Tag Archives: audiobook

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Book Review: Spin the Shadows, by Cate Corvin

I borrowed an audio copy of Cate Corvin‘s Spin the Shadows through Hoopla.

Spin the Shadows

I ate six seeds. Now I owe six months of debt to a dangerously sexy Fae hitman.

I’d had everything a dryad could want- a job, an apartment, and a scandalous human boyfriend-
Until I stole the wrong fruit from the wrong Fae.
Dragged into the Seelie underworld of deception and lies, I do anything he commands: steal, spy, even fight as we hunt down a notorious Fae fugitive.
Not exactly the fun I was looking for, despite the intense attraction between us.
But when the mission ends, I may not want to leave.

Dark and Wicked Fae is a Hades and Persephone-inspired Fae reverse harem romance, with high steam and a harem that builds over time. For mature readers only.

my review

This was a big bucket of Meh for me. I wouldn’t call the writing or the narration bad. It’s just that nothing about the book—not the characters, not the world, not the supposed romance, hell, not even the one sex scene—lit me up. I felt pretty flat about the whole thing, the whole way through.

I said “supposed romance” because, despite being a slow-burn reverse harem, there is no romance here. The main character has sex with one man, kisses another, and is obviously open to a third who hasn’t made a move yet. But there is no romance going on, not even before the sex scene. So, meh.

But worst of all, for me, was that the entire method to her investigation is to dress like a whore and walk into arenas where men disrespect, disparage and abuse women. And while I understood that punishing such men was part of her motivation, it meant I had to sit through  the disrespect, disparagement, and abuse of women. I don’t enjoy that. At. All. What’s more, I’ve read such plots so many times that I’ve come to consider them the lazy, low-hanging fruit of the plotting world. So, meh.

All in all, Cate Corvin may be a fine writer. I might try another of her series. But I have no desire to continue this one.

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Other Reviews:

Tracy’s Book Reviews: Spin the Shadows


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Book Review: The Awakening, by Nora Roberts

I borrowed an audio copy of Nora RobertsThe Awakening from the local library.

the awakening Nora Roberts

In the realm of Talamh, a teenage warrior named Keegan emerges from a lake holding a sword – representing both power and the terrifying responsibility to protect the Fey. In another realm known as Philadelphia, a young woman has just discovered she possesses a treasure of her own….

When Breen Kelly was a girl, her father would tell her stories of magical places. Now she’s an anxious 20-something mired in student debt and working a job she hates. But one day she stumbles upon a shocking discovery: Her mother has been hiding an investment account in her name. It has been funded by her long-lost father – and it’s worth nearly four million dollars.

This newfound fortune would be life-changing for anyone. But little does Breen know that when she uses some of the money to journey to Ireland, it will unlock mysteries she couldn’t have imagined. Here, she will begin to understand why she kept seeing that silver-haired, elusive man, why she imagined his voice in her head saying, “Come home, Breen Siobhan. It’s time you came home.” Why she dreamed of dragons. And where her true destiny lies – through a portal in Galway that takes her to a land of faeries and mermaids, to a man named Keegan, and to the courage in her own heart that will guide her through a powerful, dangerous destiny…..

my review

Before I get to the review, let me start with a humorous little story (that doesn’t reflect too well on me) about why I avoided listening to this book for so long. And I did actually actively avoid it, several times.

My local library doesn’t have all that many online romantic fantasy audiobooks and I’ve listened to most of them. For the last year or so, every time I’d check for something new this book would come up as recommended. And it looks like everything I’d love. It has fae, and magic, a little romance, and a dragon on the front. But I’d always skip it, saying, “I don’t like Nora Roberts’ writing.” I was firm in this belief. People have recommended her books to me and I’ve wrinkle my nosed and said, “No, I don’t like her books” and demured.

But I recently thought to go back and refresh my memory about which books I’d read and couldn’t find a single one. Either I failed to document it—which seems unlikely considering I run a whole hobby blog for the purpose of documenting my reading—I’ve confused Nora with another author, or I’d just prejudged her. I, honestly, fear it was probably the latter. To say I was surprised is an understatement.

