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Book Review: Zeus, by Carly Spade

I accepted a review copy of Zeus, by Carly Spade, through Literary Bound Tours.
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A god-king disguised as a criminal defense lawyer…

Zeus/Zane, King of the Greek gods, holds the world in his palm in both his mortal and godly form… until Hera leaves him, forcing him to uphold Gaea’s clause: There must always be a Queen, or he loses his title and part of his power along with it. Time is short. Too bad the one woman he has his sights on wants nothing to do with him. Or does she?

An empath criminal prosecutor…

There’s nothing Keira Bazin dislikes more than defense lawyers. So when she discovers Zane Vronti, one of New York’s finest, has been brought in on her newest murder case, it’s anything but good news. Tensions flare as the two immediately butt heads, but there’s something about Zane she can’t put her finger on. His emotions are the strongest she’s ever felt–borderline overwhelming. Power. Lust. Command. Can she fight her growing attraction for him? Does she want to?

my review
Meh, this was fine, I suppose. The writing/editing worked. There wasn’t really anything wrong with it. But I find that I didn’t love it. I didn’t particularly enjoy the beginning, because Zeus was just so smarmy. I liked the middle well enough, as he dropped some of that act. And then I disliked the end (just about everything after the wedding) because it was just too pat. She suddenly knew how to use her powers with no adjustments. She stepped into her role as goddess and queen (over significantly older, more experienced gods/goddesses) with no notable insecurity of learning curve, etc. And, IDK, I guess it just departed too far from the known Zeus of mythology. All in all, it was fine. I just think maybe I wasn’t quite the right reader for the book. But, hey, if you like the show Lucifer, I bet you’d like this a lot.

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Elle Cheshire: Zeus, by Carly Spade

 

 

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Book Review: Alien Abduction for Beginners, by Skye MacKinnon

I had a couple hours worth of mindless, repetitive type tasks ahead of me. So, I sought out a short audiobook to get me through. Which is how I ended up borrowing Alien Abduction for Beginners, by Skye MacKinnon through Hoopla.
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Not all aliens are good at abducting humans.

Havel, Matar and Xil have failed too many times to count. Luckily, there’s help available for failed kidnappers: a diploma offered by the Intergalactic University. To complete their course, these three sexy aliens need to abduct a human female – and they’re graded on it.

The problem is, the human female has no intentions of being abducted, not even to help them get the universe’s most recognised abduction qualification.

my review

I picked this up knowing it was going to be a silly, sexy space romp and I was cool with that idea. I wasn’t looking for anything more.

But it pretty much fails. It has too much plot to be erotica and, frankly, not enough sex. But there isn’t enough plot to be called a romance, even an erotic romance. The comedy aspect is almost entirely of the cultural misunderstanding sort and falls much closer to stupid than endearing. And while I liked the males, I couldn’t really tell them apart most of the time.

Plus, I disliked Jake Bordeaux’s narration. It was stiff and gave me a vague sense that he was making fun of the story even as he narrated it. Bridget Bordeaux did a better job with the female characters. But much less of the book is from a female perspective. All in all, it got me through my chores, but that’s about it.

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Book Review: No Land For Heroes, by Cal Black

I accepted a review copy of No Land for Heroes, by Cal Black, through Reedsy.
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Mildred Berry is down to her last four bullets…

In a wild west where the only things more dangerous than outlaws are dragons, Deputy Berry is struggling to protect her town and keep her family fed. As a last resort, she robs a train for ammunition only to find that the cargo she needs so badly was owned by war hero Frederic Rousseau.

The same Frederic Rousseau whom she served during the Amelior Civil War. The same Frederic Rousseau she’s been hiding from for the last five years.

Millie knows a secret that could ruin Rousseau’s life, and he’ll stop at nothing to keep her from telling the truth. With her violent past bearing down on the life she’s built for herself, Millie has to decide how far she’ll be willing to go to keep her town safe.

my review
I realize that it’s only May. So, it’s far too early to be choosing my favorite book of 2022. But, honestly, when the time comes I won’t be surprised if No Land for Heroes is on it. I loved this…and I’m saying that despite being someone who tends to be reserved in their praise. But I adored these characters…all of them.

Ok, yes, I disliked Gilbert in the beginning, before he shed some of his smarmy act. I felt sorry for the poor dragon, who was just following it’s instincts. And I was a little uncomfortable with the way this seemed to re-imagine the aftermath of the American Civil War, without ever acknowledging it as the source material, thereby sidestepping the issue of enslaved peoples. I wasn’t even sure if it the ‘secessionists’ were against freeing the victims of the African slave trade or if such peoples of color were entirely replaced by elves, orcs, and such in this re-imagined scenario. (Or if the war was about something else entirely, though I find this unlikely.) I suppose I could say the same about the way Millie’s heritage was very clearly using some Indigenous American stereotypes.

But I felt like there was a lot of diversity and positive representation in the rest of the book (and it’s outside my lane to truly make a judgement here) that I still greatly enjoyed the story.

I liked the way Black played with gender expectations. I laughed often. The plot rolls along at a good clip. The writing is snappy and fun to read. And the ‘found family’ is strong in this one. I whole-heartedly recommend this book and look forward to more.

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