Review of Blood Demon (Demon Assassin Series, #1), by A.C. Wilds

I picked up a copy of A.C. WildsBlood Demon through Booksrout.

Description from Goodreads:

Meh, not horrible, but awful shallow and not overly smooth. Anima far too easily accepts the word of Torque and turns her back on everything she’s ever known. And then goes straight to assuming/understanding a threat that hasn’t truly been explained to her. The plot hardly hangs together in a followable fashion, leaping from one event to another. I felt NO tension in Anima and Torque’s ‘romance.’ And the whole thing ends on a cliffhanger.

It’s readable and I imagine those who are into demon kings and motorcycle club presidents and magical assassins and fallen angels (yes, we have all of those included here) might like it. But it was not a winner for me personally.

Review:

Meh, not horrible, but awful shallow and not overly smooth. Anima far too easily accepts the word of Torque and turns her back on everything she’s ever known. And then goes straight to assuming/understanding a threat that hasn’t truly been explained to her. The plot hardly hangs together in a followable fashion, leaping from one event to another. I felt NO tension in Anima and Torque’s ‘romance.’ And the whole thing ends on a cliffhanger.

It’s readable and I imagine those who are into demon kings and motorcycle club presidents and magical assassins and fallen angels (yes, we have all of those included here) might like it. But it was not a winner for me personally.

Review of The Order of the Dragon, by Scerina Elizabeth

I received an Audible code for a copy of Scerina’s Elizabeth‘s The Order of the Dragon.

Description from Goodreads:
“What if all the stories you heard about the infamous monster name Dracula were all lies? What if there was another side to the story that no one even knew of, a side where he was not a monster but in fact a savior? What if he was a vampire who had a soul? What if the monster had a heart and yearned to be loved? The story am about to tell, is the real story of Vlad Tepes and how he came to be this infamous so-called monster called “Dracula”, that everyone most feared. And I promise once am finish with this story, you will view him in a whole new light with a whole new respect and love. ” ~ Mina Murray ~

How far would you go to find a cure for an illness that could take your life at any moment that was incurable?

Would you sell your soul to the very Devil himself to prolong your precious life?

And at what cost are you willing to pay for such a priceless gift?

A secret society of the very wealthy and powerful of London, England who are terminally ill and would do just about ANYTHING for a cure for their illness. Including selling their soul to the very Devil himself, Dracula.

This is a version of the classic horror tale of Dracula but with a different twist. Retold with a different perspective on mortality and immortality.

What path are you willing to take when it comes to your mortality and soul? The right path or the wrong path. And would the choice ultimately be worth it in the end.

Review:
Bad, just really really BAD!

Please, authors, if you want to write in modern vernacular just go ahead and write in modern times. It DOES NOT WORK to write modern dialogue and narration in the 1800s! And even if that wasn’t true, the writing here is just sloppy. There are a ton of repeat words. Things like the word coffin being used three times in the same paragraph. The sex scenes are so cringe-worthy I fast-forwarded through them. And the plot is super inconsistent. There’s a twist at the end that just doesn’t work; it so contradicts everything up to that point. The audiobook narration isn’t all that great either, though it does improve as the book goes along. If I hadn’t been listening to it in order to get through folding a GIANT pile of laundry I’d have DNFed this for sure.

Reviews of The Blacksmith Queen AND The Princess Knight

I received a copy of G.A. Aiken‘s The Princess Knight through Bookish First. However, I didn’t initially realize that it is book two in The Scarred Earth Saga. So, I borrowed book one (The Blacksmith Queen) from the library before reading it. Here are both of my reviews.

Description of The Blacksmith Queen:

When a prophesy brings war to the Land of the Black Hills, Keeley Smythe must join forces with a clan of mountain warriors who are really centaurs in a thrilling new fantasy romance series from New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken. 

The Old King Is Dead
 
With the demise of the Old King, there’s a prophesy that a queen will ascend to the throne of the Black Hills. Bad news for the king’s sons, who are prepared to defend their birthright against all comers. But for blacksmith Keeley Smythe, war is great for business. Until it looks like the chosen queen will be Beatrix, her younger sister. Now it’s all Keeley can do to protect her family from the enraged royals.

Luckily, Keeley doesn’t have to fight alone. Because thundering to her aid comes a clan of kilt-wearing mountain warriors called the Amichai. Not the most socially adept group, but soldiers have never bothered Keeley, and rough, gruff Caid, actually seems to respect her. A good thing because the fierce warrior will be by her side for a much longer ride than any prophesy ever envisioned …

Review:

To my utter and complete surprise, I loved this. I did quibble a little with the running fat joke, but I appreciated that Keeley didn’t match the beauty ideals of society and was still shown as confident and desired, worthy of love. And I laughed a lot. The book is hilarious, utterly ridiculous, but in a good way.

I did think some of the cursing felt anachronistic at times. Don’t get me wrong. Fuck is my favorite curse word and I utter WTF, probably, an average of once a day. So, I don’t have any problem with the cursing itself. It’s just that on occasion you’d be in a fantasy realm with two moon, centaurs, elves, and dwarfs, and then some thoroughly modern-world curse or phrase would drop like a clanger.

All in all, however, I have book two and I absolutely can’t wait to start it.

Description of The Princess Knight:

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN

Gemma Smythe dedicated her life to the glory of battle. With her fellow War Monks, she worshipped the war gods, rained destruction on her enemies, and raised the dead when the fancy took her. Until her sister Keeley became the prophesied Blacksmith Queen, and Gemma broke faith with her order to journey to the Amichai Mountain and fight by Keeley’s side.

The Amichai warriors are an unruly, never-to-be-tamed lot, especially their leader-in-waiting, Quinn. But when the War Monks declare support for Gemma’s ruthless younger sister Beatrix, the immaturity of her key ally is the least of Gemma’s problems. She has to get to the grand masters, dispel their grudge against her, and persuade them to fight for Keeley and justice. If her conviction can’t sway them, perhaps Quinn’s irritating, irreverent, clearly unhinged, ferocity will win the day . . .

Review:

I really enjoyed this. Admittedly, not quite as much as I did the first one. I think it sometimes took its slapstick ridiculousness a tad too far. But overall it was a real winner. I like that there wasn’t really any angst in the romantic subplot, the underlying theme of acceptance, and the humor. But mostly I just love the varieties of crazy in all of the characters and how they all come together as a whole in the end.

Death is treated awfully lightly though. Some of the main characters, ones that the reader is meant to sympathize with, slaughter others fairly indiscriminately, and one is to understand innocents are among those caught in the fray. I found that a little hard to overlook.

All in all, however, I’ll be eagerly awaiting a third book. There is going to be another, isn’t there? And maybe a fourth and fifth and sixth? A girl can hope.