So, I thought, “Well hell, guess I’ll give The Awakening a chance after all.” Especially since I’ve read so many Awakening books this year. The actual reading challenge is done. But I still laugh when I scroll through my review page and see Awakening, Awakening, Awakening (along with a few The Awakenings). Adding to the list amuses me more than I can say. (I know, it’s ridiculous. But you take joy where you can find it, right?)

And now I’ve officially read a Nora Roberts book and can convince the library’s algorithm to stop recommending this one to me. And I’m sad to say that I didn’t love it. It was long and slow. The romantic interest was an asshat and there is no actual romantic development between her not liking him and jumping in bed and falling for him. The gay people were super cliched (though I’m thrilled to have seen the rep at all). The main character’s all but effortless and basically instant publishing success was more fantastical that the faeries and witches aspect of the book. And the whole thing ended on a cliffhanger.

I will say that the writing itself is very good and I enjoyed the narrator. (I personally couldn’t tell if her Irish accents were realistic ones, but I liked listening to it.) I think that if this had been half as long or if the plot had traveled twice as far into the actual story I might have enjoyed it. As it was, I was largely bored by it.

As this is my first Nora Roberts book, I don’t know if this is representative of her work or not. But I do know I’m in no hurry for more. Maybe I was on to something all those years I claimed not to like her books.

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Other Reviews:

All Characters Wanted: The Awakening

The Awakening by Nora Roberts




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Book Review: Ginger Storm, by J.P. Rice

I received an Audible code for a copy of The Scarlet Dragon Saga (books 1-3), by J. P. Rice. However, I chose to listen only to Ginger Storm (book 1) at this point.

ginger storm audio

I’m the most notorious magic thief in the world.

I shouldn’t have let the Morrigan teach me how to steal black magic through blood rituals. Now that I’m filled with deadly magic, I struggle to control the darkness.

My powers also make me a prime target for jealous Gods and the stupid magic councils.

But when an enchanted relic that has haunted me for most of my life goes missing in my old city, I shove fear aside and return to the place where everyone wants me dead.

To find Lugh’s Spear, I’ll need to team up with former enemies and figure out which one of my allies is lying to me. The Bounty Huntress from the Supreme Magic Council is hot on my heels too.

With several powerful entities closing in on me, I could leave town and take the easy way out.

To the chagrin of some supernatural tough guys, that’s not happening. I never take the easy path. I plan to find Lugh’s Spear and return it to the Celtic Gods.

My black magic blood can turn me into a murderous maniac at the drop of a hat. If I can control my inner darkness, I might be able to solve the mystery.

my review

I hate to say it (especially since what I actually have is the compilation of books 1-3), but I was not a fan of Ginger Storm. Is this a spin-off of another series, or something? I really feel like nothing was developed enough for me to be invested in…or sometimes even understand. Mythical characters came and went, creating a disconcerting soup and no notable world-construction.

Plus, I spent most of the book waiting and waiting and waiting for a plot to pop up. And when it finally did (way, way, way late in the book) June seemed able to manifest abilities at will. I didn’t feel like she was a well-delineated character, so much as if the author just randomly pulled whatever out of their hat when they needed it.

But worst of all—for me—was that it’s so cliched in the way every man either loves or perves on June (for real or with ulterior motives) and almost every single woman in the book (other than June) is either nameless arm candy, slutty, murderous, or just vile in some other way. I don’t actually know anything about J.P. Rice, but I’d bet dollars to donuts they’re a man. The unconscious male-gaze is that kind of strong in this one. Not misogynistic, just subtly but clearly from the mind of a man. Which isn’t a bad thing, in and of itself. But it’s not something I enjoy, personally.

I don’t know that I hated this enough to not finish the compilation (because unfinished audiobooks linger and annoy me). But I disliked it enough to not want to listen to another right now.

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