Where BLACK WIDOW excels is going far beyond my expectations of a Elemental Assassin book. The series has felt repetitive at times though I keep coming back for me as I adore Gin and every other character that crosses paths with her good guy or bad. What BLACK WIDOW has done is take a series I’ve become comfortable with in regards to how the plot is going to go and flip it on its head. There is a game changer at the end of this book that I adore and can’t wait to see in the next book. Future expectations aside this book is excellent in its forward momentum towards that game changer moment.
I’M DREAMING OF AN UNDEAD CHRISTMAS lives up to its billing as a prequel novella to THE DANGERS OF DATING A REBOUND VAMPIRE. Unfortunately, I must have missed that part before I read it, and as such, was expecting a complete romance story, like the other novellas in the Half Moon Hollow series.
One of the best things about GUNPOWDER ALCHEMY is the fact that the worldbuilding takes place in China during the Qing Dinasty. I so rarely read books predominately set in Asia so it was refreshing to see steampunk mixed in with Chinese customs and history. I enjoyed seeing some of that culture play a role in the fast paced plot such as the
A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU by Claudia Gray is a charming, romantic adventure across multiple universes, though as with many fantastical stories built on a vague, pseudo-scientific premise, the souffle falls if you poke at it. As long as you’re the type of reader who can ignore inconsistencies in the rules of made-up technologies, Marguerite’s dance between dimensions in pursuit of revenge, love, and loss should spark your imagination.
HER LONE WOLF is a fun, suspenseful paranormal romance that leans heavily towards the thriller genre. There are government conspiracies and elaborate chase scenes with a tight plot and tons of twists and turns.
Romantic police procedurals are a television staple, and The Naturals series brings this winning dynamic to young adult fiction. The teens making up this crime solving team fairly leap off the page, young and sexy and gifted.
If you missed Sophronia Temminick’s Finishing School adventures as much as I did, you’ll love Gail Carriger’s latest trip to Madamoiselle Geraldine’s and the lessons in proper spycraft within the pages of WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY. The wider supernatural world closes in on Sophronia and her friends as the werewolf drama that sets the events of Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series into motion happens while the ladies are learning the art of the bladed fan. With her friend Sidheag personally affected by pack dynamics, Sophronia has no choice but to get involved herself. It’s always a delight to go back to school with Carriger, though, like Sophronia’s first outing, WAISTCOATS & WEAPONRY feels more like a stepping stone in a larger story than its own novel.
THE LAST CHANGELING by Chelsea Pitcher is Ordinary People-meets-Maleficent – and if that sounds like a strange combination, that’s because it is. Almost all of the information given in the blurb on the back of the book is actually kept from the reader for more than a hundred pages, and Elora’s motives for attending a human high school are extremely vague. Instead of a faerie war, we mostly get Taylor’s still-fresh grief over losing his younger brother and the torment of his high school. Elora’s ‘otherness’ (not to mention otherworldly beauty) gives Taylor something to focus on aside from his family’s pain, but it’s a long time before the reader gets to know her endgame.
OTHERWORLD NIGHTS was a nice compilation of short stories of Women of the Otherworld, that were part of various other anthologies over the years with a new Savannah story at the end. Going back and re-reading these stories felt very comforting and familiar since I’ve been reading Kelley Armstrong’s stories for so long.
DEADLY PURSUIT is an excellent paranormal science fiction adventure. The world building is inspired with shifters of various sorts, vampires, aliens, living under two powerful sources; The Collective (a large government agency) run by an immortal elite and the Church of Everlasting Life. I love the idea of having all of our familiar paranormal