Review: Strange Angels (Strange Angels #1) by Lil St Crow

In Strange Angels, Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)

Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

I’d had this book on my TBR pile for quite a while. It was definitely something I wanted to read but something else would always catch my eye and I would forget about it for while. Well nothing else did this time.

I liked it right from the off. The tone and the pacing felt just right. I really liked Dru. She’s tough, savvy, and didn’t whine and moan like some lead characters do.

It reminded me of Supernatural, only with a female lead. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with that, I love Supernatural – I then read other Goodread reviews that said the same thing. I took to Graves right away as well, but I can’t believe that he took everything in his stride as well as he did. Dru’s reaction to her dad dying and then coping with the events afterwards were more realistic.

I would have liked more dialogue. This is my first time reading Lil St Crow so I don’t know whether this is just her style, but I felt that the long narration sometimes had me biting at the bit. Don’t get me wrong, I actually did liked the narration. Dru’s voice was great but so much of it in a continuous chunk was a little monotonous at times.

Then things started to go a little airy. Around 60% of the way in, so slightly over the halfway mark, it just kinda started to lose it. The characters started to really annoy me. It was like the Author got to a certain point and thought shit! What now? Then threw everything together no matter how ludicrous it sounded. It was either that or someone else started writing it. I really had to force myself to finish it. I couldn’t believe my quickly my feeling towards this book changed.

It was on it’s way to earning itself 5 stars, but I just totally disconnected from the characters and the story. It saddened me as I was really enjoying it. However, it did kinda settle again right toward the end. I liked it more than I didn’t so I’m definitely going to continue with the series.

Right, time to go empty the dishwasher 😉

Rating: 3/6 – it was ok

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Review: Street Magic (Black London #1) by Caitlin Kittredge

 Her name is Pete Caldecott. She was just sixteen when she met Jack Winter, a gorgeous, larger-than-life  mage who thrilled her with his witchcraft. Then a spirit Jack summoned killed him before Pete’s eyes—or so she thought. Now a detective, Pete is investigating the case of a young girl kidnapped from the streets of London. A tipster’s chilling prediction has led police directly to the child…but when Pete meets the informant, she’s shocked to learn he is none other than Jack. Strung out on heroin, Jack a shadow of his former self.  But he’s able to tell Pete exactly where Bridget’s kidnappers are hiding: in the supernatural shadow-world of the fey.  Even though she’s spent years disavowing the supernatural, Pete follows Jack into the invisible fey underworld, where she hopes to discover the truth about what happened to Bridget—and what happened to Jack on that dark day so long ago

I’d seen a review for this somewhere (most probably Goodreads) and it instantly caught my attention. It sounded dark and gritty, both of which I really love so I kinda had high hopes.

We meet Pete in the middle of a case where children are going missing. It felt like I’d been dumped in the middle of something and didn’t know what the hell was going on, but saying that, that can be a usual thing for me. And although I liked Pete right away I Initially I found the 3rd person narration a little confusing. I don’t normally, but for some reason I did while reading this.

I was disappointed to be honest. Street Magic had everything I like but it never got me excited. There was just something missing that I can’t put my finger on. I don’t know whether it was the fact that Jack was a heroin addict, or that there was no spark between the two, I just don’t know. And I don’t just mean a romantic spark SPOILER (scroll to see) incidentally, I really didn’t understand why she’d offer to die for him. Up to that point it came across as she really didn’t care for him at all END SPOILER. 

I need to mention the swear words. They were so distracting. On one page it would be all Wankstick, demon-buggering gits, then on the next it would be fucking cunts and dickheads. You either commit to swearing or you don’t. The strange mix of hard and soft swear words just sounded stupid. 

Also I never really believed that they were in London. The story could have took place anywhere really. I first thought that it was maybe it was London USA until Big Ben chimed. But I never really felt it but that could be just my predjuice. If I think of London I think dank and dark Jack the ripper London. 

I never connected with Jack and I know it’s not the actual drug theme as I never had a problem with the drug use in the Downside Ghost series. It’s because he’s a heroin addict. It’s just a dirty stanky drug. I think if he’d had an addiction to a fictional drug, or pills, or anything else but heroin I would have felt differently but I just didnt like him because of that drug, and couldn’t take to him on an emotional level. I’ve already said that I liked Pete, and I did at the start but Jesus H Christ what a nag she was. I felt like yelling for her just to stop. She didn’t shut up whinging and moaning and after a while it wore on my nerves a bit. 

