I received an Audible code for a copy of Harper A. Brooks’ Death Wish.
Description from Goodreads:
Life’s a b*tch—but what comes after isn’t much better.
Jade Blackwell, a paranormal reaper, helps supernaturals cross over after death. Her job comes with lots of rules—but not following them is kind of her thing…until it ends up involving her in something much deadlier than she ever imagined.
With the protective veil fading away, demons are crossing realms and impregnating humans, and Jade’s best friend is among their victims. She’s determined to save her friend, even if it means working with Cole Masters, a dangerous demon halfling and notorious gun-for-hire.
But time is running out to fix the barrier and find a demon cure. With supernaturals everywhere in danger, and the balance between good and evil tipped for the worst, Jade must choose between her own eternal afterlife…or the living world she so desperately wants to be a part of.
At one point, I jokingly referred to this plot as “seeking magical means to a supernatural, medically necessitated abortion.” Seriously, the whole book is searching for a way to make a woman who is pregnant, not pregnant anymore. True, at the last moment the author tacks on that the baby can be saved, but that’s literally a line or two in a whole book of ‘how to save my friend from having this baby that she didn’t plan and will probably kill her.’
If I believed the author set out to write a parable about body autonomy and a woman’s right to choose, I’d call this a raging success. I don’t actually think this though. I don’t think Brooks had such didactic goals. Doesn’t mean it can’t be read that way if you want.
Beyond that, I thought the book was ok. I liked the characters and the writing was fine, but I also thought an entire book of the heroine being saved by magical powers she didn’t know she had, didn’t know anything about or how to use felt an awful lot like a whole series of dues ex machina (which is dissatisfying when it shows up once, let alone half a dozen times). I also thought a lot of Jade’s internal monologue got redundant.
All in all, not bad, but not a huge winner either.
I received a copy of Fire & Water, by Alexis Hall, through Netgalley. I read and reviewed the first two books Iron & Velvet and Shadows & Dreams in 2014. My god, 2014!
Description from Goodreads:
I like my whiskey like I like my women: embroiled in a magical war
Ten years ago I fought for the Witch Queen of London in a mystical showdown against a King Arthur wannabe with a shaved head and a shotgun. Back then, the law did for him before he could do for us.
I don’t think we’ll get that lucky again.
As if the mother of all wizard battles wasn’t bad enough, fate or destiny or a god with a really messed-up sense of humor has dropped a weapon that could rewrite the universe right into the middle of London, and anybody with half a sniff of arcane power has rocked up to stake their claim on it. Last time this happened, the city went to pieces. This time, it might just go to Hell.
Also, still dating a vampire. Still got an alpha werewolf trying to get in my pants. Still sharing a flat with a woman made of animated marble—only now apparently there are two of her. But you know what they say: the more things change, the more they stay the same crap that’s been trying to kill you your entire life.
It’s been almost five years since I read the first two books in this series. So, I went into Fire & Water a little warily. I wasn’t sure I’d remember enough to follow the plot or if my memory of enjoying the earlier books was accurate. But Alexis Hall is one of my favorite authors, so I had faith. Hall catches the reader up on past events, in the beginning, carries Kate’s sardonic humor throughout and wraps everything up (while leaving an opening for more) in the end. All in all, it was another win for me.
However, I did think things just sort of happened. From the start to the finish, the book is a series of Kate did this, did that, then a small section fo Elsie did this and that, then more Kate did this before a lot of people did that. There isn’t really any pause in the series of events for any character development or even getting to know anyone if you don’t already.
Despite my one complaint, I look forward to more Kare Kane in the future. I just hope I don’t have to wait five years for this one.
I received an Audible code for a copy of Celia Roman‘s Witch Hollow. I reviewed the first three books here.
Description from Goodreads:
The day Terry Whitehead showed up on my door, I shoulda knowed trouble was hot on his heels, Terry being the feller what planted my boy Henry in my belly, then left me so fast, my head spun. Seems his daughter, Henry’s half-sister, went missing and the police done give up on finding her.
Much as I hated having anything to do with Terry, I couldn’t hardly abandon a young’un, especially one what was close kin to my boy, God rest him.
Only, little Sophie weren’t the only kid missing, and whatever took her left a trail of dark magic in its wake. Time was running short and the trail was cold. For the first time since Henry died, I floundered. Could I track down the monster what’d took Sophie while she could still be saved, or would my pride cost that little girl her life and all them other young’uns’, too?
Sunshine never lets me down. I appreciate how Sunshine refuses to be a damsel in distress. Even now that she’s decided to accept love in her life, she’s still in charge and trying her darnedest to protect everyone (including him). I liked seeing her finally get her happy ending in that regard. There was one moment where I felt the author threw in some unnecessary misunderstanding for artificial tension. But it passed quickly enough.
I enjoyed the plot and seeing characters from past books. A certain pet peeve of mine is when authors bring in the “I knew Merlin” (or Cleopatra, or Ghandi, or any other well known historical/mythological person). So, this was a small irritant for me. But not much of one.
All in all, This was just another very enjoyable book from Roman and the narrator again did a wonderful job. She brings Sunshine to life so well.