Monday, July 28, 2014

The White Magic Five and Dime by Steve Hockensmith (Author), Lisa Falco (Author)

The White Magic Five & Dime (A Tarot Mystery)

The White Magic Five & Dime (A Tarot Mystery)
Price: $9.59

Steve Hockensmith , Lisa Falco
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars Nothing is Really Perfect, But This Book is Close!, July 28, 2014

Book Description

July 1, 2014

Much to Alanis McLachlands surprise, her estranged con-woman mother has left her an inheritance: The White Magic Five & Dime, a shop in tiny Berdache, Arizona. Reluctantly traveling to Berdache to claim her new property, Alanis decides to stay and pick up her mother's tarot business in an attempt to find out how she died.
With help from a hunky cop and her mother's live-in teenage apprentice,  Alanis begins faking her way trough (sic) tarot readings in order to win the confidence of her mother's clients.  But the more she uses the tarot deck, the more Alanis begins to find real meaning in the cards ... and the secrets surrounding her mother's demise.
Praise:  "A charming comic mystery" - Booklist

Have you ever started a book and after a couple of chapters thought to yourself that this drivel just wasn't for you? That is what I first thought about The White Magic Five and Dime, but something kept me reading and I quickly became engrossed in this book.

At first the sarcasm and hidden self pity from Alanis was just a bit too over the top ...until you read further and really get a feel for our protagonist. Initially I was annoyed with see all of the 80's TV and movie references but it soon became fun to try and figure them out.

The story is a mystery and a very good one at that. I wonder how many other readers will have an easier time figuring out who done it and why, than I did, but I didn't catch on until the real killer was actually revealed. Anything else I say about the big reveal will `spoil' the story so I am not going to say anything more.

So many secrets, so many cons...this is going to make an excellent series and I am certainly going to be along for the ride.

Happy reading!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Flight of the Golden Harpy

Flight of the Golden Harpy
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $11.04

"Book Description

June 17, 2014
Kari, a young woman, returns to the jungle planet of Dora after ten years in Earth’s schools determined to unravel the mysteries surrounding the harpies, a feral species with the appearance half-bird, half-human.

The human colonists believe harpies are dangerous animals, which are known to steal women. The creatures are hunted like wild game, their wings considered rare trophies. But Kari distrusts these rumors. When she was attacked by a monster in the jungle as a child, a male harpy with rare golden coloring rescued her.

Constant hunting by men has driven the harpies to the brink of extinction. Is Kari’s savior, the elegant golden harpy, is still alive? If so, how long can he and his flock survive the ravages of mankind?

Susan Klaus's Flight of the Golden Harpy is an imaginative and romantic fantasy novel that questions what it means to be human.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied."
2.0 out of 5 stars A Political Statement, July 18, 2014

This book was just one big statement on animal cruelty/anti-hunting using the guise that animals have emotional feelings like humans do. At least this was my impression on this book. I couldn't see any other point to it. Many other authors try to get away with this type of orating and it doesn't usually work out too well for them...I hope it works better for Ms. Klaus.

This may have been written as a 'fantasy' and and the fact that it is a fantasy is being used as an excuse for its
weaknesses. However, that does not give the author the privilege of throwing out every rule on good writing there is. I am not an author but even I know that characters need to be well fleshed, the reader needs to feel engaged with them no matter what. An author should never make you feel indifferent to or bored with the character. The fact that Kari is so ultra beautiful and desirable and Shail is so handsome, was on just about every other page and soon became a joke to me.

The writing seemed to stutter along, the speech amongst the characters seemed forced and false. I was never sure if the non-usage of contractions had to do with the world Kari lived on or if it was an editing glitch.

In my opinion, if there is no discernible plot by the time you have read 25% of the book then what point is there to keep reading? To read about a world? What was this fantasy world compared to? A Pre-Jurassic earth? I'm sorry, it was just not enough to keep me engaged in this novel.

ARC supplied by publisher for reviewing purposes

Friday, July 11, 2014

Product Details

Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels Book 7) by Ilona Andrews (Jul 29, 2014) 

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews ( Finished hard-cover copy ready for publication) Includes short story Magic Tests.

"Magic Tests" is all about Julie and the fact that she is checking out a new school to go to.  This story takes place before the events in Magic Breaks.  It is a really wonderful story that shows Julie in all of her magical glory and the fact that  her apple did not fall far from the tree, even though she isn't Kate's natural daughter.  She is being tested in a most unusual way - by hunting down a missing student.

No Spoilers

Wow…this book is just WOW!

Book Description

 July 29, 2014
No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

**Includes the bonus Kate Daniels story Magic Tests** 

 If you have been a fan of the series and have followed the series from the start and if you have followed the Andrews BLOG at all or even the gossip, you will know that this was supposed to have been the last book in the series.  This one would have been the final confrontation; the one that ended the sweet anticipation of what will happen when Kate finally confronts her father Roland.  Luckily, for us the series has been picked up for more books.

This book starts off very interesting - it has a 'Character List' though not one that includes every character from every book.  Mostly they are the characters that will play a huge part in this  book. It is very handy to have.

 Then we have "From the Journal of Barabas Gillliam" which is invaluable in bringing the reader up-to-date on the series, or you can rather consider it a refresher.  Told in a totally different voice than Kate's book (more like Curran's voice), it was a blast to read.

An interesting quote from this journal is the last line---->

"There is a storm gathering on our horizon. We will make a stand, but I wonder if it will matter in the end."

This book is what other authors have tried to do and failed miserably.  When one story ARC ends, they should have been able to slip over to something new but these other authors just could not manage it.  The Andrews do manage to do so and do it flawlessly and seamlessly, with style, skill and panache.

That is not to say that this book was utterly perfect.  There are some tiny problems that I personally had with some of the story telling.  Some parts had been dragged out until I was started to get frustrated.  My heart can only take so much!  Thanks to the Andrews team deft skill they know just when to add some of Kate’s and Curran’s snarky humor to lighten up   almost overly tense scenes.

While it is true that the main story ARC has reached a finale of sorts, (and not in the way I would have expected or liked, but in a better way) it opens completely new and surprisingly interesting possibilities for the series.  This is going to be great!  I cannot wait to see what is going to happen in the next few books that the team has been contracted to write!

This book has some very fantastic character growth for many people.  Unfortunately there are no deaths of anyone very significant…hint, hint. We do finally get to meet Roland and he is not as I (or Kate or Curran) expected…well at least not totally.  He is actually a better character than the one I had imagined. He is someone that I think I will enjoy trying to figure out and reading about in the coming books.  Combine Evil with Ward Cleaver and you get Roland…sort of, if you can imagine and you have Roland!

There is a lot going on in the time the story takes place and it is a much shorter amount of time than you can imagine,

I am so itching to add some real spoilers, but that would just be so wrong of me. ;-)