Monthly Archives: July 2017

Review of The Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga #2) by Elise Kova

I’ve spent the last couple days roughing it….in a tent…in 100+ degree weather. I’ve been wholly without internet and, honestly, didn’t get much time to read. Too busy floating the river, staying hydrated by any means and generally engaging with nature. Despite all that, I did finally finish Elise Kova‘s The Dragon’s of Nova. I reviewed the first in the series, The Alchemists Loom, last year. I got both through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust — hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything — and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills — and quick-shooting accuracy — makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall. 

Review:
To start with, can I just note that Kova’s book always seem to have the most beautiful covers? Seriously, I love them all, this one included.

I have to admit, I didn’t like this one quite as much as The Alchemists Loom. It was set at a faster pace, which was a relief and I understood the world coming in, which was also beneficial. I even loved Cvareh. I appreciate a male who knows what (who) he wants and is willing to do what is needed to win them. In this case, take a back seat to her needs and play support. And a whole culture that makes no distinction on the gender of romantic partners was a bonus.

Unfortunately, as much as I liked Cvareh, I didn’t so much connect with Arianna. I felt like half of the attention that would otherwise have been focused on her was given to Florence. And of the time given to Arianna’s POV, I didn’t much care for her gruff persona and dishonesty with her own emotions. I did like Florence, however. There is a character that grew into herself.

Like book one, this one comes to a natural stopping point. But it’s a stopping point, not an ending and certainly not a conclusion. I don’t know how many books are planned for the series, but this isn’t the last one.

Review of The Immortals (Olympus Bound, #1), by Jordanna Max Brodsky

I borrowed a copy of The Immortals, by Jordanna Max Brodsky, from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
Manhattan.
The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone-just the way she likes it. She doesn’t believe in friends, and she doesn’t speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous.

Murders.
In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago. To protect the innocent-and to punish those who stand in her way.

Gods.
With the NYPD out of its depth, Selene vows to hunt the killer on her own. But when classics professor Theo Schultz decodes the ancient myth behind the crime, the solitary Huntress finds herself working with a man who’s her opposite in every way. Together, they face a long-forgotten cult that lies behind a string of murders, and they’ll need help from the one source Selene distrusts most of all: the city’s other Immortals.

Review:
I thought that this was basically OK, nothing wrong with it, but I didn’t love it. Liked it ok, but not love.

It will help to brush up on your Greek mythology before reading it though, since there’s a lot of it packed into this particular book. I liked the idea of the gods living among us mortals. Though the idea that they’re fading as they’re not worshipped anymore isn’t a new one.

I liked the mystery, though I figured it out pretty quickly. I liked that the main characters are second string gods/goddesses. We’re not talking Zeus here, but Artemis, Apollo, and such. I liked the strong female characters and the geeky, academic “beta male” hero. Though his treatment of his ex didn’t really endear him to me.

The issue I had, was with the romance. It never felt right to me, and not just because Artemis is supposed to be virginal goddess. It just felt abrupt and shoehorned in. I mean, she only interacts peaceably with one man and he just happens to be the one. And in the end, I couldn’t visualize how a relationship was meant to work.

All in all, not bad, but maybe not for me.

Review of The Dragon’s Legacy, by Deborah A. Wolf

I borrowed a copy of Deborah A. Wolf’s The Dragon’s Legacy from my local library.

Description from Goodreads:
The last Aturan King is dying, and as his strength fades so does his hold on sa and ka. Control of this power is a deadly lure; the Emperor stirs in his Forbidden City to the East, while deep in the Seared Lands, the whispering voices of Eth bring secret death. Eight men and women take their first steps along the paths to war, barely realizing that their world will soon face a much greater threat; at the heart of the world, the Dragon stirs in her sleep. A warrior would become Queen, a Queen would become a monster, and a young boy plays his bird-skull flute to keep the shadows of death at bay. 

Review:
Are you ready to dive into an epic series in which the first 486 page book is nothing more than the characters getting on the board and doesn’t do anything more than set up future book? Well, this is the book for you!

I was not ready for that. I was ready for a 486 page story. I got a 486 page introduction, maybe a prologue. It was not enough. I ended this book disappointed…and it took me forever and a day to read it. I got sooo tired of having to reference the three(!) dictionaries in the front. Thank god they were there, but did the book need its own freakin’ language?

The writing was pretty, though quite purple on occasion and I liked how some of the gender tropes were subverted. But part of me is side-eyeing that same subversion. Is it really a subversive if it’s just been flipped, not really explored in any depth.

As an aside, I was consistently annoyed that this appeared to be another world, but there were several very earth-like jokes and references. Like a quip about knowing poor Yorick well. Perhaps its meant as a future earth, but there were at least two suns for example, so I thought not. Each such comment felt anachronistic to me.

All in all, not a bad book, but not at all what I was looking for.