I have to admit that after the last book I debated if I should continue the series or not. I had some complaints about how one of my favorite characters, Atticus, was lacking in character development and although the stories are great...I wanted more! Well, b*****s, I got it in Hunted! To me character development is critical in a series.
Hearne wraps up a lot of loose ends in Hunted. With high action and the array of characters I have come to expect, I was entertained and captivated. Taking it a step further Hearne still leaves the ending open for more adventures that I cannot wait to explore. If you are a fan of this series, I don't think you will be disappointed! Hearne takes us on a more emotional ride than previous book in this series and I might have even got a little misty in the eyes at one point.
Granuaile begins to take on a much bigger role in Hunted and I enjoyed the feminine feel her personality added to the mix - a touch of diversity in the Iron Druid Chronicles as a whole. As a fantasy and/or urban fantasy Hunted doesn't miss its mark.
This audio book is brilliant. Luke Daniels knocks it out of the park and makes listening to Hunted a complete joy. With so many difficult pronunciations of different names listening to them spill effortlessly from Daniels takes the story to another level.
Web of Lies is the second installment in Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series. You can check out my review of the first book in the series, Spider’s Bite HERE. Web of Lies continues the story of Gin Blanco aka The Spider. She might have just retired, but will she lay down while others get hurt?
Estep weaved not only a great story, but an ongoing fantastic back story for this series. The Elemental Assassin series is one that I cannot put down! No joke, the MINUTE I finished Web of Lies I went right to Audible.com and purchased the next installment, Venom. And because I believe in 100% full disclosure I will admit that I am already on chapter 20 something.
Web of Lies lets us view deeper into who the person Gin is and how she got to where she is now. I really enjoyed learning more of her back story and history. It is a dark and beautiful background to a dark and beautiful character. That being said, the overall feel Spider’s Bite and Web of Lies has not been dark. Instead it feels like a spectacular story of good vs evil. Even if the good is disguised as a sarcastic retired assassin. I fucking love it.
The sarcasm Gin emits has a slightly different tone than many strong lead female characters. I feel this has something to do with her absolute acceptance of who she is. She does not want to be a little cream puff. She is proud of who she is and what she has. Gin’s acceptance of herself is a huge defining difference between this Alpha female and many others. She truly is kick-ass and proud.
Not everything for Gin always works out (this is a huge bonus for me – it keeps me on my toes!) and if you are looking for a traditional HEA you won’t find it here. If you are looking for some adventure, action, and a great story – you will not be disappointed. I believe any Urban Fantasy lover will enjoy this series with gusto!
Audiobook Thoughts: Epic. Captivating. Fucking Awesome. ;) OK – that would be cheating if I left it at that! Lauren Fortgang just blows me away. Her pace is steady and the slight variations she forks over for each character is amazingly consistent. The combination of a great story and great narrator make this a complete masterpiece.
I rate Web of Lies (Elemental Assassin #2) 5 out of 5 Bullets!
Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep is the first book in her Elemental Assassin Series. This Urban Fantasy is nonstop literary entertainment! The first chapter had me completely captivated by Gin and her world. I am pretty sure my friends and family thought I was avoiding them, but I promise I was wrapped up in Spdier’s Bite!
Estep doesn’t hold back and sugar coat any aspect of Gin’s life. There was no glamorization of what an assassin’s life would be like and the grittiness of her world truly felt alive. With a world structure that felt fine tuned, unique, and creative Estep surpassed all of my expectations.
Gin was not the only great character in Spider’s Bite. Many of the secondary characters were equally unforgettable. From the first page to the last Spider’s Bite is a great first series book. The twist at the end had me automatically downloading the next book and I cannot wait to get started!
Only one or two little things kept me from giving this book a perfect rating, but ultimately they did not take away from the story.
Audiobook thoughts: Spider’s Bite is narrated by Lauren Fortgang. She nails the tone of the book and characters transforming the world with vivid clarity. I was dazzled by this narrator and the accents were beautifully executed. All in all Fortgang was flawless.
Original rating 4.5/5
A Cast-Off Coven is Juliet Blackwell‘s second installment in A Witchcraft Mystery series. You can check out the review for the fist book – Secondhand Spirits here.
A Cast-Off Coven was an enjoyable story. With high mystery elements and great characters the audiobook flowed nicely. Juliet Blackwell does a great job executing her story. She makes you feel like part of the action and I easily connected with the protagonist – Lily Ivory. Lily is a highly likable character that ends up in the middle of some interesting situations. Lily’s character had some great character growth in A Cast-Off Coven and it certainly made me want to keep reading more about her world.
The only real downside to this book (in my opinion) is that although Lily is told many times she is witch with great power, not only does she doubt herself, but there is no way to gauge her abilities. The other only real witch or warlock in this series displayed no power in A Cast-Off Coven and I have a hard time picturing what her great powers are compared to. If there were other witches or examples to give you a basis of what bottom of the barrel power is vs high ranking power – I think It would clear some of this up.
A Cast-Off Coven is a light read with some great paranormal aspects. Witches, demons, and ghosts line the pages in various aspects.
Audiobook thoughts: Xe Sands executes the story well. Being a southerner (Texas) I think the accent is a little off, but not enough to be distracting. The pace of the reading is done quite well and keeps up with the story. I listened this via Audible and would recommend this audiobook.
I rate A Cast-Off Coven 4 out of 5 Bullets!