I just didn’t become emotionally engaged in the two leads or the story at all. Not at any point of the story did I feel like I knew what the hell was going on, even the magic was confusing and wasn’t very visual. The second half of the book was much better than the first but it wasn’t enough. I will read the 2nd book in the series though. I thought it was okay (I did finish it) but I had issues with it. I’m sorry I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would

Rating: 3/6 – it was okay

Review: Hunted By The Others (H&W Investigations #1) by Jess Haines

Shiarra Waynest’s detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm – if it doesn’t kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York’s most powerful vampires. As soon as Shiarra meets sexy, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend – a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing – and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren’t always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil – whether she likes it or not.

I’ve been in a bit of a slum these past few days, flitting from book to book. I’d read a few pages of one then quickly leave it for another. Then the cover of Hunted by The Others caught my eye on Goodreads, I saw all the good ratings and thought why not. I’m kinda glad I did, at first.

Shianna is a PI, a PI whose business is in trouble and both she and it, are running in the red. Needing money fast she takes a seemingly easy job for a lot of money and bites of way more than she can chew.

I don’t know how I feel about this book. It started off good but slowly turned into Darkfever #2.

The weapon cave made me think of Batman but nowhere near as cool. There was lots of mundane dialogue, no humour and not very exciting. I don’t get why she was so special that everyone wanted a piece of her. I didn’t feel the attraction/spark between her and Royce either.

I quite liked Shianna but I’d like her more if she’d shown some loyalty instead of switching sides so easily. I get the she was struggling with the fact that there wasn’t a side she wanted to be on, but wow a show of fangs/a slight hint of a threat and she was anyones. A pair of balls wouldn’t have gone a miss.

With frequent info dumps, no excitement and a dull protagonist, I not so much struggled to finish this, more that I wasn’t really interest. After taking 3 days to read the first half of the book I finally seemed to settle into it around chapter 19. I still found the plot up to this point a little lame but I knew if I could get past all the setting up of the story/characters I’d start to enjoy it more because the writing was good.

I did hate the fact the belt could ‘talk’ but I guess I’m nic-picking now.

Chaz was boring and I didn’t trust him, in fact I didn’t really care for any of the characters and I guess that was one of the main issues I had with it.

I may get tempted to read the next installment in the hope of it getting better, but I don’t hold out too much hope.

Rating: 3/6 – It Was Okay

Review: Street Magic (Black London #1) by Caitlin Kittredge

 Her name is Pete Caldecott. She was just sixteen when she met Jack Winter, a gorgeous, larger-than-life  mage who thrilled her with his witchcraft. Then a spirit Jack summoned killed him before Pete’s eyes—or so she thought. Now a detective, Pete is investigating the case of a young girl kidnapped from the streets of London. A tipster’s chilling prediction has led police directly to the child…but when Pete meets the informant, she’s shocked to learn he is none other than Jack. Strung out on heroin, Jack a shadow of his former self.  But he’s able to tell Pete exactly where Bridget’s kidnappers are hiding: in the supernatural shadow-world of the fey.  Even though she’s spent years disavowing the supernatural, Pete follows Jack into the invisible fey underworld, where she hopes to discover the truth about what happened to Bridget—and what happened to Jack on that dark day so long ago

I’d seen a review for this somewhere (most probably Goodreads) and it instantly caught my attention. It sounded dark and gritty, both of which I really love so I kinda had high hopes.

We meet Pete in the middle of a case where children are going missing. It felt like I’d been dumped in the middle of something and didn’t know what the hell was going on, but saying that, that can be a usual thing for me. And although I liked Pete right away I Initially I found the 3rd person narration a little confusing. I don’t normally, but for some reason I did while reading this.

I was disappointed to be honest. Street Magic had everything I like but it never got me excited. There was just something missing that I can’t put my finger on. I don’t know whether it was the fact that Jack was a heroin addict, or that there was no spark between the two, I just don’t know. And I don’t just mean a romantic spark SPOILER (scroll to see) incidentally, I really didn’t understand why she’d offer to die for him. Up to that point it came across as she really didn’t care for him at all END SPOILER

I need to mention the swear (cuss) words. They were so distracting. On one page it would be all Wankstick, demon-buggering gits, then on the next it would be fucking cunts and dickheads. You either commit to swearing or you don’t. The strange mix of hard and soft swear words just sounded stupid.

I never really believed that they were in London. The story could have took place anywhere really. I first thought that it was maybe it was London USA until Big Ben chimed. But I never really felt it. But that could be just my predjuice. If I think of London I think dank and dark Jack the ripper London.

