Tag Archives: post-apacolyptic

graced banner

Book Review: Graced, by Amanda Pillar

I picked up Amanda Pillar‘s Graced, late last year, as an Amazon freebie.
graced cover

In a family of psychics, Elle Brown is a failure and she’s just fine by it. Especially since being gifted means being a target, and Elle has enough on her plate trying to keep her little sister safe from the surrounding vampires and shifters.

Clay is a shape-shifter who was just meant to be passing through town. But when the enigmatic Elle Brown crosses his path, he’s unable to turn away; even though pursuing Elle could result in a death sentence – for the both of them.

Be prepared for the sparks to fly in this plot driven forbidden romance! Graced is an urban fantasy and paranormal romance genre-merge that provides a whole new spin on the vampire and werewolf legend.

my review
I’ll be honest, I almost DNFed this early on. The beginning was very rough for me. I thought the plot and world chaotic and underdeveloped, and the characters unlikable. But past the halfway mark, once the four characters came together, I thought the whole thing hilarious and enjoyed the heck out of it.

I’m not entirely sure I was meant to find everything I found funny, funny. And maybe I should feel a little bad about laughing at some of it. But I enjoyed it enough to consider buying book two, and would have if it followed the same group. I wanted more of the sarcastic, family-bickering dynamic the group formed by the end. But I also think that’s one of the book biggest weaknesses (other than the rough start)—just as the book finally gives you what you’ve wanted all along, it ends and the next book is about someone else entirely.

And while I thought the four people clearly forming a found-family was fun, I didn’t understand the purpose of there being two couples (and it was two separate couples, not a poly group). According to the blurb, Elle is very clearly the main characters and her romantic partner is Clay. Which leaves Dante and Anton’s romance feeling like extra and the plot feeling stretched and diluted.

Speaking of Dante, I super resent that I spent most of the book appreciating the asexual rep, only to have the suggestion sneaked in, at the end, that he might like sex after all, now that he found His Person. Outside of side-eyeing that, there were characters of multiple races, ages, and orientations and no obvious -isms involved, which I was able to appreciate all the way until the end.

All in all, like I said, I wanted more by the end. So, I finished this happy enough to forget about how it started.

graced photo copy

Other Reviews:

I find it really amusing that between my review and the three below, this one book has four different covers and (at least) three separate blurbs; all of them giving disparate vibes. Heck, they don’t even all focus on the same characters. Every review I found had a different version of the book. I feel like I should keep searching, just to see how many I come across. LOL

Review: Graced by Amanda Pillar

Graced by Amanda Pillar – A Book Review

Review: Graced by Amanda Pillar


the wave of silence

Book Review: The Wave of Silence, by Xen Randell

I recently picked up a copy of Xen Randell‘s The Wave Of Silence as an Amazon freebie.
the wave of silence

As with most disasters, this one began as a potentially good idea. A breakthrough for humanity.

After a science experiment gone awry which throws the world into chaos and destruction, Alex finds herself alone and on the fringe of surviving.

Fanged, savage strangers called strigòns populate the Earth, entering from one of the dimensional tears; and despite their mutual animosity and hatred, Alex and her super-smart dog Einstein hop on an adventure to save both their and the strigòns’ worlds.

Will this group of unexpected allies save what’s left of their post-apocalyptic worlds or is the damage too great to be repaired?

Follow Alex and Einstein in their quest and see how far it gets you.

my review

I freely admit that I chose to read this book entirely for the dog on the cover. So, I didn’t go into it with high expectations. Which is good, because I’d have been disappointed. I think pedestrian and not particularly well edited is the kindest way to describe it.

The book sets up an interesting premise and world and then goes about completely not utilizing it. The whole book is basically traveling to the important thing they’re supposed to do, as opposed to the actual thing, completion or prevention of the things, and/or the fall-out of the thing. I was frankly bored for most of it. Which meant I had nothing to distract me from the messy editing and sometimes impenetrable writing. Like this, for example, “Soft susurrus of the more persistent leaves concerted with the melancholic whine of the late autumn wind kissing naked tree branches.” Do you know how long it took me to figure out the wind was blowing through the trees?

Add to all that the predictability, deus ex machina saves, and the way everyone lusted over the rather lack-luster heroine and I was just plain not having a good time, my dude. Glad to be done with it.

the wave of silence

Double the alpha title

Book Review of Double the Alpha, by Amira Rain

Doubel the Alpha audio coverI came across an Audible code for Double the Alpha, by Amira Rain at some point earlier this year. It’s narrated by Meghan Kelly and I listened to it as I did housework today.

She knew she could handle one alpha, but could she handle TWO?”

In an apocalyptic future, Ellie Miller realized that the only way to keep her people safe was to do a deal with the nearby wolf pack.

In exchange for protection, she would offer them the only thing she could offer…


And that was something that the alpha Eric McCormick would gladly accept.

However, when Ellie arrived at the pack she found there was a twist. Eric had joined forces with another alpha named Ryan.

Now Ellie must be mated to both of them or the deal was off….


This failed on so many levels, but the biggest one is as a romance. The next is as a menage, then as an attempt at erotica, and also as an attempt at not-zombie-but-might-as-well-be-zombie apocalyptic fiction and fantasy.

Let’s start with the romance and menage aspects since they are entwined. [I’ll warn you again, SPOILERS.] You CANNOT introduce the reader to two mates, spend 3/4 of a book building this relationship up and then suddenly have the female decide she doesn’t actually love both men and one man conveniently turns out to be a treacherous betrayer (all within some shockingly short amount of time). It WILL leave the reader feeling disconnected and dissatisfied at the end. I hadn’t been given the chance to truly engage with and come to have any feelings about the couple. NONE. Which meant the ending hit the ground with a giant splat. What’s more, if that’s the way an author wants to play it, they shouldn’t put “menage romance” on the cover because that’s not what it is when all is said and done

Further, the sex scenes were stale and pitiful. The sex was spoken about as if it was sooo transgressive and kinky, but literally, the female felt “filthy” and kinky because she liked being called a “naughty girl” and having sex on her knees. There isn’t anything wrong with relatively vanilla sex in a book, but to have the narrator talk about it like it’s something else always jars me. It’s like a nun trying to titillate. It just clashes and they don’t have any real grasp of how little they know. (Or I should say the stereotype of a nun, because in real life they may all be porn addicts for all I know.)

Then there were the not-zombies and fantasy aspects of the book. The not-zombies were literally just window dressings, there but of no real importance. The same can be said for the wolf aspect. The men could have been alpha-like soldiers and the book would have read exactly the same. What’s more, the author gave the main character a superpower and then left her home baking cupcakes, never giving it purpose.

Actually, as much as I complain about the sex scenes or ridiculous plot drift that resulted in the menage being reduced to a couple, my biggest irritant about the book was how the “males” were always being spoken about as active in protection, and work, and decisions, etc and the “females” were never truly included as anything but after-thoughts—pretty little baubles to be left at home while the men-folk were out being important.

Lastly, the author needs to do a search of her manuscript for repeat words, “community” and the phrase “or something” especially. Every character says “or something” constantly. If it was one character I’d call it a character quirk, but as it’s all of them it’s just noticeable and annoying repetition in the writing.

All in all, I’m awful glad to not be listening to this anymore.