Tag Archives: fantasy romance

Through the Black Mirror

Book Review: Through the Black Mirror, by Blaise Ramsay

Not too long ago I received an Amazon credit and, as I sometimes do, I offered to spend it on buying the book of a Twitter follower. Through the Black Mirror, by Blaise Ramsay was one of the books I bought.

about the book

Through the Black Mirror

“And it shall come, thy final day. When the last of the Witch Hunters cuts thy head from thy shoulders. The reign of the witch shall end when the Bishop’s cross runs red with blood…”

All Zayne Bishop wanted to do was collect the money for the head of the latest witch he killed. As the last of the Bishop line of Witch Hunters, Zayne was all that stood between the innocent and creatures of nightmare. He could not have known the drunken man running into the bar, screaming about how his daughter was abducted by another witch, would be the tool of his ultimate downfall.

Riding into the forest, Zayne finds himself the unfortunate victim of an ambush that left him battered and bruised. The Grand Dark Witch, Carmellia, prompted by an ancient prophecy, hurls the Witch Hunter through the Black Mirror into the streets of San Francisco.

Found and nursed back to health by the handsome Dhamphyre, Logan Myre, Zayne must fight for his life against a horde of witches and demons controlled by the very witch who threw him, half-dead, into the streets.

As their search for a way to get Zayne back grows more dire, it soon becomes apparent there may be no easy way to get the Witch Hunter home. It turns out being thrown through the mirror doesn’t offer Zayne safety from Carmellia’s influence as the witches are able to communicate across worlds through the mysterious Black Mirrors.

And one of them is just as dangerous.

my review

Ok, I’m going to start off by saying that nothing in the description, cover, Amazon tags, etc prepared me for the fact that this is a Young Adult title. And anyone who claims it isn’t I’m going to hit right in the face with, “It sure would be if the hero was a heroine.” He’s 18ish, is told to act “his age” multiple times by people referring to themselves and him as teenagers. Yes, there is some lack of consistency in that one of those ‘teens’ happens to be a several centuries old vampire, but this is a YA book and I didn’t realize that when I bought it. I’m pretty burned out on YA and would not have chosen if I’d known. So, this book admittedly started on it’s back foot, so to speak.

Having said all of that, what I disliked so about it wasn’t it’s YA-ness. It was the writing. I won’t say it’s objectively bad. But it’s sure not to my particular liking. I felt like it was clunky, jagged, and jumped around. Further, I felt like the main character was given one emotional note (pointless and often unnecessary anger). He and it were written so bluntly that I basically disliked him the entire time. There were deus ex machina successes, leaps of logic I couldn’t follow, instant and unexplained loyalties, unaccounted for passages of time, inconsistencies, and repetitions.

The idea behind this book isn’t a bad one. But I finished it by force of will alone.

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.