Tag Archives: shifters

Review In a Badger Way, by Shelly Laurenston

I borrowed a copy of Shelly Laurenston‘s In a Badger Way from the local library.

Description from Goodreads:

Petite, kind, brilliant, and young, Stevie is nothing like the usual women bodyguard Shen Li is interested in. Even more surprising, the youngest of the lethal, ball-busting, and beautiful MacKilligan sisters is terrified of bears. But she’s not terrified of pandas. She loves pandas. 

Which means that whether Shen wants her to or not, she simply won’t stop cuddling him. He isn’t some stuffed Giant Panda, ya know! He is a Giant Panda shifter. He deserves respect and personal space. Something that little hybrid is completely ignoring.

But Stevie has a way of finding trouble. Like going undercover to take down a scientist experimenting on other shifters. For what, Shen doesn’t want to know, but they’d better find out. And fast. Stevie might be the least violent of the honey badger sisters, but she’s the most dangerous to Shen’s peace of mind. Because she has absolutely no idea how much trouble they’re in . . . or just how damn adorable she is.

Review:

This was really just horrible: juvenile, stupid and basically plotless. I could give it credit for being grammatically sound and edited, but I had to force myself to finish it. So, I’m not going to encourage this puerile idiocy. There were far too many jokes about farting on people, dog shits and releasing anal glands. I want to ask if the author thinks her audience is 12; but the book has lots of good reviews. So, someone somewhere likes it. Just not me. 

I admit I got the occasional chuckle, and I suspect a lot of what made me grit my teeth at the ludicrously over the top antics of this group was probably also meant to be funny. But I just wanted to ask if no one in Laurenston’s professional life is able to reign her in just a little bit. The petite woman doesn’t just shift into a large tiger/honey badger. No, she shifts into a TWO TON animal. No one is just smart or talented, everyone is a GENIUS or a PRODIGY. Stevie doesn’t just have anxiety, she has a crippling phobia of a certain sort of shifter (that doesn’t even make sense in context). There is no spark between the H & h. She just decides they are together and he spends the whole book saying they’re not, until they have sex and then he stops and they’re together. 

I love a bit of humor in my PNR. I abhor a slapstick collection of too-dramatic-to-believe schticks. AND THAT’S ALL THIS BOOK IS.

Review of The Devil to Pay (Shayne Davies #1), by Jackie May

I borrowed an audio copy of Jackie May‘s The Devil to Pay through Hoopla.

Description from Goodreads:

As a fox shifter, Shayne Davies gets no respect in an underworld run by the fearsome and powerful—werewolves and vampires, sorcerers, demons, and mythical faerie creatures. Even at home, Shayne is still treated like the brat of the pack. Her mom constantly nags; her intended (but unwanted) mate ensures plenty of awkward silences, and Shayne is even expected to act submissive to the pack’s future alpha…a six year old.

Yeah. Time for Plan B.

All Shayne wants is to prove that she’s got what it takes to run with the big dogs, not just to feel like she matters, but, more importantly, to give a big middle finger to anybody who ever doubted her. Which is why she is constantly hounding Nick Gorgeous to make her an agent at the “Double D”, the Detroit Division of the FUA. That’s an easy “No” for Gorgeous, who keeps a strict “No Shayne Davies” policy. Well, never say never. When mysterious underworld criminals steal a load of bomb materials, the FUA picks up a messy case nobody wants to touch. It’s bad enough that a demon horde is involved, but now the annoying FBI has sent out an agent to babysit the investigation. To make matters worse, notorious master vampire Henry Stadther has control of what may be the only key to breaking the case: a human detective with a beautiful man face, but a broken past.

The whole thing’s a hopeless disaster.

So guess what, Shayne? You’re hired!

Review:

This book tricked me. When it first started I groaned and wondered if I’d manage to finish it. I didn’t have high hopes. I was annoyed that the main character broke the fourth wall to speak directly to the reader. I disliked that it seemed so focused on sex (though I appreciated that she was allowed to be sexual). I thought Shayne seemed too silly to relate to and I disliked that she was basically lying to everyone about actually working for the agency. It felt very child-like. As did the fact that the agency captain allowed her to pull the tricks she did. It was like watching an adult pander to a child. I honestly almost just gave up. 

But as I continued, I found I like Shayne a lot. Her ditzy blond routine was just that, an act. She was a lot more capable than her unreliable narration led me to believe. I appreciated that while there were hints at romance somewhere in the series, this book is UF, not PNR. And even having finished this book, I’m not sure which way the author will take it. The writing is snappy and there’s quite a lot of wit, though you sense the characters work at it. This could easily have felt like the author trying too hard, but I took it more as the characters trying to one-up each other. 

All in all, despite the rough start, I’d be more than happy to read more of May’s writing. And as Chandra Skyye did fine with the narration, I’d listen to her again too.

Review of Ravensong (Green Creek #2), by T. J. Klune

I borrowed an audio copy of T.J. Klune‘s Ravensong through Hoopla. I reviewed book one of the series, Wolfsong, last year.

Description from Goodreads:

Gordo Livingstone never forgot the lessons carved into his skin. Hardened by the betrayal of a pack who left him behind, he sought solace in the garage in his tiny mountain town, vowing never again to involve himself in the affairs of wolves. 

It should have been enough. 

And it was, until the wolves came back, and with them, Mark Bennett. In the end, they faced the beast together as a pack… and won. 

Now, a year later, Gordo has found himself once again the witch of the Bennett pack. Green Creek has settled after the death of Richard Collins, and Gordo constantly struggles to ignore Mark and the song that howls between them. 

But time is running out. Something is coming. And this time, it’s crawling from within. 

Some bonds, no matter how strong, were made to be broken. 

Review:

Oh man, Klune broke me. I cried so much. Not big wracking sobs, but these quiet little tears that just slipped through. But I think maybe the narrator, Kirt Graves, was part of it too. Multiplying the effect. I thought he was too flat with a lot of the characters’ dialogue. But he sure had the voice of agony and betrayal and longing down!

I did get a little annoyed with the repetitions. Some of it was purposeful, reusing the same phrases for effect. Some of it just felt like a lazy cut and paste job. Similarly, a lot of the abrupt flashbacks threw me for a loop. Maybe if I’d been reading it, instead of listening, it would have been more quickly apparent when a sudden shift was a flashback. But as it was, I often was momentarily confused.

All in all, however, I really enjoyed this. Even as it shredded my heart. And though I’m not a person prone to re-read books, I really think I’m gonna have to borrow Wolfsong and listen to it. I wish I’d done that before listening to Ravensong, honestly. So, I could have experienced them together.