Tag Archives: fantasy

Review of Coveted, by Shawntelle Madison

I picked up a signed copy of Coveted, by Shawntelle Madison in a second-hand shop.

Description from Goodreads:
For werewolf Natalya Stravinsky, the supernatural is nothing extraordinary. What does seem strange is that she’s stuck in her hometown of South Toms River, New Jersey, the outcast of her pack, selling antiques to finicky magical creatures. Restless and recovering from her split with gorgeous ex-boyfriend, Thorn, Nat finds comfort in an unusual place: her obsessively collected stash of holiday trinkets. But complications pile up faster than her ornaments when Thorn returns home—and the two discover that the spark between them remains intense.

Before Nat can sort out their relationship, she must face a more immediate and dangerous problem. Her pack is under attack from the savage Long Island werewolves—and Nat is their first target in a turf war. Toss in a handsome wizard vying for her affection, a therapy group for the anxious and enchanted, and the South Toms River pack leader ready to throw her to the wolves, and it’s enough to give anybody a panic attack. With the stakes as high as the full moon, Nat must summon all of her strength to save her pack and, ultimately, herself.

Review:
This was not very good. It was simply dull and inconsistent. One moment the narrator was going on about how Nat had no friends, the next her best friend was showing up on her doorstep. One moment she’s being treated like a pariah by her family, the next they’re there for her. (And visa versa, they flipped several times.) For the whole book Nat was completely spineless, super subservient and inferior to everyone, then she randomly whipped out the alpa attitude.

Then there was all the back and forwards with Thorn. The fact that he abandoned her five years earlier and basically ruined her life wasn’t ever addressed. This irritated me on two fronts. First that the loss of a man ruined her life and no one seemed to blame him for the dick move or give her time to grieve. (Instead they made her condition significantly worse by being inconsiderate and then further blamed her for the predictable results). Second he was never expected to apologize or even explain and she instantly forgave him. Worse, she’d been waiting for him for 5 years without word and didn’t seem to need to forgive him.

This forgiveness for men carried over in the whole book. Nat was thrown out of the pack and practically disowned by her family for not behaving just as they want (they called it being weak). But her brother was a womanizing ass, her father a killer, the alpha cruel, and her love was fickle and disloyal. Still, no one ever did anything by praise and support them.

I disliked the book. I can come up with a dozen reasons why, but the main one is that Nat was so weak, and whiny that I basically hated her. I thought her OCD was interesting, but that wasn’t enough to make me warm up to someone so willing to be a doormat and who shows NO GROWTH throughout the book.

Review of Soul Breaker (City of Crows #1), by Clara Coulson

I picked up a free copy of Clara Coulson‘s Soul Breaker from Amazon on the recommendation of someone in a Fans of Urban Fantasy group.

Description from Goodreads:
There’s a hideous monster on the loose, crushing heads and taking names.

But Detective Calvin Kinsey is on the case!

Two years ago, Cal Kinsey was an up-and-coming cop in the Aurora Police Department. But during a fateful nighttime stakeout in search of a prolific killer, Cal witnessed the darkest corner of his dreams come to life. A rogue vampire slaughtered his partner — to put it nicely — and introduced Cal to the supernatural world he never knew existed in the shadows.

Now, Cal is a newly minted detective at the often mocked Department of Supernatural Investigations. By day, the agents of DSI are called “Kooks” by local law enforcement. By night, they’re known as “Crows,” reviled by the supernatural underworld.

Mere weeks out of the academy, Cal catches his first real case, a vicious murder at a local college. An unknown sorcerer has summoned a powerful creature from the Eververse, a realm of magic and mayhem that borders Earth, and set it on a dangerous warpath through the city.

Between butting heads with his grumpy team captain, stirring up ill will with the local wizards and witches, and repeatedly getting the crap beaten out of himself, Cal must find a way to stop the Eververse monster and send it back to the hell it came from…

…preferably before Aurora, Michigan runs out of coffins for the dead.

