Review of Dragonhunters, by Garon Whited

I received a copy of Dragonhunters, by Garon Whited, from Netgalley. I read it on vacation, as I traveled from Tennessee to Florida.

Description from Goodreads:
You don’t become a hero for the money. The money’s nice, sure, but you become a hero because something inside compels you, drives you to it. Defending people from monsters simply doesn’t pay well enough to make it a good career move. 

As for hunting dragons… well, the money is usually good, but the job really bites. 

A group of five professional heroes goes into the lair of the dragon. Who will win? 

Spoiler: The dragon. 

But it turns out killing a hero sometimes does nothing more than make him even more determined. 

Sometimes, heroes are never more dangerous than when they’re dead!

Review:
Man, what an interesting set-up that failed almost completely for me. Look, there are a ton of really fun ideas in this book. But the writing is so flat, the dialogue so formal and fantasy-quest-like (you know what I mean) that it distances the reader so far that I didn’t connect with anyone. I finished the book feeling like I hadn’t gotten to know anyone, nor did I care about any of them or their endeavor to kill a random dragon. No one had a believable emotion. No one seemed to react at all to, you know, dying and being resurrected, or becoming the locus of four ghosts. And the traveler that caused the whole mess is never explained at all. He pops up in the beginning and then disappears, never to be seen again.

For a while, in the beginning, I thought this might be a parody of a fantasy quest story. And it might have worked in that vein, but it isn’t. It’s an attempt at a real thing, as far as I can tell, and I was just really glad to see the end of it. Perhaps there will be readers that love it. I’m not making a blanket, “It’s bad,” statement. But it sure didn’t work for me.

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Review of Ink and Shadows, by Rhys Ford


I borrowed a copy of Rhys Ford‘s Ink and Shadows from Hoopla, through my local library. I’m on vacation at the moment and I read this in the car while driving from home in Missouri, to visit family in Tennessee. (Obviously, I was in the passenger seat, so while riding to Tennessee.)

Description from Goodreads:
Kismet Andreas lives in fear of the shadows.

For the young tattoo artist, the shadows hold more than darkness. He is certain of his insanity because the dark holds creatures and crawling things only he can see—monsters who hunt out the weak to eat their minds and souls, leaving behind only empty husks and despair.

And if there’s one thing Kismet fears more than being hunted—it’s the madness left in its wake.

The shadowy Veil is Mal’s home. As Pestilence, he is the youngest—and most inexperienced—of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, immortal manifestations resurrected to serve—and cull—mankind. Invisible to all but the dead and insane, the Four exist between the Veil and the mortal world, bound to their nearly eternal fate. Feared by other immortals, the Horsemen live in near solitude but Mal longs to know more than Death, War and Famine.

Mal longs to be… more human. To interact with someone other than lunatics or the deceased.

When Kismet rescues Mal from a shadowy attack, Pestilence is suddenly thrust into a vicious war—where mankind is the prize, and the only one who has faith in Mal is the human the other Horsemen believe is destined to die.

Review:
Would someone tell who the main character of this book was? I’ve finished it and still can’t decide. Similarly, what was the main plot? The romance between Death and Ari, the magus’ attempt at immortality with a bunch of characters that were little more than names, the budding friendship between Kismet and Mal? I don’t know. This book has lots of interesting elements, but no consistent thread. There’s lots of fighting, but not enough tying together what they are fighting for. It had interesting characters, but you never really get to know them. I found this book almost fun, but ultimately flat and disappointing. The writing itself was just fine, except for the head hopping, which was frankly horrible. I finished this feeling pretty so-so about the whole thing. I’m finding Ford to be a very hit-or-miss author for me. Some of their books I love and the rest fall on their face.

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Review of The Automaton’s Wife (Society for Paranormals #2), by Vered Ehsani

I received an Audible code for the purchase of a copy of Vered Ehsani‘s The Automaton’s Wife. I read and reviewed book one in the series, Ghost of Tsavo, here.

Description from Goodreads:
Beatrice Knight has enough to contend with: a zebra is dead on her lawn, her horse is possessed and a gentleman has arrived with the temerity to propose to her. To top it off, her dead husband Gideon has absconded with an automaton, threatening to return for his wife. The wife in question however soon has other issues, for a killer has moved into town with a nasty habit of carving up the victims. As luck should dictate, who should be the next target but Mrs Knight herself? 

Review: 
I do believe I enjoyed this more than the first. I’m not entirely sure if it was because it was a better book or because the addition of a truly wonderful narrator (Alison Larkin) made the audio experience more fulfilling than reading it. I liked book one, but I really liked this one.

As before, I found Beatrice witty and self-reliant. I liked the tension between her and My. Timmons, though it’s much downplayed here and the mystery held its own. I did think it wrapped up a little too quickly and Larkin’s insistence on saying Zeebra (American), instead of zebra, in the English style irked me. But all in all, I look forward to continuing the series.