Tag Archives: shifters

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…

Review:
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.

Review:
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.

Things I read over Thanksgiving Break

I visited my aunt and uncle in Tennessee this Thanksgiving. That’s a six hour drive from my house, plus a four day visit and a six hour drive home. As my husband is one of those men who insists on always driving, that meant I got lots of reading time in. But while rural Tennessee is beautiful and we couldn’t have gotten better weather, the internet connection is sketchy, at best. So, I opted to save all my reviews for one post once I got home, instead of the normal one post per book.

This is that post. I’ll give each a little review below; but as you can maybe see from the books I chose, I was going for base enjoyment. St. Nacho’s was the winner of the bunch and Misbehaving  ranked bottom of the pack, closely followed by Undaunted. Leaving Jarek, Hell is Where the Heart is and Submerging Inferno lingering in the middle somewhere, neither wowing me nor leaving me cringing to admit I read them.


Undaunted, by Devin Harnois

This was one of those books in which everyone is just so darned lovely you can’t stand it. People make instant connections, earn trust in no time, love blooms easily, and EVERYONE lives happily ever after together. The writing was ok, though the dialogue didn’t feel particularly natural, at times. But the pacing felt off and I didn’t believe the relationships for a moment.

Jarek, by Celia Kyle & Erin Tate

I think you kind of have to be invested in the Mars Needs Women trope to enjoy this, it’s just so pared down. Unless you already know what to expect from the genre, you might not feel satisfied with this. Mars Needs Women is one of my guilty pleasures. I generally find them cheesy fun and this one was no different. There just isn’t a lot to it and what there is is diluted by a lot of outside drama and it felt like it might be part of a spin-off series, as there was a lot of history discussed. It wasn’t bad, but certainly wasn’t one of my favorite to use the trope.

Misbehaving, by Ava Mallory

Bad, just bad. It jumps around, the pacing is a mess and it needs an editor. But what really ruined it is that it’s literally like 95% dialogue. It’s really hard to make a novel work when it is all dialogue, and not even good dialogue. Mallory didn’t manage it.

St. Nacho’s, by Z.A. Maxfield

Slow and heavy, but good. I’ll admit that the beginning of this book left me confused, but once it found its groove I thought it really pretty. I liked that Maxfield messed with expectations in Cooper and Shawn’s relationship and Shawn was just a truly lovely character. The book did break my hear a little bit. I’d love to read Jordan’s book, which I think is #2 and Kevin’s, which I don’t think exists.

Hell is Where the Heart is, by Eden Winters

I was tempted to write this book off as absolutely ridiculous, but honestly that’s its whole point. It is ridiculous, but it laughs at itself and I found the whole think amusing in a silly sort of way.

Submerging Inferno, by Brandon Witt

Not too bad. A bit repetitive, the middle dragged a bit, I didn’t really buy Brett ‘s decisions, and it ended just about the time it got most interesting, but not bad. It has an interesting plot, two likable heroes and a diverse cast.

Review of You’ve Got Tail (Peculiar Mysteries #1), by Renee George

I picked up a copy of You’ve Got Tail, by Renee George. I think I got it from an Instafreebie giveaway.

Description from Goodreads:
Sunny Haddock, an animal-loving vegetarian psychic, is stoked to leave California behind to start a new life in the Ozark town of Peculiar with her best friend Chavvah Trimmel. She ups the moving date when Chav goes missing, and Sunny high tails it to the small town. What Sunny doesn’t realize is that she’s moving into a community of were-shifters, and they don’t want a human resident. Especially one dumb enough to arrive a couple of days before the full moon—the only night of the month shifters have to take their pure animal forms.

When the gorgeous Babel Trimmel, Chav’s younger brother, (along with the sheriff, the mayor, and some other nice folk) suggests Sunny haul her U-haul and butt back out of town, she’s undeterred. Her psychic abilities might be out-of-whack, and blood makes her faint, but she’s not a quitter. Besides, she’s not about to go anywhere until she finds out what happened to Chavvah.

But Sunny has more to deal with than unfriendly townsfolk…like disturbing killer visions and the dog-like animal no one else sees that seems to be stalking her every move. To make matters worse, she is finding Babel to be more irresistible than crack on a donut.

Sunny needs to get her ability and her hormones under control if she wants to solve the mystery and save her best friend.

Review:
This review contains an oblique spoiler.

Corny but cute. All in all, I’ll call this a middle of the road read. I liked the characters but I I didn’t really feel the romance develop at all. Honestly, the writing was fine, but the plot left a lot to be desired.

The villain(s) are obvious very early on, one of them because it’s always this person in such books. I mean ALWAYS. Is there a crazy ex-girlfriend who is hostile for no apparent reason other than she’s not the heroine or in the heroine’s circle? Well, there you go. That’s you villain. ALWAYS. And as a woman that always makes me irritable. (I don’t need the constant ‘other women can’t be trusted’ lessons, thank you very much.) What’s more, very little of the book actually focused on the bad guys. So, I never really felt the tension. You literally never even meet some of them.

Anyhow, it was an ok fluff read. I didn’t dislike it but wasn’t floored by it either.

As a side note: Publisher, if you are going to draw your covers, could you please at least have your designers/artists read the description of the characters? I understand when using stock phots you can’t always find an appropriate match. But you drew Sunny and she’s clearly described in the book (several times) as having brown hair.