest: Vaelin Al Sorna is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the realm, but the world.

My Review:

Needed an audio book the other day and decided to give this one a try.  It had been sitting on my wishlist for a while and none of the other titles available looked interesting.  Not remembering much about it I started it almost two weeks ago while doing chores.  It was quite good and managed to scratch a reading itch I’ve been having to try something different.  As I drew closer to its due date I found myself heading up to bed each nice to listen as I played puzzle games on my phone.  Unfortunately, the first book is the only audio version available through my library.  If I want to continue the story I will either have to suck it up and read them or inter-library loan them…

If I had to compare this book to other’s I’ve read I would have to say this was most similar to Game of Thrones.  Both are an epic fantasy set in similar medieval worlds.  Both feature plenty of magic and politics dusted heavily with plenty of religious dogma.  Of course, this one has way fewer dragons, none actually.  But if your favorite parts of AGOT revolve around drama at the wall then this just might be the book for you, set in a much warmer climate, however.

Other stories I thought of while reading this was Harry Potter, only more violent, and Throne of Glass.  The story was well written and kept me focused on listening instead of what ever task I was attempting to do at the same time.  I quickly added the next two books to my to-read list but near the end, the story started to drag on and I thought I might part ways with it after the first book.  Then there was that last chapter…. Isn’t that the way it always goes.

The last chapter took us several years into the future and showed us a shiny important puzzle piece and now I think I need to see what happens next.  Oh, sure there are some problems with the story.  The main character fell victim to being a bit too perfect at everything he attempted to be realistic.  I wanted more to develop of the hardly dealt with slow burn love story and then there is the whole business with the father that didn’t get any resolution for being the main motivator of the main character.  I guess I will just have to make time for that next book to find out if any of these points are resolved there.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore

Book Review

 


Reincarnation BluesBook Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Humor

Book Series: N/A

Released: 8/22/17 by Del Rey Books

Pages: 384 Price: $27.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads,

Buy the Book: Amazon  Reincarnation Blues: A Novel

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

A magically inspiring tale of a man who is reincarnated through many lifetimes so that he can be with his one true love: Death herself.

What if you could live forever—but without your one true love? Reincarnation Blues is the story of a man who has been reincarnated nearly 10,000 times, in search of the secret to immortality so that he can be with his beloved, the incarnation of Death. Neil Gaiman meets Kurt Vonnegut in this darkly whimsical, hilariously profound, and wildly imaginative comedy of the secrets of life and love. Transporting us from ancient India to outer space to Renaissance Italy to the present day, is a journey through time, space, and the human heart.

My Review:

I absolutely loved this book.  Completely.  I actually believe in reincarnation, much like what was described in this book.  My belief is that we come back to Earth time and time again in order to experience every part of humanity and evolve as a soul.  I also believe we plan each life, to some extent, in order to reach our goals so while this is a great story of human nature and love there was also the added bonus, for me, that so much of the plot fed into my belief system of life and death and reincarnation.  Score!

Okay putting that aside for those of you who don’t share my beliefs this is still an amazingly good book.  The story is entertaining, the characters not taking themselves too seriously, willing to poke fun at themselves.  They were also full of depth, complex and unique.  Some of their quirks had me laughing but the author also knew how to set the fun aside and get serious for a chapter or two.  There were such profound moments in this book that it made my heart wrench for the characters.  The author did an excellent job of showing the human race for what we are, blemishes and all.  He also showed us the potential for what we could become, though.  That in each of us we have the potential to do great things and some pretty crappy things too.  Of course, then there is karma which will get us in the end and rewards us for our actions be them good or bad.

The synopsis leads one to believe this is a story about love and it is but it is also so much more.  I would have to say that the love plot line almost took a back burner for me.  Oh sure I wanted to see those two crazy kids get together and have their H.E.A (e standing for eternity here) but it isn’t what kept me engaged in the story.  The observations on humanity are what kept me turning the page.  The jumping back and forth in time, done well by the way and not confusing at all, to observe how the human race evolved over time and how one small act can ripple through out time and change the course of humanity for years to come.

This is simply a great read done by a talented author who can weave a complex and fresh story that not only entertains but makes one stop and think for a moment.  It is one of those books that I’m better for having read it and you will be too.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Dragonmark by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Book Review

 


Dragonmark (Dark-Hunter, #26; Dragons Rising, #1; Lords of Avalon, #5)Book Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Book Series: Dark-Hunter Universe #27

Released: 8/2/2016 by St. Marin’s Press

Pages: 344 Price: $14.99 e-book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Dragonmark: A Dark-Hunter Novel (Dark-Hunter Novels)

Source: I own a copy of this book

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Centuries ago, Illarion was betrayed– a dragon made human against his will, then forced to serve humanity as a dragonmount in their army, and to fight for them in barbaric wars, even while he hated everything about them. Enslaved and separated from everyone he knew and from his own dragon brothers, he was forced into exile in a fey realm where he lost the only thing he ever really loved.

