Tag Archives: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.

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Book Review: Chase the Dark & Bind the Soul, by Annette Marie

I borrowed audio copies of Chase the Dark and Bind the Soul (written by Annette Marie and narrated by Jorjeana Marie) through hoopla. I’m not feeling super wordy today. But here are brief reviews…let’s call them mini reviews.


chase the dark audio coverThe Book:

Piper Griffiths wants one thing in life: To become a Consul, a keeper of the peace between humans and daemons. There are three obstacles in her way.

The first is Lyre. Incubus. Hotter than hell and with a wicked streak to match. His greatest mission in life is to annoy the crap out of her, but he isn’t as harmless as he seems. The second is Ash. Draconian. Powerful. Dangerous. He knows too much and reveals nothing. Also, disturbingly attractive — and scary. Did she mention scary?

The third is the Sahar Stone. Top secret magical weapon of mass destruction. Previously hidden in her Consulate until thieves broke in, went on a murder spree, and disappeared with the weapon.

And they left Piper to take the fall for their crimes.

Now she’s on the run, her dreams of becoming a Consul shattered and every daemon in the city gunning to kill her. She’s dead on her own, but there’s no one she can trust — no one except two entirely untrustworthy daemons … See problems one and two.

chase the dark photoMy Review:

I enjoyed this. I liked the characters a lot and there is some real humor in an otherwise grim story-line. It maybe wasn’t as good as some of Marie’s newer works, —it has a pretty big info-dump/lag in the middle, for example—but still good.  It does feel a little more YA than NA though, just an FYI.  The narrator was also inconsistent—sometimes doing a really good job and other times speaking as if through a blocked nose and swallowing a lot. But I enjoyed more than I didn’t and I look forward to book two.


bind the soul audio cover

The Book:

The most important rule for an Apprentice Consul is simple: Don’t get involved with daemons. Well, Piper is planning to break that rule — big time.

After a near-deadly scandal with the Sahar Stone, she has the chance to return to the only life she’s ever wanted. All she has to do to keep her Apprenticeship is forget about Ash and Lyre. Ash might be enigmatic and notoriously lethal, and Lyre might be as sinfully irresistible as he is irritating, but they’re not bad for a couple of daemons.

There’s just one problem: Ash is missing.

Really, she shouldn’t risk her future for him. He lied. He betrayed her. But he also saved her life, damn it. Wherever he is, he’s in trouble, and if she doesn’t save his sorry butt, who will? But with every dangerous secret she unravels, each one darker than the last, she slips deeper into Ash’s world — a world with no escape for either of them.

bind the soul photoMy Review:

I struggled with the first half of this book. Piper was just SO WHINY. And while I realize she’s a teen thrown into huge events that are understandably beyond her, it was no fun to read (or listen to, as the case ma be). However, she seemed to firm up in the second half and I felt like she experienced a lot of personal growth. The romance is very slow, which I appreciate and I’m still liking the characters a lot. I plan to finish the series, but I think I’ll give myself a little break first.

 

 

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Book Review: The One and Only Crystal Druid, by Annette Marie

I received a signed copy of Annette Marie‘s The One and Only Crystal Druid in a Supernatural Book Crate.
the one and only crystal druid
I’m not your average girl.

My best friend is my switchblade. My favorite hobby is using it on the cruel, the abusive, and anyone who gets on my bad side. I’m a convicted murderer with a chip on my shoulder and a dangerous lack of restraint.

And then there’s Zak.

His rap sheet makes mine look tame. The bounty on his head is worth more money than I’ll ever make, and the deadly fae that shadow his every step wield more power than I’ll ever know.

He’s the Crystal Druid, and his first mistake was setting foot on my turf.

His second was saving my life.

And his final mistake will be failing to realize that however dark, however ruthless, however broken he is…

I’m worse.


I’ve read several of Marie‘s books now and enjoyed them all, to greater or lesser extents. Though I’ve not read all of the Spellbound series (only the first), which one of the main characters here is from. (I felt I was missing some history, but the story was certainly followable.) Regardless, I quite enjoyed this book too.

I liked both Saber and Zak as main characters, and Rikr was a fun side characters. The little bit of mystery was engaging and I enjoyed seeing the characters in action. I did, however, think Saber was too feral and unpleasant a lot of the time. She came across as mentally unstable more than anything else.

With the twist at the end and the still unclear question of what happened in the past, I’m looking forward to book two.

the one and only crystal druid photo


Other reviews:

Westveil Publishing: The One and Only Crystal Druid Review

🎧 The One and Only Crystal Druid by Annette Marie

 

Guild Codex Demonized series by Annette Marie

Book Review – Guild Codex: Demonized series, by Annette Marie

I borrowed the audio edition of Guild Codex: Demonized series (by Annette Marie) through Hoopla. I’ve seen the covers around and thought they looked cool. I put off reading the series though, because New Adult fantasy can be too Young Adult-ish for me sometimes. (There’s only a thin line between an upper teen and a lower twenties-something, after all.)

