Books, fantasy, great reads, paranormal romance, Reviews, Romance

Heart of Fire by Bec McMaster

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I love dragons. I love the concept, I find them fascinating and always find myself picking up books when they are involved. The problem? Dragons must be hard to write, especially in romance, or maybe what I expect from them because usually I’m not as excited when I’m finished. So how did this book do? Let’s see what it was all about first, here’s a hint..there will be dragons.

The old eddas speak of dreki—fabled creatures who haunt the depths of Iceland’s volcanoes, and steal away fair maidens.

Freyja wants none of such myths. Dreki seducing young ladies? Ha. They probably eat such foolish girls. But when the local dreki steals her last ram—costing her any chance of feeding her ill father through the winter—Freyja intends to confront the fearsome myth.

Sentenced to a life of exile from his clan, Rurik is fascinated by the furious woman who comes to claim her ram. She reeks of mysterious magic and challenges him at every step. He intends to claim the passionate firebrand, but to do so, he must take mortal form.

It’s the only time the dreki are vulnerable, and with a dragon-hunter arriving on the shores of Iceland, he can barely afford the risk—but lonely Freyja, with her elf-cursed eyes and pragmatic soul, tempts him in ways he’s never felt before. Is she the key to reclaiming his heritage? Or will she be his downfall?

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Okay so they call them dreki in this book but they are dragons, and I love them! I think the hardest thing is to write a believable romance with a dragon character without the dragon losing what makes it a dragon (you know all those very inhuman qualities)  yet I thought this book did a great job. I liked Rurik as a dreki and still wanted him a Freya to end up together.

My verdict?

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Well done! Well done! I would say the world was well built, the romance was steamy, and the characters were interesting. All together a good read. I will be getting book two of this series.

Books, fantasy, great reads, indie author, Reviews, scifi, steampunk, Urban Fantasy

Ferromancer by Becca Andre

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I really loved this cover so when this book was recommended to me and I found it on KU I thought, why not? Here’s what it’s all about…

Solutions aren’t always black and white—sometimes they come in shades of iron gray.

Captain Bridget “Briar” Rose wants for nothing. Each day is a new adventure, living the life she loves, running cargo on the Ohio & Erie Canal. That is, until her cousin decides to sell the family boat to finance a new business venture. He wants to build locomotives for the railroad—the very industry that could put the entire canal system out of business.

Not one to give up without a fight, Briar does a little snooping into her cousin’s new business partner. When she gets a sneak peek at the locomotive plans, she suspects that the man is either a genius, or a ferromancer—one of the dreaded metal mages of Europe’s industrial revolution.

Determined to reveal her suspicions, Briar takes the plans and heads for the newspaper office in Columbus, stealing the family boat in the process. Kidnapping her cousin’s handsome business partner wasn’t part of the plan, but when he shows up, demanding the return of his property, she can’t let him go. After all, if Briar can prove that the railroad is using ferromancy, she could save more than her boat. She could save her way of life.

I’m going to break this into three parts, the world building, the characters, and the story.

First the world, I really liked it, steampunk for me can be confusing and I don’t like it sometimes, in fact I don’t even know if I would consider this steampunk probably more of a fantasy to be honest. I understood the concept, liked the world and started to follow along pretty quickly. Check.

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The characters. I didn’t like Briar, though she did get better, I dislike lead characters who can break any rules and are almost shocked when they have to face consequences. I also didn’t like the way she treated Grayson for most of the beginning of the book, without and real proof that she should. She stole from him and when he came to get his property she kidnapped him, blaming him! I had a hard time forgiving her. That’s a lie, I never did forgive her, she continued to do as she please to the detriment of others. Speaking of the others, I liked them and really helped me enjoy the book. So the characters where at times great and a times annoying.

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The story. Without giving too much away I found it interesting. I found the end fell a little flat for me but I found the flow wasn’t too fast or slow and I stayed entertained.

