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Karissa Eckert

Devourer of all books fantasy

Member Since 2012

94
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 97 reviews
  • 212 ratings
  • 486 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2015
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12

  • Friday Night Bites: Chicagoland Vampires, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Chloe Neill
    • Narrated By Cynthia Holloway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1262)
    Performance
    (994)
    Story
    (1006)

    "Vampires in Chicago! You'd think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, 10 months later, we're enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite - fending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross- and stake-wielding slayers. Don't get me wrong. Joe Public isn't exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they haven't stormed the castle...yet."

    Karissa Eckert says: "Fun and entertaining read, love the narrator"
    "Fun and entertaining read, love the narrator"
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    Story

    This is the second book in the Chicagoland Vampires series. The sixth book, Biting Cold, will release in August 2012. Right now the author has 10 books on contract for this series. I enjoyed this book. This series has just been so fun and entertaining. I listened to this on audiobook, which I highly recommend, it was a very well done.

    Merit is trying to finally get settled as Sentinel of Cadogan House, she's moving into the house and getting into a routine with the other Guards of the house. That is until Ethan needs her services elsewhere. Ethan has heard rumors that someone has leaked a story about vampire raves to the press and Ethan wants Merit to stop it. Then they find the Selena has been released from custody in Europe and is most likely on her way to shake things up. In an effort to make contact with the movers and shakers in Chicago Ethan asks Merit to do the one thing she vowed never to do again, reenter the elite social scene that plagued her childhood.

    Merit is your typical urban fantasy heroine in some ways but not others. She has unusual powers, she is in the middle of a love triangle of sorts, and she is surrounded by supernatural power figures. The thing that sets Merit apart from other UF heroines is that to unravel the mystery throughout this story she uses something else entirely...her brain and her research skills. It was refreshing to see an urban fantasy heroine that is valued for her intelligence and actually thinks through the consequences of her actions. Don't forget that Merit is also funny, snarky, and wonderful at sarcasm.

    Merit has also discovered that she is different from other vamps and this leads towards some interesting plot elements towards the end of the story.

    Ethan, who was kind of stick in the mud in the first book, becomes a much more well developed character in this novel. Ethan actually has a sense of humor at points and even shows some vulnerability throughout the story. He is mostly still a mystery but we are starting to get some hint of who he really is.

    We don't see a ton of Morgan in this book, he is definitely in the story but when he is he comes across as jealous and angry most of the time. This story focuses much more on Ethan. Mallory is also absent for much of the story; she's gone off to be trained in magic stuff. I missed Mallory and Merit exchanging witty dialogue, but Ethan was there to spice things up a bit.

    One thing that absolutely irritated me about this book is that Neill sticks to a lot of the same description words throughout. Almost every guy Merit meets is just "so pretty". Seriously there are more pretty guys in this book than any other book I have ever read. The other thing is raised eyebrows; there is a whole dialogue of raised/quirked/lifted eyebrows in this book. I have never before read a book where eyebrows are involved so much in body language.... Okay I just had to get that out, now I feel better.

    Overall this is a very fun and entertaining read. Merit does a lot of learning in this book and is as entertaining and snarky as in the first book. Merit is dealing with a lot in this book she is under emotional stress and under pressure to solve the mystery behind the rave stories. Ethan is the other big character in this book; we finally get to meet him and learn more about him. There is a great mystery woven throughout the story and it was hard to put the book down. This is a very entertaining read and fans of vampire urban fantasy will find a lot here to love. I would also recommend if you like the Night Huntress series; this series reminds a lot of that one but this series has less romance and more mystery.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Spellbound: Book II of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4734)
    Performance
    (4385)
    Story
    (4382)

    Dark fantasy goes hardboiled in Book II of the hard-hitting Grimnoir Chronicles by the New York Times best-selling creator of Monster Hunter International. The Grimnoir Society’s mission is to protect people with magic, and they’ve done so—successfully and in secret—since the mysterious arrival of the Power in the 1850s, but when a magical assassin makes an attempt on the life of President Franklin Roosevelt, the crime is pinned on the Grimnoir.

    Paulette says: "Spellbound is Pure Magic"
    "Wonderful continuation of this high octane series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second book in the Grimnoir series and was a great continuation of this alternate history series with loads of action and magic. I enjoyed this book a lot more than 1st one in the series.

