Monthly Archives: March 2019

Review of Dark Siren (Half-Lich #1) by Lee Dignam & Katerina Martinez

I picked Dark Siren (by Lee Dignam and Katerina Martinez) as a freebie in 2017, but I upgraded to the Audible version in my recent audiobook buying binge.

Description from Goodreads:

A nightmarish realm. A city of monsters. One girl’s soul caught in the middle.  

Supernatural bounty hunter Alice Werner loves her job. She gets paid the big bucks to take down her targets and doesn’t ask her clients too many questions as long as the money’s good. But when a girl goes missing and the case feels all too familiar, Alice can’t help but act.

Concern for the girl’s safety draws her into a risky case. Compassion keeps her involved when the stakes begin to rise. Desperation forces her to call on an old flame for help. Despite their unfinished past, Alice and Isaac Moreau, a prominent Mage, must work together to save the girl.

When clues reveal more than meets the eye, Alice must face her deepest fears and confront demons from her past to protect the victim, and herself, from a fate worse than death.

Review:

This didn’t work for me. I thought it too much depended on past events that weren’t well integrated into the plot, the characters were fairly shallow—such that I never felt I got to know them—and the writing held far too many similes for comfort. Further, there were several instances of foreshadowing that never came to fruition in the book and the whole thing never really concludes. All in all, I wasn’t impressed.

Complicating matters further for me was that I also didn’t care for Laurel Schroeder’s narration style. Her intonation and speech patterns annoyed me. If I had to guess at the cause, without comparing it to the written text, I’d say she over-emphasized commas. This meant that instead of there being a brief, breath-length pause in the middle of a sentence or list, there were whole full stops. Everything felt broken up. This may be a preference thing and not bother others, but it annoyed the heck out of me.

Review of A Demon and His Witch (Welcome to Hell #1), by Eve Langlais

I picked up a Kindle copy of Eve LanglaisA Demon and his Witch, quite a long while ago. And I upgraded to an Audible copy on my recent audio-book buying binge.

Description from Goodreads:

Burning alive is nothing compared to the heat of his touch.

Roasted at the stake as a witch, while her lover watches, Ysabel sells her soul to the devil in return for revenge. A fair trade until her ex-boyfriend escapes the bowels of Hell and she’s forced to team up with a demon to fetch the jerk back.

Remy’s seen a lot of things during his long tenure in Lucifer’s guard, but nothing can prepare him for the witch with the acerbic tongue–and voluptuous figure. Her mouth says ‘Screw you’, but her body screams ‘Take me’. What’s a poor demon to do when his heart makes things even more complicated by goading him to make her his, forever?

Before he can decide if his demonizing days are done though, he needs to catch the bad guys, save the girl and then find a way to convince her to love him and not kill him.

Welcome to Hell where you’re screwed if you do and damned if don’t. And just so you know, Lucifer’s got a special spot reserved for you… 

Review:

I picked this up expecting a funny, fluffy, sexy romp. What I got instead was an entire book of the heroine forcefully saying she wasn’t interested and a ‘hero’ who never backed off, groping her when unconscious and such. The book is just CONSTANT innuendo and icky rape-culture insistence that regardless of what a woman says, if a man persists he’ll get the girl. It even uses several of the stock phrases, like, “her voice said no, but her tone said yes.”

If I’m honest, there was probably a time (years ago) when I could have read this and only noticed the funny bits (and there are some) and think, “it’s so hot he wants her so bad.” But growing up and learning to think even minimally critically about what I read blitzed it. This is frankly just gross. Which is a shame. I’ve read Langlais in the past and not hated it (here, here and here, all in 2013). Now I have to wonder if those books were better or I was just oblivious to their badness.

Mindy Kennedy did a fine job with the narration, but I wonder how many times she had to take a break and step away to keep her voice steady. I didn’t sense a single eye-roll in it.

Review of An Easy Death (Gunnie Rose #1), by Charlaine Harris

I borrowed an audio copy of Charlaine HarrisAn Easy Death form the local library.

Description from Goodreads:

Set in a fractured United States, in the southwestern country now known as Texoma. A world where magic is acknowledged but mistrusted, especially by a young gunslinger named Lizbeth Rose. Battered by a run across the border to Mexico Lizbeth Rose takes a job offer from a pair of Russian wizards to be their local guide and gunnie. For the wizards, Gunnie Rose has already acquired a fearsome reputation and they’re at a desperate crossroad, even if they won’t admit it. They’re searching through the small border towns near Mexico, trying to locate a low-level magic practitioner, Oleg Karkarov. The wizards believe Oleg is a direct descendant of Grigori Rasputin, and that Oleg’s blood can save the young tsar’s life.

As the trio journey through an altered America, shattered into several countries by the assassination of Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Depression, they’re set on by enemies. It’s clear that a powerful force does not want them to succeed in their mission. Lizbeth Rose is a gunnie who has never failed a client, but her oath will test all of her skills and resolve to get them all out alive.

Review:

I would like to quote another reviewer here, who summarized this novel with:

Girl has guy. Guy is killed. Girl kills killers. Walks across the desert. Kills other people. Drives across the desert. Kills more people. Walks across the desert. Kills still more people. Has sex with frenemy. Walks home. The end. Nice cover. No point.

I agree with this entirely, except for the no point part. I do think the book has a point, even if it’s no deeper than your average action-based gunslinger book. 

I liked Gunny Rose. I thought Harris created an interesting, if hard, world. I listened to the audio version, and I thought Kaminsky did a nice job with the narration. But it’s all just a little flat, a bit on the tedious slow side. Things happen, one after the other (just as Miki’s review suggests) and then the book ends. I just kind of shrugged, not hating it, but not impressed either.