Bottom line, I got thus book free with KU (I think it’s $1 if you want to buy it) and I don’t regret it, it was a fun read.

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Books, fantasy, Mystery, Out of the Box Blogs, Reviews, scifi

Artemis by Andy Weir

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I love the cover of this book, I loved The Martian, and I usually enjoy Andy Weir, so how was Artemis?

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Ugh! Why, why, why?? First what was this book about:

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

Alright now let’s discuss it. First the world itself. I didn’t have a problem with the concept of this world, I found a lot of it believable I just thought it lacked depth. There were so many different cultures or places and I felt they were there just to add variety but not really delved into. It felt very shallow. What wasn’t shallow was the math and science, which was also a problem. I come from a big geek community and I felt it was excessive. There was just too much techno blabber that means nothing if your not a specialist in that field. Cool for one character to do but not for so many or so much of the book.

Speaking of characters..

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I disliked Jazz, a lot, which was a problem. I found her inconsistent and unlikable. She used people with no remorse, who cares if they lost their jobs or lives she had a plan. Also she would inconsistently have confidence issues, one moment she had none and the next she was James Bondish. I was finding it hard to believe who she was let alone get behind her ideas. The other characters, the ones she spurned and used however, the always seemed to come around to supporting her. It got so bad I kept hoping she would fail.

Ultimately I was disappointed with this book. I’m not giving up on Andy since I did love The Martian so much I’m hopeful the third book will be the charm.

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Books, fantasy, funny, Out of the Box Blogs, paranormal romance, scifi, steampunk, Urban Fantasy

Should Villains Really Be That Bad?

YES THEY SHOULD!!

Today is going straight into rant territory everyone so if that is not your thing I don’t want you to feel obligated to read. I love you all equally!

Still here? Okay then..

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Has anyone else noticed a new tread of long running series, no standalone here, trying to redeem villains or making a good character suddenly bad? I’m not a fan. I don’t mind a gradual change, like someone slowly slipping into madness, but what I’m talking about here is a hard shift for a character all in one book. So let’s talk about it.

And I also want to be clear we are talking about series that are 6,8,10,20, etc books long and the characters are WELL established.

Let’s start with the heroes, the good guys, the best friends, the reliable side kicks, the one we all want to win or at least always dreamed would get there very own book or novella. But then with a careless action on their part, or something ridiculous from another character they go from good to bad. From one of your favorites to one you wish never existed. Why? To make someone else look better? To further the current plot? Who knows, but I do know this, I have dropped series because, my favorite character isn’t always the main one so destroying a fan favorite sometimes just seems illogical or cruel. Sometimes I wonder if we have come to love them too much and we shouldn’t….

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How deliciously bitter but ultimately disappointing. I like characters that I have developed a relationship with to stay where they belong so honestly I wish it would stop. Good guys are good, not secretly horrible.

Now the villains, the bad guys, the bitches everyone loves to hate, my favorites…

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A good villain, evil to the core, destroying dreams every day, and willing to do things to keep making you hate them. I’m talking anything, even make you throw a book across your room. A properly constructed bad guy will go to such lengths that sometimes we wish they would be killed off already! I digress though because we are talking about the new trend, where nonredeemable characters suddenly show you a character flaw, or a weakness and we are suppose to see them as redeemable. But see that there is the problem, we have been convinced they are horrible, evil people, terrible to their very souls which is what allows us to despise them. So why the sudden attempts at redeeming these characters? And why must the redemption of these characters many times cost us characters we have grown to love? Is it feared boredom from the fandom? Is it boredom from the author?

Look some of my favorite books involve antiheroes or even a story told from a villains prospective. But I like characters that I enjoy to stay what they are presented as. So the question is am I asking too much?

Do you like it when someone who has been good for so long suddenly become bad? And not a bad boy in a good way but truly evil, a character meant to be hated. Or when a author starts to redeem a bad character (again not just a bad boy with a good heart but a truly evil being) and tries to make us sympathetic to them or accept them as good?

Thoughts?