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: Grave Witch (Alex Craft #1) by Kalayna Price

As a grave witch, Alex Craft can speak to the dead-she’s even on good terms with Death himself. As a consultant for the police, she’s seen a lot of dark magic, but nothing has prepared her for her latest case. When she’s raising a “shade” involved in a high profile murder, it attacks her, and then someone makes an attempt on her life. Someone really doesn’t want her to know what the dead have to say, and she’ll have to work with mysterious homicide detective Falin Andrews to figure out why.

I saw this book a while ago on a book blog or Goodreads, I forget which and I managed to picked it up a few weeks ago. It was the cover that caught my eye originally but the story also sounded really interesting so I didn’t wait too long before starting it.

Alex is a grave witch. She can raise and speak to the dead but she goes near blind afterwards. I really liked that using her grave sight had a price -I not sure why I like the fact that she became vulnerable, but I did. She isn’t stupid and that is a big plus for me. There’s nothing I dislike more than an annoyingly stupid heroine (coughMacfromDarkfevercough). Okay she rushes ahead sometimes and that can get her into trouble, but you can see why she couldn’t wait around so it’s easy to let that go.

Death (a sole collector only Alex seems to be able to see), and Falin (a police detective) are the two love interests and I liked them both. I felt that Death could have played a bigger part in the whole scheme of things than he did but because there was a lot more of Falin, it was him I felt I ‘knew’ better so was rooting for him throughout.

It was very easy to get into and the writing was really good. Alex is a rounded character and very likable. Death was cool but Falin was sexy.

I couldn’t put it down. I really, really enjoyed it.

A great start to a promising series.

Rating: 5/6 – Really liked it

Review: The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1) by Amanda Stevens

My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.

It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims—lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

I’d been looking forward to reading this after seeing the cover a few times on various book blogs (I can’t actually remember where). I love the cover and it sounded really interesting. The concept of a cemetery restorer really intrigued me.I hoped it wouldn’t let me down like The Demon Trapper’s Daughter and it didn’t 🙂 from the first sentence to the last, I was hooked.

It’s really well written, and the characters felt real. I liked Amelia and took to her right away, but even though I liked Devlin, I didn’t really feel connected to him like I did with Amelia. I can’t wait to see what happens between them.

It didn’t seem like I was reading an urban fantasy book. It reminded me somewhat of a Dan Brown novel; the symbolism, secret societies, intrigue and suspense, and with an interesting but non sexual relationship.

I liked it even though it wasn’t what I was expecting to read. I will definitely read the next book in the series, The Kindom, which is expected to be released some time in October.

Rating: 4/6 – I Liked It

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