Tag Archives: fantasy

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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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Other Reviews:

Elle Cheshire: Zeus, by Carly Spade

 

 

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Book Review: Tides of the Sovereign, by Kate Gateley

I accepted a review copy of Tides of the Sovereign, by Kate Gateley through Literary Bound Tours. And I normally wouldn’t do this, because I pride myself on making my deadlines. But this book turned out to be twice as long as I expected and I didn’t allocate quite enough time to finish it before my assigned review date. So, I’m throwing up this temporary spotlight and will come back and replace it with a review when I’ve finished the book.

A centuries-old rebirth curse, an otherworldly Celtic prince, and an inescapable prophecy.

Thirty-year-old magic Bearer Julia Harrison had never given the notion of past lives or grand destinies any real credence or thought. She has knowledge of magic, and the power she shares with the women of her bloodline. She’s aware of the difference between Druids and Sorcerers, Wielders and Bearers, and so on, but regardless of all of that… her everyday life has always felt quite normal—distinctly unmagical—and never more so than as of late.

With the recent death of her beloved grandmother, Julia finds herself severed from the only sense of place she’d ever known. Grandma Gertie had all but raised her and was easily the strongest connection she’d had to her own magic, and that of the natural world. Without it, she feels lost. Disconnected. Unable to rely on (or even effectively access) her own limited magics in her current emotional state, Julia’s primary focus turns to placing one foot in front of the other as she resumes a linguistics degree that has taken far longer to earn than it should have.

But when a visiting professor arrives on her Vancouver campus—one who brings with him an odd sense of familiarity that’s almost as compelling as his raw Celtic masculinity, Julia knows that her life’s journey is about to change, heading off on an entirely new path. What she could have never predicted, or even dreamed of, was that somehow, they had walked that path together countless times before… each time towards their own inescapable deaths at the hands of Marcus Cassius Longinus, the indomitable “Child of Rome.”

my review

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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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