Tag Archives: urban fantasy

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Book Review: The World Behind series (#1-3), by W.R. Gingell

I purchased e-copies of W.R. Gingell‘s The World Behind series. Well, I preordered the 3 that are currently available to order—A Whisker Behind, Behind Closed Doors, and Wet Behind the Ears. (Goodreads says there will be 5 in the end.) However, I somehow forgot that the third one wasn’t out yet when I started reading book one (and then two). So, I held off posting this until I could review all three together.

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Searching for redemption in the shifting realm between the human and fae worlds, not-so-reformed fae steward Athelas seems likely instead to find death, dismemberment, and deadly magic…

Exiled, excommunicated, and with a bounty on his head, Athelas is lying low in Seoul for exactly one reason: he has a wedding to attend. Whether or not he’s welcome is another matter.

Luckily for Athelas, several bodies have turned up with their soft insides gnawed out, whether by magic or Behindkind—and the latest of those bodies is at the very wedding hall he has been staking out. The Behindkind investigators suspect one of Athelas’ housemates: YeoWoo, a gumiho with a thirst for revenge and an even greater appetite for soft underbelly than Athelas. To buy herself time, YeoWoo barters alibis with the suspiciously quiet fae sharing her house, but to remain free, she must find the real murderer.

By joining the investigation, Athelas has exactly the chance he needs to prove that he is now a repentant, changed, and selfless fae, bent on atoning for former deeds…no matter how many Behindkind and humans he has to cut through to confirm that impression.

my review

You know, I didn’t think Gingell could top The City Between series with a spin-off, and I don’t know if I’d say this tops it. But man, is it right up there with it! I love what I have read so far, which is the first three books (all that are currently available).

The series does start out kind of slow and takes a little while to truly get invested in, even knowing and loving one of the main characters. But once it happens, there is a lot to love here. For me, the best part is the gruff, prickliness of both Athelas and YeoWoo that hides an absolute gooey center that both would deny until their dying breath…probably with their dying breath, actually. I ADORED them both! And seeing each paired with people who see right through them is a joy.

I do think there are a few phrases used too frequently (fancy and my dear come to mind). Though the humor and language are great, sometimes I wasn’t wholly sure what was happening. For example, a character would think, “Oh, I see,” and then the narrative would move on. But I was left going, “Wait, what do you see? I don’t see.”

Lastly, I very much enjoyed the glimpses of previous characters but was admittedly frustrated that those glimpses are all we get. All in all, I can’t wait for more. I admit, I originally thought it was going to be a trilogy. (I don’t know where I got that idea.) So, I’m both disappointed not to have reached a climactic conclusion and thrilled that I’ll get more time with these characters in the future. I have pre-ordered book four, Behind the Curtain.

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Other Reviews:

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Book Review: The Rowan, by Stella Brie

I picked up a copy of Stella Brie‘s The Rowan as an Amazon freebie.

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For over three hundred years, Arden’s very existence has been hidden. Until one night, when the latest assassination attempt fails and the third Killian blade makes its appearance.

A powerful witch with little knowledge of her heritage, Arden’s first step on the path of destiny is The Abbey. A place of sanctuary and power, it’s a haven in a sea of unknowns and where she hopes to find an ally.

An Elven prince, a Fae lord, the First Vampire, a warlock, and the King of Dragons make up the Imperium Cadre, one of the most powerful cadres in existence. Owning and managing The Abbey for over a thousand years, they’re not known for taking in strays. But Lord Theron’s life debt paves Arden’s entry into the formidable sphere of their protection.

As the sweeping winds of change blow, Arden and the cadre will navigate the path of destiny together. Secrets are revealed, heritage found, and alliances forged and lost.

my review

Honestly, this might have been a personal preference sort of thing, but I was just so incredibly bored throughout this entire book. She shows up at The Abbey, and all the men instantly fall for her. So, there’s no sense of tension or getting to know each other (let alone time for the reader to get to know anyone or come to care for the potential relationships). She arrives super strong and competent/confident. So, there is no sense of room for personal growth in her character. But still the reader has to sit through all the ‘training’ and ‘testing.’ *Yawn*

There is very little worldbuilding. In fact, I started to suspect this might be a spin-off of something else. (That would mean the worldbuilding was in a previous book or series and would account for the pre-existing relationships that feel important in some of the side characters.) The villains are cliched. Actually, the treatment of ALL OF THE FEMALE CHARACTERS is cliched. The whole thing reads like an upper YA/lower NA book, despite the character theoretically being 328 years old. For those that care, there is no on-page sex, and the book ends on a cliffhanger. I don’t think I’ll bother with the next book.

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Other Reviews:

Book Review – The Rowan (The Killian Blade 1) by Stella Brie



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Book Review: Flirting With Monsters series, by Eva Chase

I picked up a copy of Eva Chase‘s Shadow Thief as an Amazon freebie. Then, I purchased the compilation of the whole series (Shadow Thief, Twilight Crook, Dusk Avenger, and Dark Champion).

On a side note: I’ve just spent two and a bit days with no power (so, no internet). This means that it has been a few days since I finished these books, so they’re no longer fresh in my mind. Apologies if the review is a little sparse as a result.

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When a sassy thief sets three demons free during a heist, she doesn’t count on them following her home—or insisting on repaying her with their protection. This gal isn’t looking for an entourage, even if it’s made up of sexy supernatural hunks. But when it turns out the monstrous men have a lead on the creeps who murdered her family, she’s all in.

Track down the baddies, hook up with a demonic hottie or two, and don’t get killed along the way. Piece of cake, right?

my review

Since I read this whole series as a single entity, I’ll review it similarly. I thought that this series started out well. The writing is easy to read, and the plot whizzed alone. I enjoyed the sass and the easy devotion of the romantic partners. However, as time went on, some cliches crept in, characters started getting introduced and then dropped without explanation, and some sections started to drag. Honestly, I think the whole thing jumped the shark by an entire book.

I enjoyed book one, liked book two well enough, started to lose interest in book three, and only bothered to read book four in order to finish the series. None of it is bad. I just think Chase should have wrapped it up sooner than she did. (Plus, the epilogue was pat and predictable.)

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Other Reviews:

Traveling Bookworm: Flirting with Monsters, by Eva Chase