    I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. The narrator does an excellent job with having distinct voices for different characters and portrays emotion well. My only complaint is that some of the voices are very deep and it is hard to hear them when you are driving because of background noise.

    When a magical assassin (an Active) makes an assassination attempt on President Roosevelt all Actives are blamed, in particular the Grimnoir Society. All of the member of the Grimnoir become wanted men/women and are forced to hide. However then Jake Sullivan receives a call from a man beyond the grave. The call is a warning that the Power was fleeing something huge and evil and that something is about to arrive on Earth.

    I really enjoyed this book a lot. The characters are interesting and well done and the magic system is unique. I love the idea of the Power and the parasitic relationship it has with humanity.

    There is excellent world building here; the whole story is set in an alternate version of 1920’s America. The setting is made more real by quotes from newspapers and articles at the beginning of each chapter that highlight how different this alternate history is from the one we know.

    There is a lot of action in this book as well and a lot of Correia’s standard “gun talk”. I continue to really enjoy how Correia has strong female and male characters. He does a good job balancing the roles for both female and male characters.

    Overall this was an incredibly fun and interesting read. I love the characters, the world, the unique magic system, the high-octane action, and the complex plot. I really look forward to reading the third and final book in this series. I would definitely recommend this series to those who enough action-packed urban fantasy or alternate histories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Snow Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Hans Christian Andersen
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    Overall
    (5823)
    Performance
    (5107)
    Story
    (5154)

    This classic tale is a fantastical fable of two dear friends - one of whom goes astray and is literally lost to the north woods, while the other undertakes an epic journey to rescue him. This charming, strange, and wonderful story is a timeless allegory about growing up and the challenges of staying true to one's self, and it served as the wintry inspiration for the blockbuster hit Frozen.

    Sara says: "Strange & Fascinating"
    "Well done reading of the original Snow Queen tale."
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    I got this audiobook for free as part of Audible’s Christmas giveaway. I had never actually listened to the original tale of The Snow Queen and ended up enjoying it quite a bit.

    When a nasty gremlin takes an evil mirror into the heavens it shatters into a million pieces. One of the pieces, small as a grain of sand, falls into the eye of a young boy. The young boy grows cruel and is eventually snared by the Snow Queen. Meanwhile his best friend Gerta goes on a magical quest to find and save the young boy.

    This was a well done reading of this Hans Christian Anderson tale. The narrator does a wonderful job with voices and narration and it was a joy to listen to.

    I have read a number of Snow Queen retellings, but have never read the original tale. It was interesting to finally read the source for all of those retellings. There is a lot of magic and adventure in this tale and I think it is something readers of all ages will enjoy.

    Overall this was a short, yet very well done listen. I would recommend if you are interested in listening to the original tale of The Snow Queen. If you are interesting in reading a wonderful retelling of The Snow Queen I would recommend Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu or Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tiger's Quest: Tiger's Curse, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Colleen Houck
    • Narrated By Annika Boras
    Overall
    (455)
    Performance
    (398)
    Story
    (402)

    Back in Oregon, Kelsey tries to pick up the pieces of her life and push aside her feelings for Ren. But danger lurks around the corner, forcing her to return to India where she embarks on a second quest--this time with Ren's dark, bad-boy brother Kishan, who has also fallen prey to the Tiger's Curse. Fraught with danger, spellbinding dreams, and choices of the heart, Tiger's Quest brings the trio one step closer to breaking the spell that binds them.

    Arwen says: "Compelling Story!"
    "Slower than the first book but excellent narration"
    Overall
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    Story

    This is the 2nd book in the Tiger’s Curse series. This is expected to be a five book series but a release date for the 5th book, The Tiger’s Dream, has yet to be announced. I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the The Tiger’s Curse. It starts out a lot slower and just wasn’t as exciting.

    I listened to this on audiobook and it was very well done. The narrator does a wonderful job with all of the different accents and making character voices very distinct. She also did a great job conveying emotion as she was narrating. I really really think the narration of this series is excellent.

    Kelsey is back in Oregon trying to get back to her old life. She’s started college classes and is living on her own. However her thoughts constantly return to Ren. When the evil mage from the first book tracks her down she flees back to India. There her and Ren’s brother, Kishan, continue on the quest to break the curse.

