Tag Archives: bookreview

the messenger chronicles

Series Review: The Messenger Chronicles, by Pippa DaCosta

I picked up the first book in Pippa DaCosta’s Messenger Chronicles, Shoot the Messenger, as a freebie on Amazon. I then borrowed book 2, 3, and 4 of the series (Game of Lies, Nightshade’s Touch, and Prince of Dreams) in audio through Hoopla. Lastly, I purchased an ecopy of book 5, Her Dark Legion.

I wrote a review when I finished Shoot the Messenger, but I simply flew through the rest of them all together. There’s no good way to go back and pick through the story for individual reviews. So, I just wrote one review to stand for them all.

But, if I’m honest, that works for me. I usually want to know how a series starts (is it worth picking up) and ends. Because if I like the beginning I’ll keep going, but like to know if it has an actual ending. The middle is….well, it’s the middle, isn’t it?

So, here goes.

Shoot the MessengerAbout the book:

“Lies aren’t her only weapons against the fae…”

In the Halow system, one of Earth’s three sister star systems, tek and magic—humans and the fae—are at war.

Kesh Lasota is a ghost in the machine. Invisible to tek, she’s hired by the criminal underworld to carry illegal messages through the Halow system. But when one of those messages kills its recipient, Kesh finds herself on the run with a bounty on her head and a quick-witted marshal on her tail.

Proving her innocence should be straightforward—until a warfae steals the evidence she needs. The fae haven’t been seen in Halow in over a thousand years. And this one—a brutally efficient killer able to wield tek—should not exist. But neither should Kesh.

As Kesh’s carefully crafted lie of a life crumbles around her, she knows remaining invisible is no longer an option. To hunt the fae, to stop him from destroying a thousand-year-long fragile peace, she must resurrect the horrors of her past.

Kesh Lasota was a ghost. Now she’s back, and there’s only one thing she knows for certain. Nobody shoots the messenger and gets away with it.

A new space fantasy series where the guys are hot, the perils are many, and one rebel messenger holds the key to the survival of the human race.

Review:

Ha, you have to admire the audacity of this mash-up, it’s old-school, all powerful fae…in space! And to my complete surprise, it works. I truly enjoyed DaCosta’s “Paranormal Space Fantasy.” My enjoyment was helped along by the fact that I liked both Kesh and Kellee, and was intrigued by the possibility of Talen. I’ll definitely be continuing the series.

However, I also thought it suffered from plot-drift a bit. A twist to Kesh’s character appears toward the end of the book that doesn’t feel believable, since the reader was in HER head for the whole book. That she might have tricked the other characters was certainly conceivable, but how it’s supposed to have escaped the notice of the reader who was in her head is a huge question. Thus, if felt as if the author simply changed directions in the plot.

Regardless, I want more.


Messenger Chronicles 2-5

And here’s what I said about the rest of them.

Review:

Prior to this series, I’d read one Pippa DaCosta book and, while I didn’t dislike it, I wasn’t particularly impressed either. So, I was startled to dive into this series and want to stay for a while. I really enjoyed it. It’s not perfect, but it’s fun and everything wraps around itself and comes to a satisfying conclusion (something I feel like happens more and more rarely these days). I liked Kesh as a character. I loved Sota as a comedic side-kick and I appreciated that, even though this is a reverse harem, it isn’t drowning in sex. It strikes a nice balance. All in all, a true success for me.

 

Burned to a crisp title

Review of Burned to a Crisp (Gingerbread Hag Mystery #1), by K.A. Miltimore.

I came across and claimed an Audible code for a copy of Burned to a Crisp (Gingerbread Hag Mystery #1), K.A. Miltimore. I don’t honestly recall where though.

