Tag Archives: shifters

Review of Bearly Awake (Providence Paranormal College #1), by D.R. Perry

I picked up a copy of Bearly Awake, by D. R. Perry, from Amazon. It was free at the time.

Description from Goodreads:
Bobby Tremain’s life used to seem charmed, but since his dad’s crippling accident, he has an avalanche of problems. He’s the first in his family to have a shot at college, also the first to head north of Louisiana. An early snow calls his Bear to hibernate a week before finals, but he needs to pass or he flunks out of Providence Paranormal College.

Lynn Frampton’s loneliness is almost more than she can take. She went to college on the other side of the country to get away from the persistent curse of unpopularity in a small town. Once at college, Lynn’s prickly personality has pushed everyone away yet again. At least, she’s at the top of her class.

Bobby needs Lynn’s help to stay awake and pass his exam, and she discovers she needs companionship more than she’d ever imagined. Lynn’s all set to transfer to a school back home, but Bobby thinks she’s his mate. Can he keep awake long enough to pass, and more importantly, convince his love to stay?

So, this wasn’t necessarily bad. It fit the bill of being fluffy and non-taxing, which is what I wanted when I picked it up. But I didn’t feel like it held together very well. The plot jumps around and a fairly large mystery isn’t solved. Worse though, was the main character, Lynn. She’s supposed to be smart and sassy and snarky and sarcastic. I know this because her internal monologue tells me, the reader, about it a dozen times. But I just found her unpleasant. Sure, there’s some fun nerdiness, that I and a large portion of the female populace recognize and appreciate. But it’s treated like she’s something special for it. And her constant, “I’m not like other girls because I’m smart,” is a blatant insult. It infers that other women aren’t smart. Duh. Basically, it felt like the author was trying way too hard to be funny and it just fell flat on its face.

Review of Magic Runs Deep, by Alex Whitehall

I received a copy of Alex Whitehall‘s Magic Runs Deep through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
For the last five years, Veier has been chained to a king’s throne in his bear form. When a neighboring kingdom overthrows the crown, Veier’s imprisonment ends, but true freedom is not so easily earned. With blood on his hands, he needs someone with patience, strength, and trust to help him become the person he was before and prove to the invaders that he isn’t the monstrous king’s loyal pet.

Elrid, the invading king’s brother and a powerful mage, is everything Veier despises. He’s also the only thing between Veier and execution, because he thinks he can help Veier change from an aggressive bear shifter into a reasonable man. While the pair have a rough start, with long talks and mutual leaps of faith, they begin to care for each other.

However, the closer Veier gets to his freedom, the closer he is to losing Elrid. He must find balance in his heart and his life if he wishes to truly claim the freedom he’s been given—and the man he loves.

I think it was me. I’ve read books like this before and been ok with the plot. But this time I just wasn’t able to overlook how quickly Veier got over five years of enslavement, physical, mental and sexual abuse (the last being implied) when it came to Elrid. They were just instantly civil with one another, trust bloomed in no time and almost instantly Veier and Elrid were comfortable with one another. It was too much too fast, and instead of reading as building trust and Elrid being a nice person, it just read as Mary-Sue, bland. I was frankly bored for most of the book, absolutely all of the book in which I wasn’t too busy being utterly incredulous.

Having said all that, the writing is fine and any editing issues I noted were few and far between, and probably due to the fact that I was reading an ARC. Thus, my assertion that I this case, “it’s me, not you,” might account for my dislike of the book.

Review of On the Edge & Bayou Moon (The Edge, # 1 & 2), by Ilona Andrews

I borrowed audio versions of both On the Edge and Bayou Moon from Hoopla. They’re written by Ilona Andrews and read by Renée Raudman.

Description from Goodreads:
Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.

Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn’t turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, off the books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life, determined to have her (and her power).

But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them, or the beasts will devour the Edge and everyone in it…

I went back and forwards with this book, sometimes really liking it and sometimes rolling my eyes. I absolutely liked Rose. She’s awesome, honestly. And I didn’t dislike Declan. I appreciated that, as Andrews so often does, he was a hero unafraid to let his heroine take risks and shine. There was none of the abuser discussed as an alpha romantic partner that I dislike in the PNR/UF genres. But I also never really came to love him either. He was too perfect and more of a caricature than a character. Also too perfect was the sappy, unnecessary ending.

I know it sounds like I didn’t like the book, but I really did. I just never loved it. As a series though, I can see myself wanting to read all of them. I feel the same way about the Kate Daniels books. Individually I always rate them middle of the road, but I want to read them all because I love the world.

I had the audio version and the narrator did an excellent job. I thought Declan sounded too old for the age he was supposed to be, but that was my only complaint. She really did an unusually good job.

Description from Goodreads:
Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life. William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.

This was a solid 3 stars. I enjoyed it a lot, but wouldn’t go so far as to say I loved it. I thought William was absolutely adorable, Cerise was wonderfully badass and the Mar family was a great bunch of side characters. But I also thought it overly long, the ending a bit rushed (as in all wrapped up a little too easily) and I didn’t need the sappiness at the end.

I listened to this in audio and thought the narrator did an excellent job, much like in book one.