Tag Archives: 4 Stars

REVIEW | Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

71811MOON CALLED | Book #1 of the Mercy Thompson Series

AUTHOR: Patricia Briggs

PUBLICATION INFORMATION: MASS MARKET PAPERBACK EDITION – 288 pages | Published: January 31st 2006 by AceRoc Books

MY RATING: 4 Stars | GOODREADS RATING: 4.18/5.00 Stars

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WHAT ITS ABOUT: Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…

MY THOUGHTS: I enjoy a good Urban Fantasy every now and again. I found Kelley Armstrong’s  Otherworld series (though I’m only around book #6 and have more to read yet.) thoroughly entertaining, and I’ve been craving some hot sexy alpha werewolves. This book has been on my shelf for a year, and I picked it up on a whim, without the intentions of really sitting down and reading it – but once I got a few pages in… I was hooked.

Mercy is a great lead character. She’s tough, takes no BS – and doesn’t mind calling people out on it – and can stand her own ground. She is also a Walker – able to shift into a coyote – and is the only one of her kind in the world. Mercy is an auto mechanic, working in a shop that was handed down to her by Zee – a metalworking fae (gremlin, to be exact). Mercy lives next door to Adam Hauptman, who is the Alpha of the Columbia Basin Pack, and all of the packs are overruled by the Marrok, Bran, who also had a hand in raising Mercy.

After several uneventful years, suddenly Mercy finds herself thrown in the middle of some nasty werewolf business when a newly Changed wolf named Mac shows up at her shop and she helps him out. He tells her about how he was Changed, and it sets off a chain of events leading to Adam and his daughter Jesse being kidnapped.

I find most Urban Fantasies to follow very similar rules. While I believe Moon Called can fit in with a lot of other books of its genre, there were so many things that helped it to stand out on its own. Mercy is definitely one of my new favorite characters. I love her attitude, and that she isn’t stupid. She finds herself in predicaments, but it’s usually to help out those she loves and cares for, and to set peace in the world. She’s always kept out of Werewolf affairs, but when young Mac comes to her, she’s suddenly thrust into their world and the politics and danger that comes along with it.

At the beginning of the book, Mercy’s relationship with Adam isn’t really much of anything. He keeps an eye over her, and they tend to aggravate one another, but there isn’t any hard feelings or hatred. I didn’t necessarily feel any type of connection between them, so events at the end of the book were a pleasant surprise and cliff hanger that is leaving me excited for book two to arrive in the mail – yes, it was ordered before I’d even finished this book because I knew I’d be continuing on with this series. There is a lot of lingering tension between her and Samuel, though, that I can’t wait to see how it is resolved. I like the love interests, even if they were a bit predictable, I cannot guess how they will develop.

In Mercy’s world, the werewolves, witches, and vampires are still living in secret, but the fae, ruled by the Gray Lords, are out in public. As such, they are forced to live on reservations around the US. The groups rarely mix. Bran, the Marrok of the wolves, is planning to bring the wolves out into public – which not all wolves are happy about. Thus this sets into motion the events of this book.

There is a lot of action in this book to keep you engaged, as well as a minimal of slower story-building scenes that keep you abreast of backstory for characters, etc. I absolutely love Patricia’s writing style, it’s easy to read yet engaging. I liked the pacing of the book a lot, and was excited to get back to reading any time that I had to take a break.

The themes of the book such as magic and special powers among the supernatural were interesting as well. Most wolves only have increased senses like hearing, smell; which is typical. But some have a little extra, like Samuel. They are also very dominance oriented, and feel challenged often. I like that Mercy, as a Walker, can “smell” emotions. She can tell when someone is fearful, scared, etc. She can also “hear” spells cast by witches, which up until this point, no one can do, and no one knows that she can. I am very interested in seeing how this develops in future books. I am not sure why this detail stuck out so much, but I find myself really interested by it!

I would highly recommend this book if you are an avid reader of urban fantasy or are looking to break into the genre. There are sexy werewolves, a bad ass heroine who is incredibly likable, and lots of tension between supernatural species to keep you fully engaged in the series.

SIMILAR READS: Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews | Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane | Kitty Norville Series by Carrie Vaughn | World of the Lupi Series by Eileen Wilks | The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison

 

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REVIEW | A Court of Thorns and Roses

16096824Book #1 | A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author: Sarah J Maas

Publication Information:

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury Children’s

Rating: 4 Stars – I Really Liked It!

