Book: Chloe Neill’s ‘Lucky Break’ – “Because we fear a zombie apocalypse? And we hope they’re colour-blind”

Generally I don’t buy novellas, for some reason short little ebooks that I have to pay a couple of pounds for doesn’t feel like a good deal.

However I am VERY glad that I bought ‘Lucky Break’, it was fun, quirky and was self-contained enough to be satisfying.

It has made me more interested to read book 11 than book 10 did!

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Book: Last Mercy Thompson book that I owned – paste tense is deliberate.

Popping this up before Monday so that I can get the books to the charity shop this weekend.

The Mercy Thompson series started off so well, Mercy was funny and practical – if a little impulsive.

Then she just got dumber as she spent more time around werewolves.

There are currently eight books in the series (at least 11 are planned) and I owned five out of the first six.

  • Moon Called
  • Blood Bound
  • Iron Kissed
  • Bone Crossed
  • Silver Bourne – I didn’t have but did read ages ago from the library
  • River Marked – very cheap charity shop purchase
  • Frost Burned – released in 2013 I have not read
  • Night Broken – released in 2014 I have not read

river marked

Either way I don’t own it to re-read and won’t lose any sleep over this!

I do however have ‘River Marked’ and the plot is Mercy has now married Adam but Adam lets the fae send them camping by a river for their honeymoon.

There are monsters in the river and people are disappearing. Which means Mercy now has to save the day at great personal cost AGAIN.

On the plus side we get to find out that Mercy’ father is Coyote – THE Coyote from the Native American legends. Which is probably how she’s survived her stupid stunts for so long.

I am done with this series, the first book was good but everything that followed either wasn’t a good – too much focus on vampires, or was just stupid.

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Book: Patricia Briggs’ ‘Bone Crossed’ – “One of the oddest things about being grown-up was looking back at something you thought you knew and finding out the truth of it was completely different from what you had always believed”

At the end of book 3 Mercy was raped and some aftermath of this event was depicted.

Book 4 ‘Bone Crossed’ starts at the place book 3 let off – there is actually some scene overlap, and then Mercy goes off charging into another adventure.

At this point my suspension of disbelief got annoyed and stopped playing.

bone crossed

If Mercy really is part of the pack now and really is Adam’s mate then why the BLEEP isn’t anyone protecting her?

Why the BLEEP is everyone saying “ok” to her running out of state pretty much on her own – everyone keeps saying how vampires cant be trusted so Stefan shouldn’t count even if he is ok for a vampire, to investigate a haunting at the house of her old college ‘friend’ who just happens to live in the State where a vampire known as The Monster lives!

Everyone treats Mercy as some sort of supernatural punching bag and it just isn’t fun to read anymore.

The plot is rubbish too, but that is almost by the way compared to my indignation at everyone assuming Mercy will be ok and then blaming her when the sh*t hits the fan!

I remember disliking book 3 but book 4 is just boring and stupid.

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2015 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

Book: Patricia Briggs’ ‘Iron Kissed’ – “It was like being leaned on by a very heavy, warm brick. A sexy brick”

‘Iron Kissed’ is the third book in the Mercy Thompson series and the one that I knew I had issues with.

The issue is largely around my personal feeling that rape is not a valid plot device. I am aware that it is a handy way of putting a female led in peril but it crops up in a fair number of urban fantasy books to the extent that it feels like rape is being trivialised.

With the Mercy Thompson series you can at least say it was foreshadowed so wasn’t a complete surprise, in the first book Moon Called there is heavy implication of something inappropriate and sexual happening to a young teen who is being held hostage and Mercy’s branding of someone as a rapist, in book 2 Blood Bound Mercy concludes the chap she accused of being a rapist probably isn’t but she uses a rape analogy for when a vampire fed from her without consent – I can see why that would feel a potentially appropriate description as it is a bodily violation.

iron kissed

(It is curiously hard to find images of the old UK covers online despite the fact they are far more tasteful than the US covers or the new UK ones)

Which means that is isn’t a huge surprise that book three goes THERE, I dislike the scene but at least Briggs does deal a bit with the aftermath, Mercy isn’t magically expected to pick herself and carry on as normal – except she sort of does.

What I find most disappointing is that the rest of the book is actually interesting, ok so there isn’t much werewolf stuff or shifter stuff but the fae plotline is really interesting and was something that I’d have liked to not associate with rape.

On the plus side, the book does at least make sure the reader will remember to not trust the fae.

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Book: Patricia Briggs’ ‘Moon Called’ – “Dance when the moon sings, and don’t cry about troubles that haven’t yet come”

‘Moon Called’ is the first book in the Mercy Thompson series – as it features werewolves, walkers, fae and vampires there is a lot of background and scene setting contained.

Mercy (Mercedes)  Thompson is a mechanic and can change into a coyote since birth (as oppose to a skin walker who uses a combination of magic an animal skins).

Despite not being a werewolf Mercy knows a lot about them as she was raised in a powerful werewolf pack.

