Tag Archives: PNR

Review of First Blade (Awakening #1), by Jane Hinchey

I own an copy of Jane Hinchey‘s First Blade. However, I’d forgotten that when I borrowed an audio copy from Hoopla.

Description through Goodreads:

Georgia Pearce possesses remarkable psychic abilities. When she discovers an ancient dagger hidden in her workshop, she knows it can only mean one thing. Trouble.

Trouble arrives in the form of Zak Goodwin, an entity more powerful – and definitely sexier – than any she’s come across before. However, when a horde of dangerous vampires show up and threaten Georgia and her sister, she has no choice but to ask Zak for help.

Along with a shifter cop, a band of vampire warriors, and her own psychic skills, Georgia sets out to stop the awakening of an immortal vampire who has the power to destroy the world — and discovers that staying alive isn’t nearly as dangerous as falling in love. 

Review:

Mechanically this was fine. But there is just literally nothing about it that isn’t super cliched. There is zero originality here and it has several of my least favorite PNR occurrences in it. Most notably, the only female vampire is stereotypically sexy and a villain because she wants the hero and has been spurned. This makes me want to scream, especially when female writers fall into this trap. As if women can only be heroines and villainous sex kittens (or rabbits, as she is literally referred to as Jessica Rabbit at one point), no in between. Plus it constantly perpetuates the myths that other women can’t be trusted, men are all we care about, and sex is only a weapon or a tool. I expect more and am getting increasingly frustrated and decreasingly patient when authors are too lazy to break out of this BS rut.

Add to that big one (big for me anyhow) the fact that the female main character is a psychic who has one vision in the whole book and the male lead is super skeezy for most of the book. All in all, this is a big fat fail for me.

Having said all that, the narrator did a fine job.

Review of Lycan Legacy – Prey, by Veronica Singer

I received an audio copy of Lycan Legacy – Prey from the author, Veronica Singer.

Description from Goodreads:

Prey,” whispered my inner wolf. There was a certain beauty, a certain simplicity, to her animal mindset. She was quick to label anyone or anything we met as “Pack,” “Predator,” or “Prey.” Together, wolf and woman, we always managed to tell where anyone stood. Until the day we met that damned Magician in Tokyo. 

Luna White is a runaway, a lone werewolf running from her home and pack and her Alpha’s obsession with using her to expand the pack; a plan that would have devastating consequences for Luna. She runs to Tokyo, where American werewolf packs are unknown. With a big personality and ego to match; she lands in Tokyo with a splash.

Mason Carter is a Magician. He traveled from America and settled in Tokyo. He doesn’t care for werewolves; their lack of control runs against the principles of magic. However, Mason has a secret; he knows how to help the incredibly rare female werewolves keep from losing their minds during pregnancy. He won’t reveal this to any werewolf, fearing that unrestrained breeding of werewolf litters will destabilize the supernatural community.

The clash between the powerful Alpha and a Magician threatens not only Luna but the burgeoning love she feels for Mason.

Review:

This wasn’t bad, a lot better than some werewolf books I’ve read. And I really appreciated that Mason wasn’t a alpha A-hole. He wasn’t a pushover, but he was totally willing to bend to Luna’s more obviously dominant personality type. I enjoyed their banter and the world Singer is building in this first book of a series. 

However, I thought the plot-line (a male wolf trying to forcefully possess and ‘breed’ a female) was trite and overused, and the plot jumped around, feeling disjointed. This wasn’t at all helped by the fact that Luna’s character was quite inconsistent. She was running scared one minute, then badass, threatening alpha queen the next, before going back to scary-cat again (all without reason given in the story).

Having said all that, I did enjoy it and I’d probably even read the next one. Cornelisse did a good job with the narration, though I think she mispronounced some of the Japanese. (I took two semesters in college, most of which I don’t remember. So, I don’t speak it, but I do remember the pronunciation of the syllabary and I’m fairly sure Cornelisse wasn’t correct more than once.) Further, it sure sounded like there were some misused English words too. But I suspect that was her being true to the text. This is one of the downsides to audiobooks instead of textual books. I’d know if it was an editing mistake if I saw it (or if I just misheard). Regardless, none of it was too egregious, just something I noticed.