    This book started out quite a bit slower than the first book of this series. There is a lot of Kelsey bemoaning the fact that she left Ren behind and trying to get past that by dating three guys at once. We hear a ton about her dating misfortunes and about how no one can compare to Ren. It was incredibly boring.

    About halfway through, the story really picked up pace and was exciting again. For the second half of the book it is Kishan and Kelsey trying to figure out the next part of the curse. I really enjoyed these parts with all the adventure, traps, and riddles. Pretty much those elements of the story are the reason I keep reading this series.

    I really enjoyed Kelsey’s level-headed behavior in the first book. I don’t know what happened to that in this book; she makes a lot of dumb decisions and is completely dense where Ren is concerned.

    Kishan is in the story a ton and, although he is an okay character, I just didn’t like him that much. He spends a lot of time mooning after Kelsey even though Kelsey is obviously in love with his brother Ren. I think the whole scenario makes Kishan kind of an icky character.

    There is a “twist” at the end involving Ren that you could see coming a mile away. It was soooooo predictable. I rolled my eyes and sighed when it happened. I mean seriously it is one of the lamest plot devices ever and I was really disappointed that that was the direction that Huock decided to take the story.

    Despite all my complaints I do really enjoy the adventuring, the tomb-raiding, and the interesting curse. I love the mythology throughout as well. I just felt like the story was very unevenly paced and parts were outright boring. This book could have used some serious editing.

    Although I didn't like this book as much as the first book there were parts that I did enjoy. I would recommend to those who enjoy young adult reads that include adventure and mythology; just be warned there is a bit of teen angsting in here...especially in the beginning that drags the story down some. Even give that I will continue to read this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ruby Circle: A Bloodlines Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Richelle Mead
    • Narrated By Emily Shaffer, Alden Ford
    Overall
    (637)
    Performance
    (538)
    Story
    (538)

    When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world.

    Vanessa Dyson says: "Disappointed with this book"
    "Ties up the series nicely."
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    This was the final book in the Bloodlines series by Mead. It ties everything up very nicely and I enjoyed it. You definitely need to read previous books in this series to understand what is happening in this one.

    I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobooks for this series have been very well done. They have a narrator for Sydney and a narrator for Adrian; both narrators do an amazing job.

    Sydney and Adrian are still being forced to hide out in the Moroi court in order to avoid the wrath of the Alchemists. However they are both desperate to find Jill as well. When Sydney gets a mysterious note her and Adrian hatch a plan for her to leave court to check it out. Meanwhile at court Adrian is trying to help track down Olive, a dhampir who went missing, and is having to use Spirit to do so. As both mysteries are unraveled the results are very unexpected.

    This book does an excellent job of tying up the majority of the loose ends in this series. There is another storyline involving Olive that wasn’t fully resolved, I am guessing this will be the subject of a future spin-off series.

    I really enjoyed how Sydney and Adrian have both grown as characters throughout the series. Sydney is becoming more and more powerful in her human magic and has learned to accept help from others. Adrian still makes mistakes, but he is learning to better temper his Spirit use.

    I always have a bit of trouble reviewing final books in a series. This one is pretty much what you would expect. Nothing crazy happens, I think in general the ending will please most of the readers of this series. I enjoyed some of the new magic we got to see and loved watching Adrian wield Spirit in new and unexpected ways.

    Overall this was a great ending to this series. I think fans of the Bloodlines series will enjoy it. I would definitely recommend this whole series to those who enjoy young adult paranormal books with magic and romance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bound by Flames: Night Prince, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jeaniene Frost
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1303)
    Performance
    (1183)
    Story
    (1181)

    Leila's years on the carnie circuit were certainly an education. What she didn't learn: how to be a vampire, or how to be married to the most famous vampire of them all. Adjusting to both has Leila teetering on a knife edge between passion and peril, and now the real danger is about to begin...

    Hassan says: "Fantastic!!"
    "This series just gets worse and worse"
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    This is the third book in the Night Prince series, an offshoot from the Night Huntress series that features Vlad and Leila. There were so many things wrong with this book. Additionally, although this story wraps up the Szilagyi storyline, it starts a whole new storyline. So, this is definitely not the last book in the series.

