Tag Archives: Berkley Press

Book Review: The Bright and Breaking Sea, by Chloe Neill

I borrowed an audio copy of Chloe Neill‘s The Bright and Breaking Sea through Hoopla (narrated by Danielle Cohen).

a bright and breaking sea

Kit Brightling, rescued as a foundling and raised in a home for talented girls, has worked hard to rise through the ranks of the Isles’ Crown Command and become one of the few female captains in Queen Charlotte’s fleet. Her ship is small, but she’s fast- in part because of Kit’s magical affinity to the sea. But the waters become perilous when the queen sends Kit on a special mission with a partner she never asked for.

Rian Grant, Viscount Queenscliffe, may be a veteran of the Continental war, but Kit doesn’t know him or his motives- and she’s dealt with one too many members of the Beau Monde. But Kit has her orders, and the queen has commanded they journey to a dangerous pirate quay and rescue a spy who’s been gathering intelligence on the exiled emperor of Gallia.

Kit can lead her ship and clever crew on her own, but with the fate of queen and country at stake, Kit and Rian must learn to trust each other, or else the Isles will fall. . .

my review

I’m of two minds about this book. Both of them enjoyed the book, but one of them is less thrilled than the other. One mind found this a fun, rollicking sea adventure, liked the characters, the witticisms, and the clear writing. The other also enjoyed those same aspects, but acknowledges that the story and plot are exactly what you would expect them to be. It’s not that it’s not creative, but maybe a little formulaic in that there are so few surprises in the plotting and characterizations. Regardless, I imagine I’ll be back to read book two. Both minds liked it, after all.

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Other Reviews:

Book Review: The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill

The Bright and Breaking Sea by Chloe Neill

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Book Review: A Terrible Fall of Angels, by Laurell K. Hamilton

I borrowed a copy of Laurell K. Hamilton‘s A Terrible Fall of Angels from the local library.

a terrible fall of angels

Meet Detective Zaniel Havelock, a man with the special ability to communicate directly with angels. A former trained Angel speaker, he devoted his life to serving both the celestial beings and his fellow humans with his gift, but a terrible betrayal compelled him to leave that life behind. Now he’s a cop who is still working on the side of angels. But where there are angels, there are also demons. There’s no question that there’s evil at work when he’s called in to examine the murder scene of a college student—but is it just the evil that one human being can do to another, or is it something more? When demonic possession is a possibility, even angelic protection can only go so far. The race is on to stop a killer before he finds his next victim, as Zaniel is forced to confront his own very personal demons, and the past he never truly left behind.

my review

I am one of the many readers who adored the Anita Blake series until I didn’t. As a result, I avoided Laurell K. Hamilton books for quite a while. But I saw this one at the library and the synopsis intrigued me. Since borrowing a book from the library requires very little actual commitment, I gave it a go.

Long story short, I really liked this. I did think it dragged in the middle (really more like 2/3 through), with quite a few info drops. But I also realize it’s a first book in a series that needs to do some extra work in world-building. I adored Zaniel and appreciated that the ‘romance’ (if you want to call it that) was him trying to fix a broken marriage. Pretty much all the cops made me laugh and I’m interested in learning more about the College of Angels and the people Zaniel left behind.

I also liked that Hamilton legitimized basically all religions. There were gods, angels, spirit guides, spirit animals, messengers, and more. True, Angels were give prominence in the story, but I didn’t feel that was Hamilton prioritizing one religion over another. If the story (or any future one) was from different characters’ POVs different deities could be the prominent ones. Plus, the cast was as diverse as the pantheons.

All in all, a win for me. I’ll be looking for book two.

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Other Reviews:

ARC Review: A Terrible Fall of Angels by Laurell K. Hamilton

Review: A Terrible Fall of Angels by Laurell K. Hamilton

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Book Review: The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels, by India Holton

I won a book stack from Waves of Fiction and among the books was India Holton‘s The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels.

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A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.

Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She’s also a thief. Like the other members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Sure, she has a dark and traumatic past and an overbearing aunt, but all things considered, it’s a pleasant existence. Until the men show up.

Ned Lightbourne is a sometimes assassin who is smitten with Cecilia from the moment they meet. Unfortunately, that happens to be while he’s under direct orders to kill her. His employer, Captain Morvath, who possesses a gothic abbey bristling with cannons and an unbridled hate for the world, intends to rid England of all its presumptuous women, starting with the Wisteria Society. Ned has plans of his own. But both men have made one grave mistake. Never underestimate a woman.

When Morvath imperils the Wisteria Society, Cecilia is forced to team up with her handsome would-be assassin to save the women who raised her–hopefully proving, once and for all, that she’s as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them.

my review

I adored this. It was an absolute mad-cap adventure, full of sarcasm and pointed cognitive dissonance. I adored Cecilia and all of her morally ambiguous, but completely proper aunties. I thought Ned was a marvelous love interest. It would be difficult to call him a hero, since Cecilia has so little need of one. But he does try, bless his heart.

As much as I loved the witty repartee and utter lack of seriousness, it did become tedious at times, making the book feel a little like a one-trick pony. But every-time I started to think it, the book would throw some sarcastic aside at me and I’d find myself laughing again. I also disliked how easily Cecilia went from strong, smart, and capable to silly and how often. One sip of alcohol and she’s giggling drunk, for example. But that’s a relatively small complaint in the larger picture.

I’m so glad to see Alex will be the male focus of book two. I’ll be lined up to read it on it’s release.

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Other Reviews:

Review: The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels (Dangerous Damsels #1) by India Holton