Review of More Than Mortal, by Abbie Zanders

I won a paperback copy of Abbie ZandersMore than Mortal through Goodreads.

Description:

Ceri always knew she was different. Seeing people’s auras and being able to change the weather with her moods just isn’t normal, nor does she understand why simply being around others saps her of her strength. There’s no one she can turn to; who she is and where she comes from are the biggest mysteries of all.

Settled into a small college town, she immerses herself in studies of the supernatural and lives a solitary existence. Until he crosses her path and comes to her rescue.

After earning his master’s in criminal justice, there’s no plausible reason for Edan to stick around campus. There’s only a feeling. A feeling of destiny and purpose that calls to his ancient Highland ancestry and keeps him right where he is. When he meets her, his purpose becomes clear. He can’t explain it, but she needs him, and he’ll go to great lengths to protect her.

In their search for answers, Ceri and Edan learn there’s a lot more to the world than either of them ever imagined. The lines between reality and myth blur as they discover ancient magic, hidden realms, and the truth about who – and what – they really are: pawns in a game that’s been played for millennia.

Will Ceri and Edan embrace the destinies that have already been written for them? Or will they sacrifice everything to be together?

Review:

This book started out very poorly, with a male (who you might think is the hero, I did) using his mystical powers to turn women into mindless sex kittens, getting him and his friends BJs in a night club. Something he apparently does multiple times a night, regularly. The book does improve from there, but that’s not saying a lot. I almost DNFed it there, in chapter one. The fact that I needed a Z-author for my alphabet challenge was what forced me to hang on.

While I’ll admit the writing is perfectly readable, so much about this book made me rage. Back to those sex kittens mentioned above, for example. Women are SERIOUSLY underrepresented in the book. With the exception of the heroine, a grandmother and one woman who turns out to be a main secondary character’s mate, every other woman is basically faceless and there for the purpose of sex. That’s it. There isn’t a queen, a female guard, a woman passing on the street. Nothing. Women outside of the main characters exist as sex objects only. Even Ceri’s two friends (the books only hope for a woman existing as something other than something to fuck) turn into mindless lust as soon as they serve the purpose of introducing Ceri and then disappear. Abbie…hey Abbie, don’t you think you could have done us sisters a little better than that? It’s FUCKING INSULTING.

You know what else is insulting? A heroine who is so infantalized she couldn’t be more childlike if the author had put her in pampers. She’s small and innocent, with big wet eyes and a tendency to cry and snuggle into mens arms as the LITERALLY CARRY HER OFF TO BE TUCKED IN AND PUT TO BED (repeatedly). All the men always know what’s going on, but no one tells her anything. And her mental state is so fragile she can’t even be left alone in public. No males, even ones of the same fae species, are so mentally delicate their sanity is in question. What’s more, in order to maintain this virginal childlikeness, the only relatively detailed penetrative sex scene in the book isn’t even between the H & h. We never see that. It’s off page. The second couple seems to have been included entirely to function as proxies for this very purpose.

What’s more, I didn’t really feel the development of any spark between the love interests. This is the sort of book (and it is a sort of book) where we’re just told how awed they are of each other, how this or that warms their hearts, or slips through their walls, or boosts their pride. Whatever. It’s meant to make the reader go “Awww.” But it has absolutely no substance, and as such, just irritates me.

The thing is though, I know that some people like this sort of book. As the writing seems fine and with a few exceptions (like the main character being named Ian on my copy’s cover blurb, but Edan in the actual book) the editing seemed pretty tight I can’t wholly trash it. But this was not my jam at all.

And as a totally petty aside, because that’s how I’m feeling, the cover is ugly.