Now he has a chance to regain what’s been lost— to have the one thing he covets most. But only if he gives up his brothers and forsakes the oaths he holds most dear. Yet what terrifies him most isn’t the cost his happiness might incur, it’s the fact that there is just enough human in his dragon’s heart that he might actually be willing to pay it and betray everything and everyone– to see the entire world burn…

My Review:

I have put off reading this book for an entire year.  I purchased it the week, if not day, it released but needed to finish a review book or two before diving in.  Then I saw the reviews on Goodreads… A lot of one and two-star ratings.  Crap.  This is my favorite author and my favorite series and it looked like and a lot of people were not happy with the book.  I don’t actually read reviews ahead of time but I do take a poll of star ratings.  I didn’t know exactly what people were complaining about but I knew they were not happy. So I decided to put the book off. I almost picked it up several times over the year but the ratings always held me back, I didn’t want to be disappointed.

A year passed and the next book in the series hit the shelves and I once again picked it up release week and decided I had put off this title long enough.  I dove in not knowing what I would find.

I get it now.  I get why all the low ratings. I also agree with the reason behind them and while I’m not going to go as far as leaving one or two stars I am going to deduct two stars because quite frankly I’m disappointed too.  Ms. Kenyon, I love you.  You are my favorite author but you are so much better than this.

The problem with the book, in case you don’t know is that only about one-third of it is a new plot.  Two-thirds of it is pulled directly from the previous books.  I would have to go back and double-check but it didn’t feel like it was even updated and parts of this story were not told from Illarion’s point of view and Edilyn disappears completely for much of the book.  Now I understand that these three book’s action takes place at the same time but there had to be a better way to handle this. How about some interesting new perspective? Or we get a glimpse of what is happening elsewhere in the universe in those moments?  I know you can’t rewrite a scene that has already taken place but instead of plotting with past characters how about a peek at what is going on with Edilyn?  I’ve noticed that this rehashing of storyline is becoming pretty common in Kenyon’s other series The League. It almost makes me wonder if it is time for the author to take a break and pursue other projects for a couple of years and then come back.

For the one-third of fresh storyline, it was amazing and everything I love about Ms. Kenyon.  lllarion and Edilyn were great characters that got jipped from having their story be the focus of their book.  I loved how they came together and when they were separated it broke my heart.  When the book brought us back to their plot I cheered to see how they ended up together.  I sincerely wish we had more time with these two they had such integrity and honor that they deserved better.  Most likely we will get more of their tale.  I think that Edilyn’s brother who plays a “bad” guy in this book might end up redeemed in his own book it is something this author loves to do.

While disappointed this doesn’t turn me off of the series I’m in it for the long haul.  I just hope the next book is better or at least more focused on the main characters.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Kato by D.B. Reynolds

Book Review

 


Kato (Stone Warriors, #2)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Stone Warriors #2

Released: 6/23/17 by ImaJinn Books

Pages: 250  Price: $15.95 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon The Stone Warriors: Kato: The Stone Warriors, Book 2

Source: I received a copy from the publisher for an honest review

 

 

Book Synopsis:

It was a time when gods walked the earth, when armies fought not for bits of land, but for the very existence of humanity. On such a battlefield, five formidable warriors stood against an evil greater than any the earth had ever seen. But evil is not an honorable foe. Betrayed by someone they trusted, the warriors were cursed, one by one, tossed into the maelstrom of time, imprisoned in stone, their freedom resting on nearly impossible conditions. Until…

Kato Amadi…born of darkest sorcery, unstoppable on the battlefield, his magic is as deadly as his blade. But not even magic could save him from vicious betrayal. Trapped for millennia in darkness and silence, he is freed at last, only to find himself in the middle of a battle against the very beasts of hell he was created to destroy.

Grace Van Allen is a scholar of ancient languages who toils in the dim recesses of a museum basement with only a beautiful stone warrior to keep her company. But when Grace calls upon her silent warrior to help her translate an obscure new language, she breaks the ancient curse holding him prisoner…and frees three deadly demons to rampage through her city.