About the bookHedy Leckenmaul runs a strange little bakery in the sleepy town of Enumclaw, Washington. Her bakery may be bizarre but it is the non-human guests who stay at her home, along with her resident ghost, and her menagerie of talking animals that truly is strange. Hedy hosts a waystation for supernatural travelers and while hosting two such travelers, the town is rocked by an arsonist who is kidnapping women, and pitting the residents of Enumclaw against each other. Hedy and her friends must solve the mystery when one of their own vanishes, leaving them racing to find out who is behind it all before it is too late.

my reviewThis was pretty good, if not quite to my tastes. It does depend heavily on being quirky and cute, with the main character just being the sweetest lil thing you could imagine. *Insert eye roll.* Maybe it was the way she was voiced, but for all the world she reminded me of Ms. Frizzle, from The Magic School Bus. I’m not so much into the nice-nice protagonists, with their utter lack of grey, which the heroine and all the good guys here are. Despite that I do appreciate that the book is well-structured (though the pace sags in the middle a little), there’s a pleasant little FF side romance, the mystery isn’t blatantly obvious (though not too hard to figure out either),  I liked the characters themselves, and the narrator did a fine job. All in all, I might read another Gingerbread Hag Mystery, but I’m in no rush about it.

 

Double the alpha title

Review of Double the Alpha: A Paranormal Menage Romance, by Amira Rain

Doubel the Alpha audio coverI came across an Audible code for Double the Alpha: A Paranormal Menage Romance, by Amira Rain at some point earlier this year. I listened to it as I did housework today.

She knew she could handle one alpha, but could she handle TWO?”

In an apocalyptic future, Ellie Miller realized that the only way to keep her people safe was to do a deal with the nearby wolf pack.

In exchange for protection, she would offer them the only thing she could offer…

Herself.

And that was something that the alpha Eric McCormick would gladly accept.

However, when Ellie arrived at the pack she found there was a twist. Eric had joined forces with another alpha named Ryan.

Now Ellie must be mated to both of them or the deal was off….

SPOILERS!!!!

This failed on so many levels, but the biggest one is as a romance. The next is as a menage, then as an attempt at erotica, and also as an attempt at not-zombie-but-might-as-well-be-zombie apocalyptic fiction and fantasy.

Let’s start with the romance and menage aspects since they are entwined. [I’ll warn you again, SPOILERS.] You CANNOT introduce the reader to two mates, spend 3/4 of a book building this relationship up and then suddenly have the female decide she doesn’t actually love both men and one man conveniently turns out to be a treacherous betrayer (all within some shockingly short amount of time). It WILL leave the reader feeling disconnected and dissatisfied at the end. I hadn’t been given the chance to truly engage with and come to have any feelings about the couple. NONE. Which meant the ending hit the ground with a giant splat. What’s more, if that’s the way an author wants to play it, they shouldn’t put “menage romance” on the cover because that’s not what it is when all is said and done

Further, the sex scenes were stale and pitiful. The sex was spoken about as if it was sooo transgressive and kinky, but literally, the female felt “filthy” and kinky because she liked being called a “naughty girl” and having sex on her knees. There isn’t anything wrong with relatively vanilla sex in a book, but to have the narrator talk about it like it’s something else always jars me. It’s like a nun trying to titillate. It just clashes and they don’t have any real grasp of how little they know. (Or I should say the stereotype of a nun, because in real life they may all be porn addicts for all I know.)

Then there were the not-zombies and fantasy aspects of the book. The not-zombies were literally just window dressings, there but of no real importance. The same can be said for the wolf aspect. The men could have been alpha-like soldiers and the book would have read exactly the same. What’s more, the author gave the main character a superpower and then left her home baking cupcakes, never giving it purpose.

Actually, as much as I complain about the sex scenes or ridiculous plot drift that resulted in the menage being reduced to a couple, my biggest irritant about the book was how the “males” were always being spoken about as active in protection, and work, and decisions, etc and the “females” were never truly included as anything but after-thoughts—pretty little baubles to be left at home while the men-folk were out being important.

Lastly, the author needs to do a search of her manuscript for repeat words, “community” and the phrase “or something” especially. Every character says “or something” constantly. If it was one character I’d call it a character quirk, but as it’s all of them it’s just noticeable and annoying repetition in the writing.

All in all, I’m awful glad to not be listening to this anymore.