Monthly Archives: November 2016

Review of The Decadia Code, by Apryl Baker & Jonathan Yanez

The Decadia CodeI picked up The Decadia Code (April Baker & Jonathan Yanez) when it was free on Amazon.

Description from Goodreads:
The world of DeCadia is a shadow of its once magnificent glory. The War that destroyed the great world has left the known world in an ever changing state of flux. Steam-powered ships rule the skies, pirates roam free, and the Royal Navy is the only whisper of order in the cacophony of chaos. 

Valeria knows this brutal world all too well. Orphaned with only a birthmark on her back to hint at her past, she is left to travel the world alone. Hope comes in an unexpected form, whispers of her Atlantian heritage. Whispers that tell Valeria her birthmark is more than she could have ever imagined. 

Now Valeria finds herself in a dangerous scheme to uncover the truth of her ancestry. Her journey will take her across the known world, to forbidden islands, and into conflict with the Royal Navy. Allies will be made, enemies discovered, and the truth of Atlantis revealed. 

Review:
A fun little sky pirate romp. I was worried in the beginning that Val would be one of those characters who could just mysteriously and miraculously excel at everything. And to be honest, there is a bit of that, along with the ‘she’s so special’ and ‘every man wants her’ plot devices, but it remained within bearable territory. I quite liked the side characters, the idea of the storyline and the writing. However, it all felt a little rushed, the characters’ histories are just skimmed over, and the book is definitely just a beginning to a large story. You don’t get much in line of a conclusion. But it was amusing all the same.

 

Review of Dark Wolf Adrift (Alpha Underground), by Aimee Easterling

Dark Wolf AdriftI downloaded a copy of Dark Wolf Adrift, by Aimee Easterling, when it was free on Amazon.

Description from Goodreads:
Hunter Green attracts territorial shifters like moths to a porch light. Sick of beating up on pups who don’t have the sense to back down from a challenge, the alpha finds peace as a warrior in the human-only military. 

Unfortunately, his strong inner wolf isn’t content defusing bombs and battling sharks. Instead, the beast emerges, nearly tearing the limbs off a poaching shifter before setting its sights on Hunter’s human dive mate. 

No longer able to trust his animal half among defenseless humans, the outcast alpha struggles to reenter shifter society. But will his tenuous grasp on werewolf politics be enough to stand up against backstabbing pack leaders intent upon expunging Hunter’s last shred of humanity?

Review:
It’s not horrible, but, um, it’s not very good either. It just felt really rushed, unsupported, AND UTTERLY RIDICULOUS. A wolf fights a shark. I’m just gonna drop that in here and let you imagine it. OK. Right. Moving on.

Having an uber-alpha who is worlds more powerful than any other wolf tell you in first person how awesomely powerful he is didn’t work. The whole premise of leaving the Navy because his wolf decided someone had betrayed him didn’t make sense, as the person pointedly didn’t betray him. The main character is super powerful, but like a puppy in seeking praise and his attitudes flip flop as he finds information he should have simply sought in the beginning. Lastly, the solution he found to a culture-wide social problem was so simplistic as to be ineffectual. It wouldn’t actually solve the problem and does nothing for the vast majority of victims who don’t happen to be ‘pack princesses.’

The idea of the bloodling was interesting, but I didn’t think it was well integrated into the story or explored very deeply. If I found the sequel free, I might read it. I wouldn’t pay for it.

Review of Illegal Alien, by Carrie Harris

Illegal AlienAuthor, Carrie Harris sent me a copy of her novel Illegal Alien.

Description from Goodreads:
Toledo police detective Audrey Vorkink has a rep for getting things done. She might look like a middle-aged soccer mom (complete with bobbed hair), but she works hard and unwinds even harder. One night, as she’s meeting with her edgier-than-it-sounds knitting group, a hit-and-run accident turns deadly right outside the building. But something’s fishy about the missing driver, something positively…inhuman.

Audrey can run down any criminal, but what if this one’s from another planet? Can she bring the bad guy to justice? Is she going insane? Will she ever manage to get a decent haircut?

Review:
This was almost a four star book. Almost. It was a snarky, fun read. I loved that the main character was a full adult, with an adult child. You just don’t see 40ish-year-old women as leads all that often. She’s a cop and good at her job. She had female and platonic male friends. And she was appropriately skeptical when aliens came onto the scene. It’s really a great set up.

For most of the book I was leaning toward a four star rating. Four, not five, because it felt a bit too slow. I just kept waiting for the pace to pick up and it didn’t, until the very end. And it’s that ending that lost it the further half a star. The book kind of ends where you’d expect the real story to begin, leaving the reader feeling abandoned. And while that’s a great hook to pick up the next book, it feels manipulative to readers (or this reader). We’ve all become familiar with this technique, as we see it all the time in free prequel novellas to series and, though a bit too long to be a novella, it has that same not-a-stand-alone feel to it.

It’s well-written and fun. So, I don’t consider my time wasted. I do have a major gripe about the over though. I know it’s a small thing, but it annoys me. The book started with the main character being mocked for her soccer-mom bob and this became a bit of a running gag. It’s a thing in the book until she got it cut even shorter. It’s even in the blurb………So, the long ponytail on the cover is wrong. And the ship too…