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is her first book in the Outlander series. It is normally tagged as Romance/Historical/Fantasy. 2 out of the 3 tags confuse the crap out of me and this might be one of the harder reviews I have ever had to write. Seriously.
Apparently, this review needs actual discussion points. So let me start with the writing. There are many and it is entirely in first person. 800+ pages in first person is a lot. That being said, the words held that classic feel and undeniable talent of a word artist. The audiobook certainly did the author justice with beautifully spoken accents that captured the essence of every character.
Point two – Characters. The two main characters being Claire and Jamie. Claire’s character seemed to take on many different feelings throughout the book, but I am reluctant to call it character growth. Claire felt undefined and muddy at times. As if the author had not made up her mind on how the character should be portrayed. At times I liked her and at other times I felt she needed more than a good swift kick in the ass. I felt Claire was especially disconnected in the first half of the book, which should not have happened with her first person point of view. The TV show is a hot topic of discussion lately – Jamie being most of it – the allure of him through most of the book was obvious. A wronged and beautiful man, especially in a kilt, conjures so many great fantasies and dream worthy thoughts. He was swoon worthy and glorious. His character, in contract to Claire’s, did feel especially well defined and level. However; the ending of Outlander pretty much takes any hope of keeping this appeal and throws it through a wood chipper.
Point three – Secondary Characters. I thought the secondary characters were quite brilliant. They varied greatly and really added a nice texture to the story. I think it spoke a lot to that time, where good friends and family are the defining point between life and death.
Point four – the Story. OK, so I am going to start by just saying that this not a romance. Sorry for those of you that feel it is. I don’t think so. Happily Ever After is what defines romance. Outlander did not have a HEA, therefore not a romance. I am not saying Jamie is not swoon worthy. I am not saying that there was no sex. You can put these two things into any genre – it does not make them romances. This makes me wonder what direction the series on TV is going to take, but that is not really the discussion of this review. I think that the overall story is a deep and unique tale, but not mind-blowing like I was expecting. It is hard to go into why this book effected me as negatively as it did without there being a huge spoiler. I will leave you with this thought: I read as an escape. An escape from reality where things are brutal and gruesome at times. I work in a high stress environment with high conflict and abuse. I don’t want it to be a big part of a characters story and I certainly don’t want to be left with the brutality of it lingering on my soul.
Audiobook thoughts: Davina Porter narrates Outlander like a boss. Her artfully spoken accents added so much to the story. I don’t think anything could have changed that would have made this a better listen. I loved the timing and emotion Porter brought to the story.
I rate Outlander 2 out of 5 Bullets!
I just want to say that if you are easily offended by anything or have a stick up your arse - you should probably stay clear of Christopher Moore all together.
Coyote Blue is a fantastic tale of a native Crow Indian after he fled his home reservation as a young man. Denying his heritage and becoming a chameleon (of sorts) the one thing Sam cannot hide from is his spirit guide - Coyote.
Moore weaves humor into a beautiful story making Coyote Blue an epic tale. Poor, Poor Sam...he just wants to live his life, but when Coyote shows up he ends up veered off course into a path he never intended. I full enjoyed every aspect of Coyote Blue: the Humor, the story, the characters, and everything in between. It is hard to even compare Christopher Moore with anyone else..his unique way of storytelling puts him in a class all by himself.
Following Sam throughout this story fighting his path every step of the way really did make me think. How any incident can alter who you are and what matters most in life. We should all be thinking more about this... Sam's personal growth through Coyote Blue might leave you evaluating yourself. Coyote Blue is a truly beautiful piece of work.
This audio book was very nicely done and felt complimentary to the story.
Best. Audio Book. Ever.
Oh…wait you want to know why?
I want to begin by saying that audio books in general are not my favorite way to consume literature. However, after starting this blog I realized that I could add about 2 reviews a month by listening to audio books during my commute. So I have reviewed a few here and there – a couple I couldn’t finish (for those of you doing the math). However, A couple of months ago while at a local book signing with Kevin Hearne. During the signing several of his fans brought up how great the audio book was. It became a whole discussion and I was intrigued. I had purchased all of this series in paperback, but thought “what the hell” I will download the audio book after I finished Hounded in paperback. (review for Hounded) Previously I have not been a huge fan of the audio book narrators using “voices”. However, Luke Daniels narrated every character in Hexed with such perfection, I am now a HUGE fan. I believe that two talents came together and made this audio book a work of art.
Now down to Hexed…. Funny, entertaining, action packed, and original. Hexed was a seamless continuation to Hounded. The combination of all mythologies and folklore rolled into one reality makes for a brilliant array of characters. I think in Hexed the Coyote was my ultimate favorite. Every character is well executed and described in vivid detail. I believe anyone would love this book. From sci-fi lovers to urban fantasy freaks – ya’ll are going to love it! Demons, witches, goddesses, gods, shifters, vampires, and druids….plus some. Nothing was left out of this world. I wish I had some quotes to lay down for you guys, but that is the one downside of an audio book…my memory is just not that good! I know this book get’s the “if you like the Dresden Files you will like the Iron Druid Chronicles” I think this is incorrect. I truly believe that the story and characters Kevin Hearne has created surpass the Dresden files by miles. It should be “if you like the Dresden Files you will fucking love the Iron Druid Chronicles”!!!!!
I rate Hexed (Iron Druid Chronicles #2) 5 out of 5 Bullets!
Report Inappropriate Content