    I listened to this on audiobook and the narrator gives Leila a somewhat shrill voice (which is nothing compared to the voice she gives Leila's sister...whenever her sister Gretchen talks my ears actually hurt). This didn’t add to my enjoyment of this book. A lot of the Romanian males also sound very similar as well. This is the same narrator that did the Night Huntress novels, but in this book she just isn’t as good.

    Leila and her family are still in hiding from Vlad’s greatest enemy, Szilagyi. Until they can finally hunt Szilagyi down and destroy him none of them will be safe.

    Yep, the above is about the extent of this storyline, not much more to it than that. Oh wait, I should mention that Leila gets kidnapped...again. Is anyone surprised?

    Although I have always enjoyed Vlad as a character, I have really never liked Leila. She just seems so overly dramatic, whiny, incredibly ditsy and annoying (her electricity power is cool though).

    I was happy to see that Vlad and Leila do grow in their relationship some. However, I did feel like Vlad was a domineering jerk still and that Leila was way too accepting. Also Leila’s angst over her actions while she was held captive (yes she is kidnapped yet again because that is the only storyline that works for this series I guess) was absolutely ridiculous.

    I had huge issues with things like the one I mentioned in my update on Goodreads. For example potential rape is portrayed as being more devastating than actually being skinned alive. I agree rape is awful...even being threatened with rape is awful, but being skinned alive will kill you (okay maybe not if you are a vampire)...but as far as torture goes I feel like they are kind of on different scales. I also had problems with a scene involving Leila, Maximus, and duct tape; way too much time was spent on this scene, there is just too much detail, and I just didn't care all that much...seriously this was like a 40 minute scene in the audiobook.

    All in all I thought most of this book was more campy than interesting or engaging. Some of the scenes are just so over the top. The dialogue between the characters also came off as awkward, stilted, and just plain ridiculous at times.

    Overall this was an awful book. I understand I am in the minority here...but come on...nothing about this book was good. The storyline was similar to all the other storylines in this series, the characters were annoying, and the plot pretty much wasn’t there. To be fair I didn't really like the second book in this series either. I just read this one because it was supposed to wrap up the series...which it did not do. I definitely won't be reading any more books in this series. I would personally recommend skipping the whole Night Prince series. The Night Huntress series was great, the Night Prince series was a great idea that has been poorly executed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tiger's Curse

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Colleen Houck
    • Narrated By Annika Boras, Sanjiv Jahveri
    Overall
    (738)
    Performance
    (643)
    Story
    (643)

    The last thing teenager Kelsey Hayes thought she'd be doing over the summer was meeting Ren, a mysterious white tiger and cursed Indian prince! When she learns she alone can break the Tiger's curse, Kelsey's life is turned upside-down. The unlikely duo journeys halfway around the world to piece together an Indian prophecy, find a way to free the man trapped by a centuries-old spell, and discover the path to their true destiny.

    F. DesBouillons says: "Great Book!!!"
    "Wonderful book full of mythology and adventure!"
    Overall
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    This is the first book in The Tiger Saga. There are currently four books in this series, with a fifth book (The Tiger’s Dream) planned to release in 2015 sometime (although it seems like this book has been pushed back quite a few times). I have had this book forever to read. I was actually surprised at how much I loved this book. The Indian mythology incorporated throughout the story is very cool and something I haven’t read much about before. I also loved the tomb-raider style adventures.

    I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very very well done. The narrator does an excellent job with the accents of different characters, adds a lot of emotion to the characters’ voices, and had very distinctive voices for all of the characters. This is definitely a series I can recommend listening to on audiobook if you love audiobooks.

    Kelsey is looking for a temporary summer job and finds one at a circus helping to care for the animals there. This is how she meets Ren, a white tiger in the circus who seems lonely. Ren and Kelsey strike up a tiger/human friendship of sorts. Then to Kelsey’s surprise a man shows up to buy Ren and asks if Kelsey would be willing to accompany Ren back to India to a wildlife reserve. This is when things get strange. Kelsey finds out that Ren is really a young man cursed to be a tiger and he needs her help breaking a 300 year old Indian curse.

    I was impressed with Kelsey as a character and really enjoyed reading about her. She was so level-headed and took things in stride so easily. She is smart and practical and very mature for her age. I did have a bit of problem with the whole “Oh, sure I’ll fly off to India and go on tomb-raider quest, no problem!” thing. I thought it was a bit improbable especially considering how practical Kelsey is in other areas of her life, but once I got past that I really enjoyed the story.

