Monthly Archives: October 2017

Review of Nocturne (Hours of the Night #2), by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt

I received a copy of Nocturne, by Irene Preston and Liv Rancourt, from the authors for review. I reviewed others in the series here, here and here.

Description from Goodreads:
For generations, the White Monks have treated the vampire Thaddeus Dupont as a weapon in their battle against demons. However, when a prominent matron drops dead at a party, Thaddeus and his lover Sarasija are asked to find her killer. Their investigation leads them to an old southern family with connections everywhere: Louisiana politics, big business, the Church, and an organization just as secret as the White Monks.

Meanwhile, an esoteric text containing spells for demon-summoning has disappeared, Thaddeus is losing control of le monstre, and Sara is troubled by disturbing dreams. These nightmares could be a side-effect of dating a vampire, or they could be a remnant of his brush with evil. As the nights wear on, Sara fears they are a manifestation of something darker – a secret that could destroy his relationship with Thaddeus.

I really think this was my favorite so far in the series. I liked seeing a bit more of Thad’s “le monstre.” I liked that there wasn’t so much angst about his perceived sins and I liked that Sara had struggles of his own, outside of getting Thad to accept his love. Plus, they were sweet together and I thought the writing was just really good.

I did think it dragged just a little and I was disappointed to end the book not knowing what’s up with Sara’s situation. I assume this is the next book, but it was a pretty big issue to go not only unresolved, but undiscussed even.

All in all, I can’t wait for the next one.

Review of Curva Peligrosa, by Lily Iona MacKenzie

I won a copy of Lily Iona Mackenzie‘s Curva Peligrosa through LibraryThing.

Description from Goodreads:
When Curva Peligrosa arrives in Weed, Alberta, after a twenty-year trek on the Old North Trail from southern Mexico, she stops its residents in their tracks. With a parrot on each shoulder, a glittering gold tooth, and a wicked trigger finger, she is unlike anything they have ever seen before. Curva is ready to settle down, but are the inhabitants of Weed ready for her? Possessed of an insatiable appetite for life and love, Curva’s infectious energy galvanizes the townspeople, turning their staid world upside down with her exotic elixirs and unbridled ways. Toss in an unscrupulous americano developer and a one-eyed Blackfoot chief, stir them all together in the tumult of a tempestuous tornado, and the town of Weed will never be the same again. A lyrical account of one woman’s journey and the unexpected effects it has on the people around her, Curva Peligrosa pulses with the magic at the heart and soul of life.

Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with this book. The writing is good. The editing fine. (I found a few hiccups, but I think I have an early copy.) It didn’t really win me over though. I’m generally a book-a-day reader and it took me four days short of a month to finish this book. That’s an eternity in my reading world.

It’s one of those books that’s supposed to be imbued with meaning. You’re supposed to read it in your book group and natter on about how important and inspiring it is in its abstractness. You’re supposed to see Curva, in all her uneducated, back-to-earth greatness as holding some secrets that we could all do with learning.

I however, thought it was too random and lacking focus. I dislike aggrandization, especially purposeful self-aggrandizing. It’s pretentious, and that’s how this book felt to me. I very much think this book will be a total winner for some people and total flop for others. I wouldn’t expect too many middle of the road readers.

Review of Sightlines (The Community #3), by Santino Hassell

I received a copy of Santino Hassell‘s Sightlines through Netgalley. I reviewed the first two book in the series, Insight and Oversight, earlier in the year.

Description from Goodreads:
Chase Payne is a walking contradiction. He’s the most powerful psychic in the Community, but the least respected. He’s the son of the Community’s founder, but with his tattoo sleeves and abrasive attitude, he’s nothing like his charismatic family. No one knows what to make of him, which is how he wound up locked in a cell on the Farm yet again. But this time, the only man he’s ever loved is there too.

Elijah Estrella was used to being the sassy sidekick who fooled around with Chase for fun. But that was before he realized the Community wasn’t the haven he’d believed in and Chase was the only person who’d ever truly tried to protect him. Now they’re surrounded by people who want to turn them against their friends, and the only way out is to pretend the brainwashing works.

With Chase playing the role of a tyrant’s second-in-command, and Elijah acting like Chase’s mindless sex toy, they risk everything by plotting a daring escape. In the end, it’s only their psychic abilities, fueled by their growing love for each other, that will allow them to take the Community down once and for all.

I hate to say this, but I think my love affair with Santino Hassell’s books is over. On the sites I’m forced to use a numerical start rating, I almost gave it 2 stars. The end dragged it up to a third, but it was a close call. I simply didn’t like it. I didn’t like the characters. I didn’t like the narrative style. I didn’t like the pacing. I. did. no. like. it. And if I’m honest, the last several books by Hassell that I’ve read have skirted this same edge. And it makes me so sad, I lovedhis early works. But all his characters feel the same now and here I felt Chase was taken to such a grumpy extreme that I couldn’t overcome it enough to enjoy his character. And Elijah was a shadow, barely there. As always, the mechanical writing is good but this book was a bust for me.