I had a whole trip with this series. I didn’t realize that it’s a spin off (or at least set in the same world as) The Guild Codex: Spellbound when I first picked it up. It’s obvious when the names are put next to one another like this, but I hadn’t been paying attention. The funny thing is that I didn’t make the connection until I’d finished Taming Demons for Beginners and went looking for book two. Then, I had to recognize that I’d actually even read book one of The Guild Codex: Spellbound  (Three Mages and a Margarita), which was probably why some of the side character of Taming Demons For Beginners felt familiar. But I really was oblivious to the overlap until that moment. I had a good laugh at myself.


taming demons for beginners

Rule one: Don’t look at the demon.

When I arrived at my uncle’s house, I expected my relatives to be like me—outcast sorcerers who don’t practice magic. I was right about the sorcery, but wrong about everything else.

Rule two: Don’t listen to the demon.

My uncle chose a far deadlier power. He calls creatures of darkness into our world, binds them into service contracts, and sells them to the highest bidder. And I’m supposed to act like I don’t know how illegal and dangerous it is.

Rule three: Don’t talk to the demon.

All I had to do was keep my nose out of it. Pretend I didn’t find the summoning circle in the basement. Pretend I didn’t notice the shadowy being trapped inside it. Pretend I didn’t break the rules.

But I did, and now it’s too late.

This wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I found that I enjoyed what it turned out to be. I liked Robin. She was mousey when faced with confrontation, but a dragon when left to her own devices to do the right thing. Her demon (I’m not even gonna try and spell his name since I taming demons for beginnerslistened to the audio) was marvelously sarcastic. But what I really liked was that he wasn’t The Biggest and The Baddest. He’s plenty tough, but not brutish and more interested in being sneaky and smart than physically strongest.

As I said, I’ve come to understand this is part of a bigger world, containing several series. I didn’t know this when I picked the book up. But I also didn’t feel I was missing anything for having not read them. I understood the world, magic systems, etc. Though I will admit that a couple side characters have that cameo feel and I wonder if they are from other series.

All in all, I think dive right into book two.


slaying monsters for the feeble

I’m bound to a demon.

For my entire life, I avoided magic at all costs. Now, I’m responsible for a demon who wields magic more powerful than the toughest mage or sorcerer.

Demons are evil.

That’s what my textbooks say. That’s what I see. He’s ruthless, he’s temperamental, he’s cold. But he protects me without fail. I wonder if he’s hiding a heart behind his hostility.

My demon is a monster.

Whether he’s heartless or not, my contract with him is illegal and beyond dangerous. Together, we must find a way to return him to his own world before anyone discovers our secret. If that wasn’t bad enough, I’ve come to realize something else:

My demon isn’t the only monster I should be worried about.

 my review

This was was a fun continuation of the series. It felt a little like the middle book it is, but I still enjoyed it. I very much enjoyed watching Robin and her demon get to know one another. (Again, I’m not trying to spell his name.) We met more guild members here and that was fun too. The villain was starting to feel a little too all-powerful, but they are definite a Big Baddie. I dove immediately into book three.


hunting fiends for the Ill-Equipped

I thought I understood power.

My parents taught me that magic attracts equal danger, and everything I’ve seen since becoming a demon contractor confirms it. I’ve witnessed how power twists and corrupts–and I’ve tasted power no human should wield.

I thought I knew greed.

Ambition and avarice drove my family into hiding. My parents died for someone else’s greed. I’ve never hunted anything in my life, but now I’m hunting their killer–with my demon’s help.

I thought I’d seen evil.

But with each step closer to my parents’ murderer, I’m uncovering a different sort of evil, piece by hidden piece. I’ve stumbled into an insidious web that silently, secretly ensnares everything it touches. My demon and I came as the hunters…

my review

I sped through this series, listening to them literally back to back. Needless to say, that means I was enjoying it. Like with the previous books, I liked seeing Robing and her demon recognize and settle cultural difference. I liked Robin’s constant attempt to do the right thing in face of problems and enemies far larger than herself. I did think the uncle’s sudden change of heart felt like a drastic and unbelievable shift in character though.


delivering evil for experts

I promised to avenge my parents.

But their killer is still on the loose, and he’s stolen more than my parents’ lives. Now, as he draws closer to his mysterious goals, he’s poised to destroy what little I have left.

I promised to translate an ancient grimoire.

But it holds the secrets of my family—and the secret history of demon summoning. I fear its answers as much as I need them. Who was the foremother of Demonica…and who am I?

I promised to send my demon home.

But the way he watches me, the way he protects me, the way he touches me⁠—how can I cast him away forever? I swore I would do this for him, but can I? Should I?

But I promised—and I will keep my promises even if they cost me my heart, my soul, and my life.

my review

I found myself finishing this last book in the Guild Codex Demonized series in a shockingly short time. (I’m series. I think I finished the 4 books in 3 days!) I enjoyed it all the way to the end. I did think the ending was a little predictable and I thought there were a few too many hurt feelings and misunderstandings for two people who could read each other minds (even if only some of the time). But I also like seeing the two of them work their problems out and really come to trust one another. I’m going to have to actually come back around and read the Guild Codex: Spellbound series now. I enjoyed Three Mages and a Margarita when I listened to it in 2019. I think I meant to finish the series then, but got distracted.