    Ren was a wonderful character and the romance between him and Kelsey is very well done. I will admit I wanted to smack the two of them at points. But they have great chemistry together and are dealing with some very unique relationship issues. I really enjoyed that Kelsey had a great relationship with Ren the tiger, but that is was a lot different from her relationship with Ren the man. That totally makes sense and I love that Kelsey and Ren the man had to have time to get to know and like each other as well.

    There is a lot of wonderful tomb-raider style adventure in here which I absolutely loved. The traps and trials that Kelsey and Ren had to go through were very interesting, exciting, and creative (and definitely things I am happy I will never have to do).

    I also really loved the Indian mythology woven throughout the story. This is a mythology I don’t know a lot about, so it was very cool to read about it in this book.

    Overall I really loved this book to pieces. It’s definitely a well done young adult fantasy, with a number of elements I really enjoyed. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. This is a young adult book I think adults will enjoy too. There is a lot of adventure and mythology and mystery, as well as some romance and fantasy elements. Definitely recommended; I wish I had read this sooner!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Legion: Skin Deep

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2123)
    Performance
    (1917)
    Story
    (1920)

    As the new story begins, Leeds and his "aspects" are hired by I3 (Innovative Information Incorporated) to recover a corpse stolen from the local morgue. But there's a catch. The corpse is that of a pioneer in the field of experimental biotechnology, a man whose work concerned the use of the human body as a massive storage device. He may have embedded something in the cells of his now dead body. And that something might be dangerous.

    B. says: "A Pleasure"
    "Another wonderfully creative novella by Sanderson"
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    I got this as a free audiobook from Audible.com. This the sequel to Sanderson’s book Legion. This was an interesting and engaging book. It follows a different investigation and story than Legion did, but uses some of the same characters as we saw in Legion. I enjoyed the story.

    I listened to this on audiobook and it was narrated by the same narrator as the Monster Hunter International books (which honestly confused me a bit at first, I thought I was listening to an MHI book). The narrator does an excellent job and I really enjoyed this as an audiobook.

    Stephen Leeds is a genius who has packed knowledge into other people or Aspects. He can summon these aspects to obtain the knowledge he needs in certain situations. Leeds is hired by I3 to recover a missing corpse. The corpse is not just any corpse though, it is a scientist who has modified his cells to hold information. It’s a very valuable corpse and potentially a dangerous one, a side effect of this potentially viral genetic modification is that people lose parts of their DNA and develop cancer.

    This was an investigative thriller with some paranormal elements. It was a well done and engaging story. You get a lot of story for the short length of the book.

    I love the idea of someone having multiple aspects or people that are only visible to them. I love how Leeds uses these aspects to hold his vast repository of knowledge but still has to treat them like normal people. So, for example they need a place to sleep and need to be transported places, etc. If Leeds aspects aren’t with him he can’t access the knowledge they hold.

    We get a little more insight into how Leeds’ aspects work in this book, but there are still a lot of questions around that. We also get to meet some new aspects.

    Overall this was a well done paranormal thriller. Leeds is a fascinating character and solves an engaging mystery in this book. The Legion series is very different from anything else Sanderson writes. And, although I don’t like these books as much as his fantasy novels, it is a very well done and engaging series. I would recommend both to Sanderson fans and to fans of paranormal thrillers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (6961)
    Performance
    (6331)
    Story
    (6348)

    Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someoneto go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

    Clinton says: "Not what I thought it was going to be."
    "Action packed alternate history with magic"
    Overall
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    I am a huge fan of Correia’s Monster Hunter International (MHI) series. I have been wanting to read the Grimnoir Chronicles for some time and just finally got around to it. This book is more of a paranormal alternate history of sorts than a horror. It was really well done, but I still enjoy the MHI series a bit more.

    I listened to this on audiobook and the narrator did a great job with having distinctive voices for all of the characters and portraying their emotion well. I did have a couple problems with the narration. The narrator talks really really slow; so I ended up listening to this at 1.5x on Audible. Also a couple voices for the characters (primarily Jake Sullivan’s voice) are really really low in tone; this made it very hard to understand what Jake was saying. I listen to these while driving and I really had to crank up the volume to hear these low toned voices over the background road noise...and then the other parts were way too loud. So I might recommend skipping this on audiobook unless you are going to listen to it in a quiet area.

