Author Archives: Zarah Robinson

Review of The Hanged Man (The Tarot Sequence, #2) by K.D. Edwards

I borrowed a copy of K.D. Edward‘s The Hanged Man from my local library. This is book two in The Tarot Sequence series. I reviewed book one (The Last Sun) about this time last year and also listed it as one of my top six reads of 2019.

Description from Goodreads:

The last member of a murdered House tries to protect his ward from forced marriage to a monster while uncovering clues to his own past.

The Tarot Sequence imagines a modern-day Atlantis off the coast of Massachusetts, governed by powerful Courts based on the traditional Tarot deck.

Rune Saint John, last child of the fallen Sun Throne, is backed into a fight of high court magic and political appetites in a desperate bid to protect his ward, Max, from a forced marital alliance with the Hanged Man.

Rune’s resistance will take him to the island’s dankest corners, including a red light district made of moored ghost ships; a surreal skyscraper farm; and the floor of the ruling Convocation, where a gathering of Arcana will change Rune’s life forever.

Review:

Book one of this series was one of my favorite reads of 2019 and, unless something changes, I imagine The Hanged Man will make the list for 2020. It’s certainly the best book I’ve read so far this year. I love the many different types of love legitimized in it—romantic, paternal, fraternal, maternal, adoptive, platonic. Care is shown in so many different ways, without ever being sappy or didactic. Everyone deserves a Brand, Addam or Corinne in their life. Or we should all strive to live such that we deserve them.

I especially love Brand and Rune’s relationship (and Addam’s acceptance of it). It’s full of insults and sarcasm. But, where too many authors overdo this, letting it fall into overuse and become a redundant schtick, I don’t feel like Edwards ever does.

I think the book could have done with another round of copy edits. But all in all, I cannot wait for the next book. (I really hope there will be a next book.)

On a funny side note, I cannot tell you how many times I picked the book up upside down and then had to rotate it. That cover apparently did a number on my brain. LOL

Review of Fire & Water (Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator #3), by Alexis Hall

I received a copy of Fire & Water, by Alexis Hall, through Netgalley. I read and reviewed the first two books Iron & Velvet and Shadows & Dreams in 2014. My god, 2014!

Description from Goodreads:

I like my whiskey like I like my women: embroiled in a magical war

Ten years ago I fought for the Witch Queen of London in a mystical showdown against a King Arthur wannabe with a shaved head and a shotgun. Back then, the law did for him before he could do for us.

I don’t think we’ll get that lucky again.

As if the mother of all wizard battles wasn’t bad enough, fate or destiny or a god with a really messed-up sense of humor has dropped a weapon that could rewrite the universe right into the middle of London, and anybody with half a sniff of arcane power has rocked up to stake their claim on it. Last time this happened, the city went to pieces. This time, it might just go to Hell.

Also, still dating a vampire. Still got an alpha werewolf trying to get in my pants. Still sharing a flat with a woman made of animated marble—only now apparently there are two of her. But you know what they say: the more things change, the more they stay the same crap that’s been trying to kill you your entire life.

Review:

It’s been almost five years since I read the first two books in this series. So, I went into Fire & Water a little warily. I wasn’t sure I’d remember enough to follow the plot or if my memory of enjoying the earlier books was accurate. But Alexis Hall is one of my favorite authors, so I had faith. Hall catches the reader up on past events, in the beginning, carries Kate’s sardonic humor throughout and wraps everything up (while leaving an opening for more) in the end. All in all, it was another win for me.

However, I did think things just sort of happened. From the start to the finish, the book is a series of Kate did this, did that, then a small section fo Elsie did this and that, then more Kate did this before a lot of people did that. There isn’t really any pause in the series of events for any character development or even getting to know anyone if you don’t already.

Despite my one complaint, I look forward to more Kare Kane in the future. I just hope I don’t have to wait five years for this one.

Review of A Wallflower’s Folly, by Amanda Mariel

I received an Audible code for a copy of Amanda Mariel‘s A Wallflower’s Folly.

Description from Goodreads:

A headstrong wallflower… 

Lady Olivia Montague’s betrothed has ignored her and their contract for years. In the meantime, she has decided to remain unwed, embracing the life of a spinster. The last thing she expects is for her betrothed to come storming back into her life. 

A Determined Duke… 

Following the death of his parents, William Breckenridge finds himself as the Duke of Thorne and in charge of his three younger sisters. He needs help in the form of a mother and guide for his siblings. Lucky for William, he’s already betrothed. All he need do is collect his future duchess. 

An unstoppable love… 

William and Olivia engage in a battle of wills, but the more she resists and he pursues, the more their passions flare. Once the heart is engaged, resistance becomes difficult, but will they give into happily ever after?

Review:

This book and I had problems, the most grievous of which was the fact that I was indignant on Olivia’s behalf for the entire book. Their marriage was arranged when they were children. Then, he disappeared for 15 years without so much as a word. But when he needed a woman to do womanly things in his life, he showed up—a perfect stranger—to take the tool off the shelf and demands she honor the agreement (because she’s convenient). Until that point he hadn’t honored it, but despite her protests that she did not wish to marry him, he demanded she would. 

Given these circumstances I was even more indignant that he liked and was attracted to her. He got to ignore her for as long as he liked (injuring her in the process) and then gets a pretty and amusing wife out of the deal. While she got ignored and then forced into a marriage she didn’t want. Oh, how men always get their cake and to eat it too, while women eat crow, apparently. The fact that she gave in as soon as he said the magic three words enraged me further still, if you’d believe that possible. As if all it takes to make a woman who doesn’t desire marriage desirous of it is to be chosen by a man. Seriously, fuck off. 

Also, the whole premise of the book is how long the Duke ‘left her on the shelf’ before coming to claim her (and she’s meant to mother a 19 and 20-year-old.) So, she must be above average age for a marriageable woman. Yet, neither of her BFFS appear to be married either and she acts like a complete child. 

Lastly, a comment on the editing/narration. Since I had an audio copy, I don’t know where the errors originated (from the author or the narrator), but there were several misused words/grammar errors. And while as an American I’m no expert on English accents, I rather suspect this narrator’s accent (with her Vs for Th, for example) did not even approximate an aristocratic English accent. Rather like hearing a book set in the Bronx read in a Southern accent, for us Americans. Not bad, but a little jarringly out of place. Presumably more so for those from that part of the world.

I’d likely give this author another chance. But this book was a bust.