I never connected with Jack and I know it’s not the actual drug theme as I never had a problem with the drug use in the Downside Ghost series. It’s because he’s a heroin addict. To me, rightly or wrongly, they are only ever dirty smackheads. It’s just a dirty stanky drug. I think if he’d had an addiction to a made up drug, or pills, or anything else but heroin I would have felt differently but I just didnt like him and couldn’t take to him on an emotional level. I’ve already said that I liked Pete, and I did at the start but Jesus H Christ what a nag she was. I felt like yelling for her just to stop. She didn’t shut up whinging and moaning and after a while it wore on my nerves a bit.

I just didn’t become emotionally engaged in the two leads or the story at all. Not at any point of the story did I feel like I knew what the hell was going on, even the magic was confusing and wasn’t very visual. The second half of the book was much better than the first but it wasn’t enough. I will read the 2nd book in the series though. I thought it was okay (I did finish it) but I had issues with it. I’m sorry I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would.

Rating: 3/6 – it was okay

Review: The Demon Trapper’s Daughter by Jana Oliver

Description (from Goodreads)

Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper, Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps.  The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood.  And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers’ Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?

I love the cover of this book.  The synopsis was good as well so it went straight on my TBR list, where it stayed for a good few weeks. It wasn’t until I’d flew through the first 3 books of  The Hollows series that I thought it best to stop, take a breath, and read something else before I devoured the rest of the series.

The POV confused me at first so it took me a while to get the gist of what was what. The story is told in 3rd person, with the pov switching from Riley to Beck throughout.

The inner dialogue wasn’t needed and made my eyes roll. Worst of all it was scattered throughout the whole book. A look or a sigh could have conveyed the same message but in a less obvious way. It was just so cheesy.

I found Riley a little whiny and too emotional at the start (before her dad died), but she wasn’t annoying enough to irritate me… at first (I’m pretending the conversation with her reflection didn’t happen).

I wish I knew why Riley was so pissed off at Beck. Okay, she’d had a crush on him that wasn’t reciprocated, but I’d have thought she’d be more likely to be embarrassed about it than angry. If I knew why maybe I’d have some sympathy but as it was the constant attitude towards him got on my nerves a little.

I skim read the funeral. I don’t care for them (funerals) unless it’s for a character I actually care about. Paul B may be a great man but I met him only briefly and devoting the first 30% of the book to him, and his funeral, was a bit much. I almost gave up but I kept reminding myself that I can dislike a beginning of a book before growing to love it. So onwards I read, hoping for the best.

I really don’t know what to say. I can’t not mention simon and his smooth talking. Really?! Where did he pull that line from? Who said romance was dead?!

It got a bit juvenile towards the end, but it is what it is. I knew that going in but Riley acts 13 not 17. The plot is simple and predictable, and the characters are very two dimensional, especially Riley. Simon is wet behind the ears. I had no clue what Riley ever saw in him. Beck was the only character that seemed to be a little more fleshed out than the others, but not by much. The action, when there was some, was lacklustre at best, and the main plot was lame, and I can’t believe it ended where it did. I think half of the problem is that the Demons are not scary, like not at all.

I wouldn’t read it again and I doubt I’ll read the next instalment when that comes out, but I’ve read worse. If I could I’d give it 2.5 out of 6 I would, but I’m not going there with the half points -maybe I should though, sometimes lately they feel warranted.

I kinda wish I felt more strongly about this book, either way, but I don’t. It was dull, readable but dull. Even though Nightwalker was Rubbish and frustrating like hell, at least I felt something. Not so with this one. I’m sad, I LOVED the cover.

Rating: 3/6 – It Was Okay

Review: Wild Rain (Leopards #2) by Christine Feehan

Humm. There isn’t a description as such on Goodreads. I guess even they had trouble trying to describe what happens in this book. I’ll try… A woman on a aid mission in a rain forest fakes her own death. She is attacked by a leopard after finding a deserted hut. However it is not deserted. She is helped by the owner of the hut. Things get sensual… No, I wont give up my day job 🙂

Straight away I knew I liked this slightly more than the first book in this series, The Awakening. Although the quantity of different names in the first 2 pages felt like a roll call. But when a breast presses against a chest on the 2nd page I had to groan. I have to admit, though, it did surprise me a little. Yes it has more story than the novella, but only just. It held slightly more promise at the beginning but then slipped and I got bored. I began getting annoyed that I’d started reading it at the weekend when I could’ve been reading something worthwhile, so I stopped with the attention of picking it back up at some point later that week.

6 months later… I was sick of seeing it sitting, or rather lying, on my bedside table, so decided it was finally time to finish it. It wasn’t too bad. The story wasn’t great, it was a slow first half, actually it was all slow. Slow and sensual. Rachael was a quite whiny. She’d constantly refuse to talk about some things in her past when Rio was for the most part, open with her.