Tracking demons is what Kato was born to do, but he’ll need Grace’s help. And when they discover that Kato’s enemy is still alive and still plotting against him, their hunt takes a dangerous turn, one that might just prove fatal for both of them…

My Review:

This is the second book in this spin-off series from and set in The Vampires of America series.  The first book blew my mind and I questioned which series I enjoy more.  I’m going to have to go with a tie.  They are both enjoyable fast paced action read with a lot of steam.  This book didn’t work for me as well as Damian’s story did but that could be just my current life drama.

The second book is Kato and Grace’s story.  Kato is all kinds of yummy but Grace didn’t win me over until the end of the story.  It wasn’t until she started giving Nick such a hard time that I fell for her.  It that was my favorite part of the entire ending actually.  Also the source of my only disappointment in the story.  I so wanted Nick to have to deal with Grace’s attitude face to face after the plot climax.  The story didn’t work out that way, however, but maybe in the next book she can continue to give him a hard time. Nick so needs to be knocked down a peg or two.

Beyond the unresolved Nick/Grace drama there does feel like a couple of other plot threads were left unfinished or perhaps I simply wanted more…  Of course, it is a series and there are plenty of books to come so we might see some threads carry over to future books.

The addition of another paranormal species was fascinating and I wonder if they will be developed in later books. All the pages and talking about guns got to me a bit in the plot but it is to be expected from this author as it is a common theme in her stories.  But it obviously didn’t bother me enough to stop reading nor will it stop me from reading future books. It was an interesting addition to this world. If you enjoy The Vampires of America series then you will not want to miss this spin-off series!

My Rating:4 Stars

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Book Review

 


Ready Player OneBook Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Audiobook

Book Series: N/A

Released: 8/16/11 by Crown Publishers

Pages: 374 Price: $26.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Ready Player One: A Novel

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

 

 

Book Synopsis:

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

My Review:

Wow, I really enjoyed this book!  Totally surprised me because I ended up DNFing this author’s second book Armada.  That one I found just annoying and a bit boring with all the insider info geared towards gamers.  This book, on the other hand, was a delight and a fun nostalgic trip to all things pop culture from the 80’s, the decade I spent most of my pre-teen and teens in.

I totally agree with another reviewer in that Wil Wheaton made this book for me!  Listening to him narrate this story was such a trip, especially when the story referenced him and anything Trek.  Being that this story is about a group of players searching for the ultimate Easter Egg inside a game to have so much of the story is essentially one giant Easter Egg was amazing. At almost every turn there was some pop reference that made me smile.

But that isn’t all that Ready Player One is about, oh no, there is much more to be had in this tale.  There is also a great social commentary on where our society might be headed if we don’t change our ways.  We get a glimpse at what might await us if we don’t start taking climate change seriously or stop rampant corporate greed.  I also enjoyed the ideas about where technology might be headed that the author proposed.

The last leg of this story focused on a small band of misfits struggling to fit in, in this world.  Outcasts that live their lives mainly online and struggle with social interactions.  Not to mention a budding romance that was beyond sweet.  The characters, like in any epic tale, are true heroes out to fight for the greater good.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book.  I’m not sure I would have felt the same way if I had read it myself though.  Wil Wheaton’s inflection and talent as an actor added that something extra that bumped this story up an entire star for me.  So if you have the option I would definitely listen to this one.

My Rating: 5 Stars

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Book Review

 


Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)Book Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Kate Daniels #1

Released: 4/1/2007 by Ace

Pages: 260  Price: $7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Magic Bites

Source: I borrowed the audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren’t for the magic…

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…

My Review:

No, just no.  This book was not for me.  I like my supernatural/paranormal creatures to be the ‘good guys’, not monsters and especially not creepy monsters.  I am also not into this whole zombie or necromancer theme.  This book reminded me a lot of the Anita Blake series and while I stuck that one out for like five books this is where I leave this world.  I know it will not work for me no matter how long I stick it out.

I know that this is a popular series with many of you so please no hate mail but I just don’t get the appeal.  I don’t mind gritty but this was disturbing in places near the end.  I actually ended up DNFing the book but am counting it since I listened to all but an hour of it.  I just didn’t care and the plot kept getting increasingly more twisted and dark.  So I decided to tap out.

The main character also rubbed me the wrong way.  I just couldn’t get behind her in the plot.  She was too self-deprecating at times which I find super annoying.  One of my bookish turn offs is characters that don’t like themselves. She also felt like she had a chip on her shoulder much of the time.   I will tolerate it for a few books usually but throw in the creepy factor on top and I’m done.

If you are a fan of the Anita Blake series than this one will probably be right up your alley.  For me there just isn’t anything I enjoyed enough to finish the first book or bring me back for another.

