Tag Archives: PNR

Review of Feral Ice: Paranormal Fantasy (Ice Dragons Book 1), by Ann Gimpel

I borrowed an audio copy of Ann Gimpel‘s Feral Ice through Hoopla.

Description from Goodreads:

Doctor and biochemist, Erin signed up for six months aboard an Antarctic research ship to escape her stifling surgery practice. Jerked from her cozy cabin, she’s dumped in an ice cave by men who assume she’s dead. 

Konstantin and Katya, twins and dragon shifters, have lived miles beneath the polar ice cap for hundreds of years. Other dragons left, but they stuck it out. When several humans—all but two of them dead—end up not far from their lair, the opportunity is too good to pass up. 

If the lore is to be believed, humans can become dragon shifters. Delighted by a simple solution to their enforced isolation, the dragons lure the humans to their home. Surely, they’ll be thrilled by the prospect of becoming magical. 

Or not. 

Too bad no one shared the script with the humans. Science be damned, they’re horrorstruck in the face of fire-breathing dragons. All they want is to escape, but home is thousands of miles away.

Review:

This was bad…like really bad. I thought, in the beginning, I might be able to enjoy it in the ‘it’s so bad it’s amusing’ sort of way. But no, it didn’t even manage that. The story moves along in robotic jerks. The romance is so underdeveloped I literally thought it was going to be between the two humans, instead of the dragon and female human. Honestly, I think it would have been a better pairing. But mostly it just meant I didn’t feel anything for or about the couple. The lore is ridiculous and poorly explained. And dialogue is super cheesy.

The narrator did and OK job. But I don’t understand why Gimpel would choose a male narrator for a book in which the only first person POV is female.

Review of Seduce Me in Dreams (Three Worlds #1), by Jacquelyn Frank

cover of Seduce me in Dreams

I borrowed an audio copy of Seduce Me in Dreams, by Jacquelyn Frank through my local library.

Description from Goodreads:

Dark. Mysterious. Sensual. When Bronse Chapel, the commander of a specialized unit of the Interplanetary Militia, begins to dream about a beautiful and exotic brunette, he wants to dismiss it as being induced by lack of sleep . . . or perhaps lack of sex. But his instincts tell him it’s something different, something far more dangerous.

Ravenna is the leader of the Chosen Ones, a small group of people from her village born with extraordinary powers. She doesn’t know that draws her to Bronse’s dreams night after night, but she senses that he and his team are in jeopardy. Ravenna can help him, but first Bronse must save the Chosen Ones from those who plan to use their powers for evil. Together, Bronse and Ravenna will be unstoppable. But Ravenna is hiding something that could endanger them all.

Review:

I only have myself to blame. I borrowed this from the library. I’ve passed it up several times, expecting it to be horrible. Experience has taught that older PNR (this is from 2011) and I don’t usually get along. Gender tropes are often too strongly reinforced for me. Women are always small and delicate and men are large and dangerous. Women are victims, men are victors, etc. But I’ve listened to pretty much all the PNR that my library has available via OverDrive/Libby, so I gave in and rented this. 

It tricked me. I thought it started out well and I began to think maybe I’d been wrong….then it all went to shite. Or to be more precise, it all went exactly as I’d previously anticipated. I lost track of how many times phrases like “her sexy little lips,” “her pert little bottom,” “her sweet little hands,” “her bright little eyes,” etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Ravenna’s character development seemed entirely based on her ability to withstand misery and Bronse’s in his ability to berate himself for his attraction and kill things. Of course, if Ravenna considered killing someone it had to be avoided at all costs, because it would be sooooo harmful to hermental state. Why is this only ever true for women?

I did think the universe this was set in looked interesting. But I didn’t feel like it was well developed. Nor were any of the side characters. Lastly (and importantly), there is a pretty big mystery that moves the plot along. It isn’t solved. The book ends with a, “I guess we’ll never know why.” Ummmmm, no. That’s 100% not acceptable to me. 

All in all, not AS bad as I expected. But not great either.

Review of Remnants of Ash and Scorched Uprising, by C.k. Dawn

I received audio codes for Remnants of Ash and Scorched Uprising (Reign of Fay, #1&2), by C.K. Dawn.

Description from Goodreads:

Mere mortal. Fae hunter. Oh, and the apocalypse? Yeah, that happened!  

She’s an unstoppable human. He’s an immovable beast. But the Fae have scorched the earth, thrusting it into unending darkness, and humans are next… 

Through her research, University of Washington student Chloe Etain stumbled into an ancient war between the Light and Dark Fae that has culminated in her world being thrown into pre-industrial chaos. Dark Fae scum now roam free, feeding on unsuspecting humans. Chloe knows the truth though and, possibly, how to stop it. But as a mere mortal, what can she do? 

That’s when the fates step in. Bram Tice, a fae hunting his own kind, vows to help Chloe. But he won’t say which Court demands his allegiance. Together, they set out to right the imbalance plaguing her world and save humanity before they turn into nothing more than remnants of ash. 

I’m only going to write one review for these two books. The reason is that I feel this is a serial, not a series and, and as such, both books contain one single story that doesn’t break. I don’t actually understand why it’s broken in two. Neither book is so long as to prohibit their remaining as one. I can only imagine the same can be said for the rest of the series. I got no conclusions in either of these two, so I doubt I’d get one in the next or the next, etc.

There was a time I felt like I was making this point, about the difference between a serial and a series, every day. I even wrote a ranty blog post about it. But the trend finally died down and I haven’t had to in a while. I guess all those same books are making it to audio now. Because this is the second time in a week I’ve written a review for a ‘series’ that is actually a serial in my opinion.

So, on to the actual review. I don’t want to be mean, but I don’t think this was particularly good. I think the author probably had a good idea, but didn’t quite manage to get it onto paper. The hero and heroine meet in the prologue (meet and nothing more) and then when all hell breaks loose in chapter one (some time in the future) they are meant to already be friends and at least one is in love. The story moves from there. HOWEVER, the reader has been left out of all of it. Thus, I didn’t feel Bram’s affection for Chloe at all. How could I? We don’t see any of it prior to him basically telling her he loves her. NONE. In fact, I initially thought they were still virtual strangers.

We also don’t see any of the research Chloe, Bram and the professor have been doing to understand the Scorch. So, when it happens right out of the gate, the reader is clueless and basically unconcerned. And Chloe seems to know things she shouldn’t, because I didn’t know what she’d been researching. So, how could she recognize a royal fay [fae] on sight? No idea.

Then there is the rather large and abrupt shift in Chloe’s personality that happens at roughly 50% into the first book. She goes from teary and afraid to kick-butt superhero in a split second (in a seriously stupid move too). Though she does remain a too perfect Mary Sue throughout, as well as too good at everything, mastering magic and weaponry in an instant, without effort.

Then there is the fact that I think the author tried to get too much in. There are fae (high, low and royal), the four horseman of the apocalypse, witches, werewolves and vampires. And none of it given any real world building to understand it all.

The narrator did a fine job, except that it’s based in Seattle. Chloe started out sounding perfectly American. But about halfway through the fist book she turned English, apparently. Then in book two, she’s American again.

All in all, this was not a winner for me. Mechanically the writing is fine but the story feels barely sketched out.