The lack plot wasn’t too annoying, but the one thing that irritated me the most was the constant repetition of their names; Rachael, Rio, Rachael, Rio. Rio? Rachael? Rio! Rachael? UGH! SHUT UP! People don’t talk like that.

Random thought; a mango. Really?!

Apart from a couple of instances most of the story centres around Rio’s hut/house in a rainforest and nothing much happens at all. Like AT ALL.

It was boring as hell but I could read it. Not like Nightwalker, or The Turning, where the writing/character development was so bad that I had to stop reading before I tore my hair out, because Wild Rain has no character development, or plot for that matter. But at least I’ve learnt something useful; sensual = boring. If I read sensual in a books description I’ll know not to read it 🙂

Rating: 3/6 – It Was Okay (boring but okay)

Review: Torment by Lauren Kate

Description (from Goodreads)

Hell on earth. That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts – immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students -Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something – something dangerous. What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else? The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.

I’m not going to lie, my hopes where high for this book. Even though I knew it was going to be different from its predecessor due to the ‘mystery’ being solved. I just hoped that it wouldn’t lose it’s edge.

It did. It lost everything that made me like it in the first place. I didn’t like Luce for most of this book. She was annoyingly brat-like. All she did was moan and whine and she just did too many things unexpectedly. I didn’t get her. I didn’t understand her motivations. I tried I really did.

I never really bought into Cam in Fallen, but it was Daniel who I felt let me down the most here. There didn’t seem to be anything left of him that I liked. He seemed as desperate and as needy as Cam had been in book 1. Luce’s friendship with Callie seemed pointless as well. We didn’t ‘know’ who Callie was, we hadn’t ‘met’ her so why have Luce talking about her all the time. Miles and Shelby were annoying replacements for those at sword and cross. Miles was annoying, and Shelby, well she was just dull.

I started to struggle halfway through. I was bored but then Luce fenced. It wasn’t a spectacular fight scene but it was enough to suck me back in -It really helped that one of my twitter friends encouraged me to keep going for the twist at the end, so I began reading with more interest. It was slightly better second half than first, but I was not impressed with the ending; how Luce-like. It didn’t feel like the end of a book, it felt more like an end to chapter. I feel that the story could have been told in half the amount of pages it actually took. In fact, torment and passion should have been one book. I’ll still read passion. I have to, I’m already 2 books in and Daniel has to redeem himself, because seriously, he so didn’t drop to the ground and bury his head in the grass, did he?

Rating:  3/4 – It Was Okay

Review: Stormwalker by Allyson James

I’d just finished Archangel’s Consort and was looking through my To-Read List trying to decide which book to go for next. Then one of the con’s of having a To-Read List/Pile bit me on the ass; I always forget how a book ends up on the list or what caught my attention about it in the first place. I managed to whittle my choice down the 3. Darkfever, Stormwalker, and Fallen. Finally settling on Stormwalker.

I loved the cover and I think it was that which ultimately made up my mind for me.

Janet is half Navajo (fathers side), and more importantly, a Stormwalker. She is able to draw magic from a storm. We are placed immediately into the action as Janet battles with a Skinwalker (no not the loveable Jane Yellowrock!). Calling on a nearby storm to aid her she wins the fight, which she suffers for afterwards. It’s an impressive start, and one I don’t instantly dislike! We learn straight away that like Allie Beckstrom, Janet has parent issues, but it’s Mother issues this time. By chapter 2 we’ve also met Nash, an annoying Unbeliever who has it in for Janet right from the off.

As much as I thought the first half of this was an enjoyable, easy read, there were elements that stopped me from enjoying it too much; I didn’t like the flashback style at all, surely this information could have been slipped in some other way? I also really disliked the original meeting between Janet and Mick. It didn’t do anything to make me like the characters, in fact I think I liked them less after reading it. I started losing interest around chapter 11 but thankfully it picked up again around chapter 15, but by then I’d stopped caring. I had to force myself to keep reading, and to be truthful I skim-read the rest.

All the way through it just felt as if I was being told a story. I don’t like being told, I want to see. I couldn’t connect with the characters at all. I was slightly disappointed after what was a promising first couple of chapters.

Saying all that, it was okay. The beginning and the end were better than the middle which kinda dragged. I didn’t really dislike it I just stopped caring. The action towards the end was good but I don’t know whether or not I’d read the next book, Firewalker. I have it already on my kindle. I most probably will at some point seeing as I have it already.

Rating: 3/6 – It Was Okay