Review:
I seriously did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did, so it really was an awesome surprise. Cal, while 22 and ready to be a hero, is also self aware and willing to be inspired by those around him, including several badass women. (Women who were martially badass without reading like men-with-tits characters). He’s inconsequentially bi-sexual, meaning it’s no big thing or in need of explaining. He’s bi, just like he’s brunette, no need for further drama about it (this isn’t a romance, after all). He shows emotion, including grief and tears and then gets up and does his job.

Of the side characters you have several powerful women, who aren’t using sex to get ahead. A 40+ year old women still allowed to be sexy, have sex and enjoy it, (So often ‘older’ women’ seem to have lost this aspect of themselves in literature.), man in authority who is grieving and showing physical pain but still functioning, an academic who is basically saving the day with research and being appreciated, and racial and sexual diversity.

All in all, I really liked this and look forward to more. I did think Cal made a couple leaps of logic that were a little too keen to follow and despite saying he’s scared and such, he was a tad close to Marty Stew perfection (but not too close). I’ll be looking for more books by Clara Coulson.

Review of Silver Wolf Clan, by Tera Shanley

I picked up a copy of Silver Wolf Clan, by Tera Shanley, when it was free on Amazon…in 2015.


Loving him will be legendary…if she can survive it.

What happens when monsters turn out to be real? One summer night while camping in the woods, Morgan Carter finds out in a big way. A tall mysterious stranger, Greyson Crawford, risks his life to try and save her sister from the vicious wolf attacking their camp. When he’s bitten and disappears into the night, Morgan can only assume the worst.

Greyson shows up a year later, and he’s a different animal altogether. His eye color shifts constantly and the rumble in his throat sounds more animal than human. She hasn’t any idea where he’s been all this time, but a good guess as to what he’s become.

Grey is determined not to let the darkness of his new existence affect Morgan and the little girl in her care. He hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Morgan but knows he should stay away and let her live a normal life. That’s easier said than done, though. A new danger pulls him from the shadows to keep her safe, and he’s no wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Can she accept what lurks just below his surface? More importantly, can she survive him?


This review contains spoilers.
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This was SUPER cliched. Every aspect of it has been done and done better. What’s more, a lot of it irritates the living daylights out of me.

Let’s start with the fact that there are 4 women in it. 3 of them have been subject to violent male attacks. (And all we know is that no attack is mentioned for the fourth.) So, women are all victims. The hero is forced to rescue the heroine from a random rape. Because of course heroes always have to save their loves from random rapists. That’s what happens if a woman goes out alone, you know? (Can this particular plot point die already?)

The single adult, non-mated woman is evil. Because of course single women can’t be trusted, especially if they’re sexy. They’re obviously all jealous, evil bitches who will kill because they can’t get the man they want. (As if there are no other motivations for women than men.)

Then, when the heroine is turned into a wolf she is special, because of course she is. But not just normal, cliched special. But extra cliched special. She’s special because she’s the only female wolf who can have breed children. (Nope, I’ve neverread that plot before and it’s not just the unexplored norm of a female character. *sigh*) So, of course male werewolves will forever be trying to forcibly claim her (a euphemism for rape). And of course so far, no one has bothered to tell her, because this is her mate’s problem, not hers apparently, since it’s his responsibility to protect her, not hers.

And those are just my issues around gender. How about how little sense it made to let the evil, untrustworthy person walk out with the biggest secret in werewolfdom? Nope, I can’t see that coming back to bite them in the ass…nope, not like that’s just a totally stupid and unbelievable act that is setting up a totally predictable rest of the plot. *sigh*

It needs some editing assistance too, to catch things like terms being dropped into use and never defined. We’re told, for example, that Grey let his wolf go and became a “Ripper” (capitalized). Then someone else says, “thank goodness you’re a Ripper.” So, apparently this is something Grey and other wolves knew about, a known characterization, but it is never defined for the reader. I had no idea what a Ripper was supposed to be.

While I’ll grant that Grey was a sweetheart and I liked the addition of a child, I have NO interest in any more of this series. It hit just about every I-hate-these-PNR-tropes button I have. And honestly, to have so many too-often used tropes in one book is just a sign of bad writing.