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 A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

My Thoughts: I have to first say that reading this one immediately after binge reading the entire Throne of Glass series is not the best idea. That being said, if you have read ToG you also have to throw out any notions that this is anything like the faeries and fae worlds in ToG, because it isn’t – it’s nothing like it.

What we do have here, is the same wonderful writing that I fell in love with in ToG, and a main character who doesn’t give herself nearly enough credit. She isn’t as bad ass as Celaena, but she can hold her own. We have a sexy, beastly love interest, and vile vindictive deadly faeries that wouldn’t blink an eye at killing a human – even if she “belongs” to the Spring Court High Lord.

We begin the book with Feyre out hunting for food for her family – father, and two sisters – and she gets both a deer and a wolf. Being told in the first person point of view, we find out that she is curious if the wolf – which is abnormally gargantuan – could be a fairy, but after skinning it, she decides there is no way, it was a regular wolf.

For extra money, since her family is incredibly poor after her once-wealthy father lost his fortune, she sells the wolf’s skin to a mercenary, and goes home – reveling in how awful her life is, and how she is bound to care for her family that do not even like nor appreciate her thanks to a promise she made to her mother upon her deathbed. What she doesn’t expect, is to go home thinking it a normal day in her life, only to have a beastly faerie burst in her door and steal her away upon some terms of the Treaty between the mortals and the fae, since it turns out that wolf was in fact fae.

There may be spoilers from here on out – if you haven’t read this book yet, I’d recommend waiting to read the rest of my review until you’ve read it.

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REVIEW | Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

NOWHERE BUT HERE
AUTHOR: Katie McGarry
SERIES: Thunder Road [Book #1]
PUBLICATION INFO: Harlequin Teen | RELEASE DATE: May 26th 2015
CATEGORY: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Motorcycle Clubs, First Love, Four Star Rating
ACQUISITION: Own | EDITION: Hardcover; First Edition, 496 pages
RATING: 4 STARS | GOODREADS RATING: 4.06/5.00
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT: An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

MY THOUGHTS: This one has been compared to the TV Show Sons of Anarchy, but having never seen the show, I cannot offer my opinion on that.
What I can do however; is tell you that if you loved McGarry’s Pushing the Limits series as much as I did (Which is a whole freaking lot!) then you will love this first entry in the Thunder Road series. It has all the bad boy yumminess, flawed characters, and a whole lot of anxiety-inducing action to keep  with Julie Kagawa (double-freaking-awesomeness!) and while I knew I’d read Nowhere But Here, it wasn’t until after I heard Katie speak that I got super pumped for this book, and decided that I was going to buy it instead of waiting for a copy from the library. These books are ones that I can see myself rereading in the future.
What I love about Katie’s books is that she isn’t afraid to take her characters anywhere she wants them to go – whether that puts them in danger or a dangerous downward spiral – she will have you laughing, crying, and screaming page after page at characters so real that they feel like they’re your friends in real life.
For me, I had a little trouble getting into Emily’s character at the start of NBH. She was so innocent and naive, so trusting and believing in her parents that she was completely ignorant to an entire other part of her life… that included her bio-dad. I came to care for Emily as the chapters flew by, and by the end of the book I was definitely happy to see the person she became over the course of the book.
The whole premise of the book, being based around a motorcycle club, was a refreshingly new idea that I fully embraced and was very curious about. While seeing Katie speak, she explained how she had actually spent time with a real motorcycle club – to remove the stigma that is associated with them. Not all clubs are bad, illegal, or gangs – and that is what she proved with this book.
I was not expecting the big secret of the book to end up being what it was. It was an awesome curve ball that she threw, and I think it was awesome the way the whole story was centered around this big secret, and the whole time I was thinking how this secret is being so over-hyped and it probably won’t even be that big of  a secret, but yes, it is quite a doozy – and the consequences are dire.
Overall, I fell in love with a little town called Snowflake, Kentucky and the Reign of Terror Motorcycle Club, and all of the characters that I got to meet and spend time with. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves contemporary stories, romance done well, and some seriously sexy bad boys you can’t help but fall for too.

NEXT BOOK IN THE SERIES:  Walk the Edge | Expected Publication Date: March 2016

OTHER BOOKS BY KATIE MCGARRY: Pushing the Limits | Dare You To | Crash Into You | Take Me On | Crossing the Line | Breaking the Rules | Chasing Impossible

SIMILAR READS: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid | Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally | The Lies About the Truth by Courtney C. Stevens | Another Little Piece of my Heart  by Tracey Martin | What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi

Happy Reading!
Laura

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