Tag Archives: City Owl Press

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Book Review: Bloodlaced, by Courtney Maguire

Blood Bound, book three of Courtney Maguire‘s Youkai Bloodlines, was over on Sadie‘s Spotlight earlier in the year. So, when I stumbled across a copy of Bloodlaced (book one), I opted to start the series.

Kanjin hardly view their servants as human. Even less so when they are different.

Asagi is different. Both a man and a woman.

In the wake of his failure to protect a boy he saw as a son from their abusive master, Asagi is sold into the house of a young nobleman, Mahiro, who is the opposite of everything Asagi has ever known—gentle, kind, and generous.

Mahiro bonds with Asagi and their friendship blooms into a deep and profound love. But when Asagi is poisoned out of jealousy, Mahiro reveals himself to be youkai, a demon who feeds on blood, and he has no choice but to turn Asagi to save his life.

Asagi awakes reborn, strong, and eternally youthful. But the price for Asagi’s new life is high.

The blood of the innocent.

Just as Asagi’s trust in Mahiro falters, the boy he failed to protect, now a man, reappears.

New master, same threat.

With both a literal and proverbial monster at the door, Asagi must decide what it means to be human to protect what he loves most.

my review

Oh man, this book was a rollercoaster for me. I took one look at the cover and the fact that it’s about vampires in ancient Japan (to use a western for them) and thought, “I am in!” I expected to love it. Then, I hated the first 25%. It’s basically trauma porn. Granted, the abuse is off-page, but it’s very clear what is happening, and the main character martyred themself more than once. So, I thought, “Oh, this isn’t for me, after all.”

Then, things balanced out, and I got a little bored. Then, at the 50% mark, the plot shifted, and I was interested again. Then, the romance (and the whole plot, really) went off in a direction I didn’t expect, and I was uncertain but invested. And THEN, I cried at the end before being given a little ray of hope on the last page. Rollercoaster of emotion!

As I said, I’m not into victimized hero(ine) plotlines. I’m not saying it’s bad in any objective way; I just don’t enjoy reading it. I did get a bit bored in the middle; the pacing is a bit off. And I have to admit that I’ve never really understood why, when a book is supposed to be happening somewhere that speaks another language (Japanese in this case), authors sometimes still throw the occasional that-language word into the English narrative, usually as expletives. It always stands out to me, breaking the flow. But overall, I will be looking forward to continuing the series.

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Other Reviews:

Review: Bloodlaced (Youkai Bloodlines #1) by Courtney Maguire

Book Review: Bloodlaced (Youkai Bloodlines Book 1) by Courtney Maguire

 

 

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Book Review: The Witch Collector, by Charissa Weaks

Charissa WeaksThe Witch Collector was featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. You can hop over there for an author interview, excerpt, and a chance to win a copy of the book, if you’d like.  I was lucky enough to receive a copy of the book as part of the tour material. So, I decided to give it a read here on See Sadie Read.

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Every harvest moon, the Witch Collector rides into our valley and leads one of us to the home of the immortal Frost King, to remain forever.

Today is that day—Collecting Day.

But he will not come for me. I, Raina Bloodgood, have lived in this village for twenty-four years, and for all that time he has passed me by.

His mistake.

Raina Bloodgood has one desire: kill the Frost King and the Witch Collector who stole her sister. On Collecting Day, she means to exact murderous revenge, but a more sinister threat sets fire to her world. Rising from the ashes is the Collector, Alexus Thibault, the man she vowed to slay and the only person who can help save her sister.

Thrust into an age-old story of ice, fire, and ancient gods, Raina must abandon vengeance and aid the Witch Collector or let their empire—and her sister—fall into enemy hands. But the lines between good and evil blur, and Raina has more to lose than she imagined. What is she to do when the Witch Collector is no longer the villain who stole her sister, but the hero who’s stealing her heart?

my review

In some ways, I really enjoyed this book. In others, I was disappointed. I enjoyed the story and the writing style. The overarching plot looks like it will be a really interesting one. I adored Alexus. He had all the makings and potential to be an alpha a-hole, but he just wasn’t. He was very sweet and marvelously willing to let Raina take the lead. I liked Raina too. She was strong and determined to succeed on her own and I loved the use of sign language. I liked the side characters too. (Though there’s a bit of an age-gap, I’m hoping for a pairing there.)

However, I also thought the book felt a little bit like this was an extended prologue (all 400+ pages of it). So much of the book is spent traveling to the place where the reader expects things to happen and I felt like the middle lagged because of it. And then once they finally reach it, the book ends. I was also aghast at how willing Raina was to trust and divulge super secret information to people who had very a high likelihood of being untrustworthy with that information.

All in all, I think the book just wasn’t what I expected but I enjoyed what it turned out to be instead and I’ll be looking for book two when it comes out.

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Other Reviews:

Review – The Witch Collector (Witch Walker, Book 1) by Charissa Weaks (3/5 stars)

Review: The Witch Collector by Charissa Weaks

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Book Review: Bad Girls Drink Blood, by S.L. Choi

S.L. Choi‘s Bad Girls Drink Blood has been featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight a couple times and, somewhere along the way, I ended up with an ecopy of it. I think I probably won it in one of the giveaways.bad girls drink blood cover
Part sun fae, part blood fae, all abomination.

There is only one hybrid fae in existence, and that dishonor goes to Lane Callaghan.

After a life spent dodging slurs, threats, and assassination attempts, Lane gave her past the one finger salute and ditched her former fae home for good. The detective agency she and her sisters run on the edge of Las Vegas continues to limp along, with Lane doing more debt collecting and intimidating than investigating, but anything to pay the bills. Between working for low-lifes to bring down even lower-lifes, eating cheesy poofs by the bucket, and flirting with the criminally attractive bartender where she conducts business, life is good.

That ends when a routine job goes sideways, leaving Lane with a sack full of stolen sun shards—the source of sun fae power. Without the shards, the sun fae face giving up their magic completely, or risk death if they use their power. Considering they would rather see her dead, good riddance, as far as Lane’s concerned—except her father and adopted sister are sun fae. Lane must choose—return home to save the fae bastards that almost killed her, or let them burn.

my review
I generally enjoyed this. I liked that Lane was a strong female lead, despite her personal insecurities. I appreciated her love and loyalty to her family and that, considering two of the three sisters were adopted, it’s very much a found family. Teddy made for a good romantic partner. I especially liked how he supported her without every trying to stifle her more dangerous tendencies. The world(s) seemed interesting, the plot moved along at a nice clip, and the writing was pretty clean. So, lots of good stuff here.

I did think it was longer than need be—maybe tried to cover too much ground—there were a couple notable inconsistencies, and I felt a little cheated out of the romance. I liked Teddy and Lane, but we didn’t really get to see them falling in love or either one romancing the other. It seemed to have happened prior to the events of the book. As such, I wasn’t overly invested in them as a couple.

However, if there are future books, I’d be up for reading them.

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