    Jake Sullivan is finally out of prison on a deal. He needs to help the government solve a certain number of crimes involving magic before he is let go on a shortened sentence. Jake himself is a magic user or active and can control gravity and density aka a “Heavy”. During one of his government jobs he finds out that one of the Actives he’s hunting down is an old flame of his and he just can’t believe she would kill people. He’s troubled by this and when the government renegs on their deal with him Jake is pretty pissed. That’s when he gets an offer to join a secret Organization called the Grimnoir who is in an eternal struggle with the Chairman. The Chairman is an evil entity set on destroying the world as we know it.

    This book, like many books being release now, is a mish mash of a whole bunch of genres. There’s a ton of action and gun talk which is very typical of Correia’s book. There are also a lot of superhero elements to the story since all of the characters have very superhero-like abilities. There’s a bit of a gangster feel to the whole story as well. Additionally there are some paranormal aspects with the whole magic thing and the Chairman. There’s also a lot of adventure and some steampunk elements (dirigibles, experimental medicine, etc) and the story is very much of the alternate history variety.

    There was a lot I really loved in this book. I loved the idea of magic abilities that are founded in principles that bend science (manipulating mass, gravity, density of objects). I really loved some of the characters as well. Faye is a lot of fun as a character; she is a teen that is a Traveler and can travel through space. She is so happy go lucky and funny and so darn strong; she is a hoot to read about. I also really enjoyed Delilah, she is a petite women who is a Brute and can pretty much muscle anything or anyone into submission. I also really enjoyed the mysterious and evil Chairman; he is a wonderfully complex villain.

    There were also some things I didn’t like about the book. I never really enjoyed Jake as a character; he was just so serious and he reminded me a lot of Owen Pitt from MHI. He’s super big, super smart but always underestimated because of his size, and has a special connection to magical powers (all characteristics very similar to Owen). I just never really clicked with him and didn’t really enjoy his parts of the story. I also thought the story was a bit predictable. There were some twists and turns in here, but I kind of saw where everything was going from pretty early on.

    Overall this was a very well done action packed alternate history/fantasy from Correai. I would definitely recommend, although I will admit I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the MHI books. I did really enjoyed the magic system in this book and all of the action. There are some awesome character in here as well. I will definitely continue reading the sereis. Recommended to those who enjoy action packed alternate history with fantasy and magic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Clockwork Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Dru Pagliassotti
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (55)

    Taya soars over Ondinium on metal wings. She is an icarus - a courier privileged to travel freely across the city’s sectors and mingle indiscriminately among its castes. But even she can’t outfly the web of terrorism, loyalty, murder, and intrigue that snares her after a daring mid-air rescue.

    Eivind says: "Steampunk detecive romance"
    "Wonderful steampunk fantasy mystery!"
    Overall
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    This is the first book in the Clockwork Heart trilogy by Pagliassotti. I have had this book in my to read pile for a very long time and was excited to finally get around to reading it. It was a very enjoyable steampunk fantasy with a lot of mystery and some romance.

    I listened to this on audiobook and it was well done. The narrator did an excellent job of conveying emotion and I enjoyed her voice. There were a few spots where it was hard to tell who was talking (the voices just weren’t different enough between characters) but aside from that I enjoyed listening to this.

    Taya is an Icarus, she wears giant metal wings and flies messages around the great city of Ondinium. Her life changes when she spots a failing in the wire ferry lines and ends up rescuing a woman and child from the Exalted caste of citizens. In an effort to thank her the Exalted draws Taya into her life and Taya gains a celebrity-like status. Suddenly Taya finds herself not only embroiled in high level politics but also trying to solve a mystery involving murder and theft.

    I really enjoyed this steampunk mystery. There are some wonderful steampunk elements in the story, the characters are engaging and interesting, and the world-building is well done. There is a complex caste system that was well described. I also really loved the city of Ondinium and how is has multiple layers and runs off of analytical engines.

    The book is mostly a mystery. Taya is following a series of accidents and coincidences to try and figure out what is going on. There is a bit of a romance as well, but I didn't really feel like this book was a romance per-say (not sure why it is advertised as such).