My Rating:1 Star

Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here by Christine Warren

Book Review

 


Prince Charming Doesn't Live Here (The Others #3)Book Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Audiobook, 

Book Series: The Others #3

Released: 11/2/10

Pages:368  Price: $7.99 by St. Martin’s Press

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here (The Others, Book 3)

Source: I borrowed this audiobook from my library.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Danice Carter is not one for glass slippers. A stilettos-wearing lawyer at one of Manhattan’s most elite establishments, Danice has a very strong grip on reality. So when she’s asked by one the firm’s founding partners to take on a personal case, Danice knows she’s in for the opportunity of a lifetime. All she has to do is convince her top boss’s granddaughter, Rosemary, to file a paternity suit. Sounds simple enough…until Danice arrives at Rosemary’s home and is pounced on by a handsome stranger.

Private investigator McIntyre Callahan’s was only following his powerful client’s orders: Find Rosemary—at all costs. Instead, he’s found a super-hot lawyer prowling around looking for answers he can’t give. The half-human, half-Fae Mac tries to warn Danice that she’s way in over her head—that Rosemary may roam among The Others, and may have dangerous ties to the Unseelie Court—but she won’t be deterred. Even if that means following Mac to the ends of the earth to find Rosemary… or surrendering to his supernatural powers of temptation… until death do they part.

My Review:

I think I’m done.  This is the last book offered through my library in audio format but beyond that, I’m done with series.  It just isn’t working for me and it is time to move on. I have about an hour left to listen to in this book and I don’t even want to finish it.

Most of my problem with this book in the series has to do with that the plot revolves around the Fae.  I’ve never been a fan of the Fae in paranormal stories.  Most of the time they tend to be shallow, easily offended, and only out for themselves.  None of these characteristics describe a race of beings that I want to spend any time with.  Essentially they are the mean girls of the paranormal world.  The plot was also pretty weak and the point I’m at currently makes me want to smack all the characters and tell them to grow up.  Danice needs to get over herself.  Mac is just not all that charismatic and the granddaughter is a spoiled brat.  Ugh.  Why am I listening to this?

I’m just not thrilled with this world.  It focuses too much on the sex and too little on the plot.  So I’m done.

My Rating:1 Star

Black Wings by Christina Henry

Book Review

 


Black Wings (Black Wings, #1)Book Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Black Wings #1

Released: 11/30/2010 by Ace

Pages: 295 Price: $7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Buy the Book: Amazon Black Wings (Black Wings, Book 1)

Source: I own a copy of this book

 

 

Book Synopsis:

As an Agent of Death, Madeline Black is responsible for escorting the souls of the dearly departed to the afterlife. It’s a 24/7 job with a lousy benefits package.

Maddy’s position may come with magical powers and an impressive wingspan, but it doesn’t pay the bills. And then there are her infuriating boss, tenant woes, and a cranky, popcorn-loving gargoyle to contend with.

Things start looking up, though, when tall, dark, and handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in Maddy’s building. It’s probably just a coincidence that as soon as he moves in demons appear on the front lawn. But when an unholy monster is unleashed upon the streets of Chicago, Maddy discovers powers she never knew she possessed. Powers linked to a family legacy of tarnished halos.

Powers that place her directly between the light of Heaven and the fires of Hell…

My Review:

I’m not going to lie, this book was a bit of a disappointment for me.  I so wanted to find a new series set in Chicago with a kick-ass heroine and had hoped that this series would fit the bill.  Sadly it did not.  It started off good but about halfway through it started falling out of favor with me.  Let’s explore why.

To begin with, I don’t think there was enough character or world building or perhaps I just didn’t care for how it was delivered.  I struggled to connect with the lead character or her potential romantic interest.  The character that worked best for me was the popcorn-loving gargoyle and we didn’t see nearly enough of him in the second half of the book.

Then there were the rules of this world.  Way too many of them and the lead character is constantly breaking them without even knowing what they are.  Now I know she is as new to her father’s society but common every single thing she does.  It got tiresome.  I also did not care for most of the characters we came across in her father’s world and wanted her to tell them off and kick them out of her life.  This book could have been so much more interesting if the plot centered more around her job than her being sucked into this new society.  It just felt flat after she met him.

After finishing this book I did go and read the short stories (.6, 1.5, & 1.6) found on the author’s website.  .6 was alright but didn’t really contribute much in the terms of character development or world building, feel free to skip it. 1.5 I DNF if that tells you anything and 1.6 was actually pretty good.  1.6 is what saved this series and is keeping me around for at least one more book.  A character introduced at the end of this book plays a major part in that story and gives me hope that if he has more page time the series could take a turn for the better.

So, I will be sticking around for one more book but if things don’t vastly improve I’m going to move on to greener reading pastures.

My Rating:2 Stars