Tag Archives: City Owl Press

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Book Review: The Witch Collector, by Charissa Weaks

Charissa WeaksThe Witch Collector was featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. You can hop over there for an author interview, excerpt, and a chance to win a copy of the book, if you’d like.  I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book as part of the tour material. So, I decided to give it a read here on See Sadie Read.

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Every harvest moon, the Witch Collector rides into our valley and leads one of us to the home of the immortal Frost King, to remain forever.

Today is that day—Collecting Day.

But he will not come for me. I, Raina Bloodgood, have lived in this village for twenty-four years, and for all that time he has passed me by.

His mistake.

Raina Bloodgood has one desire: kill the Frost King and the Witch Collector who stole her sister. On Collecting Day, she means to exact murderous revenge, but a more sinister threat sets fire to her world. Rising from the ashes is the Collector, Alexus Thibault, the man she vowed to slay and the only person who can help save her sister.

Thrust into an age-old story of ice, fire, and ancient gods, Raina must abandon vengeance and aid the Witch Collector or let their empire—and her sister—fall into enemy hands. But the lines between good and evil blur, and Raina has more to lose than she imagined. What is she to do when the Witch Collector is no longer the villain who stole her sister, but the hero who’s stealing her heart?

my review

In some ways, I really enjoyed this book. In others, I was disappointed. I enjoyed the story and the writing style. The overarching plot looks like it will be a really interesting one. I adored Alexus. He had all the makings and potential to be an alpha a-hole, but he just wasn’t. He was very sweet and marvelously willing to let Raina take the lead. I liked Raina too. She was strong and determined to succeed on her own and I loved the use of sign language. I liked the side characters too. (Though there’s a bit of an age-gap, I’m hoping for a pairing there.)

However, I also thought the book felt a little bit like this was an extended prologue (all 400+ pages of it). So much of the book is spent traveling to the place where the reader expects things to happen and I felt like the middle lagged because of it. And then once they finally reach it, the book ends. I was also aghast at how willing Raina was to trust and divulge super secret information to people who had very a high likelihood of being untrustworthy with that information.

All in all, I think the book just wasn’t what I expected but I enjoyed what it turned out to be instead and I’ll be looking for book two when it comes out.

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Other Reviews:

Review – The Witch Collector (Witch Walker, Book 1) by Charissa Weaks (3/5 stars)

Review: The Witch Collector by Charissa Weaks

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Book Review: Bad Girls Drink Blood, by S.L. Choi

S.L. Choi‘s Bad Girls Drink Blood has been featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight a couple times and, somewhere along the way, I ended up with an ecopy of it. I think I probably won it in one of the giveaways.bad girls drink blood cover
Part sun fae, part blood fae, all abomination.

There is only one hybrid fae in existence, and that dishonor goes to Lane Callaghan.

After a life spent dodging slurs, threats, and assassination attempts, Lane gave her past the one finger salute and ditched her former fae home for good. The detective agency she and her sisters run on the edge of Las Vegas continues to limp along, with Lane doing more debt collecting and intimidating than investigating, but anything to pay the bills. Between working for low-lifes to bring down even lower-lifes, eating cheesy poofs by the bucket, and flirting with the criminally attractive bartender where she conducts business, life is good.

That ends when a routine job goes sideways, leaving Lane with a sack full of stolen sun shards—the source of sun fae power. Without the shards, the sun fae face giving up their magic completely, or risk death if they use their power. Considering they would rather see her dead, good riddance, as far as Lane’s concerned—except her father and adopted sister are sun fae. Lane must choose—return home to save the fae bastards that almost killed her, or let them burn.

my review
I generally enjoyed this. I liked that Lane was a strong female lead, despite her personal insecurities. I appreciated her love and loyalty to her family and that, considering two of the three sisters were adopted, it’s very much a found family. Teddy made for a good romantic partner. I especially liked how he supported her without every trying to stifle her more dangerous tendencies. The world(s) seemed interesting, the plot moved along at a nice clip, and the writing was pretty clean. So, lots of good stuff here.

I did think it was longer than need be—maybe tried to cover too much ground—there were a couple notable inconsistencies, and I felt a little cheated out of the romance. I liked Teddy and Lane, but we didn’t really get to see them falling in love or either one romancing the other. It seemed to have happened prior to the events of the book. As such, I wasn’t overly invested in them as a couple.

However, if there are future books, I’d be up for reading them.

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Other Reviews:

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Book Review: Second Star to the Left, by Megan Van Dyke

Megan Van Dyke‘s Second Star to the Left was featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight, and though I didn’t review the book for the book tour, I did end up with a copy of the book and decided to give it a read.

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Tinker Bell, banished from her homeland for doing the unthinkable, selling the hottest drug in Neverland—pixie dust—wants absolution.

Determined to find a way home, Tink doesn’t hesitate to follow the one lead she has, even if that means seducing a filthy pirate to steal precious gems out from under his…hook.

Captain Hook believes he’s found a real treasure in Tink. That is, until he recovers from her pixie dust laced kiss with a curse that turns the seas against him. With his ship and reputation at the mercy of raging storms, he tracks down the little minx and demands she remove the curse. Too bad she can’t.

However, the mermaid queen has a solution to both of their problems, if Tink and Hook will work together to retrieve a magical item for her.

As they venture to the mysterious Shrouded Isles to find the priceless treasure, their shared nemesis closes in. However, his wrath is nothing compared to the realization that achieving their goal may mean losing something they never expected to find—each other.

my review
I am not, I admit, overly fond of fairy-tale retellings, and I’m especially suspicious of those that seek to redeem villains and present them as something other than what we know them as. But Van Dyke succeeds in some interesting and unexpected ways. How she got around Tink and Hook’s traditional animosity toward one another, to craft a romance between them, was notably clever. So was the recasting of the crocodile.

Having said that, I did think the broader plot was fairly predictable. I saw the “ah-ha’ twist coming miles before it was revealed. But predictable or not, I did have fun with this. I love that there really wasn’t a lot of angst in the romance aspect of it. Hook was pretty open about wanting Tink, even if he fought it in the beginning. Tink might have been a bit slower on the uptake, but also didn’t bother with drama. It was refreshing…and sweet. Yeah, there’s some steam in there too. But the romantic aspect wat truly sweet.

second star to left photoThe writing itself is clean and easy to read. There’s a bit of repetition in the beginning. But it smooths out. And every now and again a phrase would clang as too real-world, slangy for the fantasy setting—like “no shit,” or “it sucked” or “that’s a whole lot of nope.” But there were few enough not to really matter and I found more lines that made me laugh than raise an eyebrow.

All in all, I enjoyed this a lot. I even managed to pick up a 10 or so page-long epilogue somewhere along the way (probably from the author’s newsletter) and read it too. I look forward to more of Van Dyke’s future books.

Other Reviews:

ARC Review: SECOND STAR TO THE LEFT by Megan Van Dyke

Westveil Publishing – Second Star to the Left by Megan Van Dyke – 3.5 Star Review

Book Tour & Review: Second Star to the Left (Reimagined Fairy Tales #1) by Megan Van Dyke