    Taya is an awesome character. She is curious and determined but never gets too serious. She doesn’t know when to stop and constantly runs herself into the ground trying to solve problems.

    I also really enjoyed the character of Cristoff. He is an Exalted that left the caste to become a clockmaker among the lower caste. He is such a noble, honest, and geeky type that I just loved him.

    This was an engaging read that I enjoyed. My only complaint would be that the story went a bit long, I think it would have worked better if it had ended earlier. There is some humor in here as well, which was fun.

    I also have a very specific complaint as a chemist. At one point the character smells an ammonia-like smell and identifies it as methanol...totally not accurate. Methanol smells a lot like rubbing alcohol and absolutely nothing like ammonia. I know...I know a small quibble but it bugged me.

    Overall this was a great book and I really enjoyed it. This book had some fantastic world-building, lots of fun steampunk elements, and very engaging characters. It is mostly a mystery with a bit of romance. I would recommend to fans of steampunk novels that involve a lot of political intrigue. I definitely plan on reading the last two books in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stormwalker: Stormwalker Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Allyson James
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (198)
    Story
    (203)

    Half-Navajo Janet Begay possesses extraordinary power that is tied to the storms that waft across the desert. The only person who can control her when she's caught in the storm's evocative power is Mick, a dark-haired, blue-eyed biker Janet can't seem to touch with her powers. He can wield fire and not get burned, and Janet's never sure where he goes when they're not together.

    Vicki says: "Gods, Goddesses and Harleys"
    "Messy writing with an obnoxious heroine"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first book in the Stormwalker series. The fifth book in that series will be titled, Dreamwalker, and is expected to release in June 2015. This was an action packed paranormal romance with a story that was incredibly flawed.

    I listened to this on audiobook and it was okay. It was nothing spectacular but the narrator did a decent job distinguishing between character voices.

    Janet Begay is a Stormwalker whose mother is a Goddess from Beneath. Janet moves back to her hometown to face her mother once and for all and to investigate the disappearance of a young woman. Right after her arrival things start to get tricky. Janet is being attacked by Skinwalkers and her ex-boyfriend (the mysterious Mick) shows up to help. Janet hasn’t seen Mick in five years but is still drawn to him. Together they try and track down the missing woman, all the while dodging evil attacks from Janet’s mother.

    I was intrigued by the idea of a character, Janet, who can harness the power of storms. The idea ended up being cooler than what was actually done in this book. I actually struggled to finish this book, it was just so ridiculous. Considering I was listening to this as an audiobook while I languished in traffic, that’s saying something...I hardly ever stop reading an audiobook.

    There were a lot of problems with this story and a lot of things I didn't enjoy about the story. My main issue was the relationship between Mick and Janet, which left a lot to be desired. Pretty much if they have any problems they just have sex and then everything is good until they have problems again. So silly.

    Sex is a huge part of this book, Janet is pretty much obsessed with sex. Which I don’t have a problem with...except the sex scenes were very poorly done. They are boring and not at all creative. I feel like if you are going to make a book that features sex, you should be able to write about it in a way that is engaging.

    Even sillier is the part where Mick tells Janet that he's not sleeping with her again until she decides that she really wants Mick in her life...then...you guessed it...a couple chapters later they get pissed at each other and have sex. Huge eye roll here.

    When Mick reveals his big secret Janet gets all whiny and immature about it all. I swear she acted like a two year old throwing a tantrum. I mean is she seriously that blind that she didn’t see something was going on with Mick? I understand she is pissed about the secret thing, however she is the one who lets this guy walk all over her without ever questioning his motives. In general Janet's character is extremely immature and makes a lot of bad decisions throughout the book. I hate dumb heroines.

    There was some good action scenes in here and the fight scenes are decently done. However, there were also a lot of parts where things don't quite make sense or are over-explained. There is some awkward dialogue as well.

    Overall this was a paranormal romance (PNR) that epitomizes a lot of things I hate about poorly done PNR. There is an abusive relationship (that is pushed as being a loving one), a stupid and dense heroine, lots of sex that is poorly done, and an underdeveloped world. The book does have a bit of an urban fantasy feel to it because there is a lot of action, but there is also a lot of relationship drama and sex that reminded me more of a PNR. I pretty much detested this book and won't be reading any more of this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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