She moved away from the pack but her next-door neighbour is a werewolf Alpha – as this is an Urban Fantasy book naturally he is also rather hot.

moon called

The plot develops slowly but neatly and Mercy’s role in it makes sense, she can hold her own without being too much of a Mary Sue and it is interesting to see how her friendships with a variety of beasties are beneficial without feeling abused.

There isn’t any romance to speak of but groundwork is laid for future books to build on.

It is very clearly a start of  series as there is a lot of telling but there is still a decent amount of action. It is also nice that the bad guy and their motivations aren’t immediately guessable which is lovely.

Some of the minor details that are mentioned as background are really intriguing, for example that the outed fae live on Reservations and the parallels to Native American experiences of such things.

I will say one thing, I much prefer the tasteful grey & black old UK cover to either the US one or the new UK one.

I like this book and have read it several times without wanting to get rid of it yet – which is a novelty!

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Book: Anthology ‘Hex Appeal’ part 3

It was a bit of a struggle but I managed to finish all the stories in ‘Hex Appeal’.

The remaining stories were:

P. N. Elrod’s Outside The Box
Simon R. Green’s How Do You Feel?
Lori Handeland’s There Will Be Demons
Erica Hayes’ Cherry Kisses
Carrie Vaughn’s The Arcane Art of Misdirection

hex appeal

‘Outside the box’ was rather good, it felt like an introduction to a universe – in this case P. N. Elrod’s ‘Vampire Files’ universe. However when I looked at the ‘Vampire Files’ books they were set in 1930s Chicago… whilst ‘Outside The Box’ feels pretty modern.

So despite enjoying the story I am not sure I can actually read anything else by Elrod – which is vexing!

Simon R. Green’s ‘How Do You Feel?’ was odd. An unwilling zombie goes on a quest to find the person ultimately responsible for his murder years before. It is an odd story and doesn’t really make me want to touch anything else by Green – personally I didn’t think urban fantasy involved cars from the future that turn into sex bots.

Lori Handeland’s ‘There Will Be Demons’ made me uncomfortable. The female lead is  set up by multiple people and clearly used sexually, and it bothered me that the reader was meant to be ok about this setting up the wider universe. It features fairies, skinwalkers, dhampires and angels – it was a vaguely interesting premise but it went downhill very very quickly.

Erica Hayes’ ‘Cherry Kisses’ was sleazy and the female lead was not a nice person – at all. It features fairies, vampires and demons, if it hasn’t been for the sleaze it might have been ok.

Carrie Vaughn’s ‘The Arcane Art of Misdirection’ wasn’t even 30 pages long and this was a pity as Odysseus Grant is one of the most interesting characters in the Kitty books.

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Book: Anthology ‘Hex Appeal’ part 2 – “Although that very thought was more shuddersome than a pack of feral zombies invading a tea party”

I am finding the ‘Hex Appeal’ anthology hard going – the initial two stories were readable but I’m having to try increasingly hard.

This week I managed to get through another two short stories:

Rachel Caine’s ‘Holly’s Balm’
Carole Nelson Douglas’ ‘Snow Job’

Caine’s story featured characters that had previously appeared in another anthology (that I haven’t read). Holly is a witch who  can raise the dead and Andy is a witch she brought back from the dead and is now dating…

hex appeal

Basically ‘Holly’s Balm’ felt like a mashup between Caine’s Revivalist series and Kim Harrisons Rachel Morgan series. There is the zombie-loving ick from the former and the wet witch who can’t see the obvious even when it is hitting her in the face from the latter.

I really hope the story wasn’t meant to contain plot twists as every bit of plot was broadcaster loud & clear WAY in advance. I’d read worse stories (more on that in a minute), but I wouldn’t bother reading it again.

Having never heard of Carole Nelson Douglas I went into ‘Snow Job’ with a completely open mind and no preconceptions.

sugar

(Sugar – because people like you just fuel my fire.)

Apparently it is set in the world of Delilah Street – Paranormal Investigator series. There seemed to be lots of references and information dumps that I didn’t understand, probably as I haven’t read any of the series.

Lots of things happened and the writing felt as if it could have been generated by a pop-culture obsessed monkey posting on Twitter whilst on a sugar high. For example:

“Call me one weird sister, but I wasn’t too high on bailing on the Inferno, or its owner. I’ve never been into male sex symbols. I’m not talking about the planet Mars with the provocative little arrow. Blatant onstage booty calls for screaming female fans and profit insult my intelligence. Elvis would have squealed in vain. Justin Timberlake would have to get his screams and squees from some other chick.”

In a short story every word counts and that was a lot of words conveying nothing of value to the story or anything else for that matter

Apparently Douglas has written 60 novels and judging by the quality of this story I feel that she may have managed this feat in one long sugar-fuelled weekend.

So far ‘Hex Appeal’ is on a strong downwards spiral and I’ve got another five stories to get through, I’m praying that it gets easier!

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2015 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content