Tag Archives: Greek mythology

Review of Seer (The Titanomachy #1), by S.E. Welsh

I received a copy of Seer, by S.E. Welsh through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:

Seeing the future is hard, but facing it will be explosive

A Seer has surfaced—but she’s blind!

Chloe Santos is an immortal with a whole world of problems. The victim of an attempted murder that left her blind, horribly disfigured, and stuck with powers everyone thought eradicated, it’s safe to say she’s at a low point in her life. But then she’s blackmailed into investigating a kidnapping with links to her past. It could put herself, and everyone she cares about, in danger.

Including her Warrior Soulmate.

Phobos has a millennia of blood on his hands. As the son of Ares, he’s done horrific things in the name of keeping the continued existence of immortals a secret. Only all of that changes when he meets his Soulmate.

Allegiances shift, trust is thin and Chloe has to decide if she should risk everything to make the world a better place. Even if that means sacrificing her own chance at happiness.

Review:

This was not a winner for me. It has several plot holes. I felt the plot was unfocused and meandered too much, and lastly, the whole thing was just steeped in rape. It was this last point that kept me from being able to enjoy the story. Seemingly every older female has a history of horrific rape, the heroine is repeatedly put into the position to psychically relive those events with them, and the verb rape is even used to describe things. As in, “she raped my mind” to describe someone psychically forcing themselves into the main character’s mind.

I didn’t even think the sex scenes were well done. Especially given the Readers Advisory that reads, “This Paranormal Romance contains a strong-willed goddess and her protective Warrior Soulmate who don’t appreciate the term ‘vanilla’ when it comes to the bedroom.” Here’s the thing, the characters really were very vanilla in the bedroom. Granted, they had one brief bout of anal sex (about three paragraphs long, tacked onto the end of another sex scene, having no emotional impact at all). But that’s hardly transgressive or particularly kinky. The sex was blase to the extreme. It definitely did not live up to the titillation of that advisory.

All in all, the writing was readable but the plot and story lacked that something special to make it more than just words on a page.

Review of Fantasy Lover (Dark-Hunter, #1), by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I borrowed an audio copy of Fantasy Lover, by Sherrilyn Kenyon through Hoopla.

Description from Goodreads:

It might sound like a man’s favorite fantasy — to live forever, destined to be the lover of thousands of women. But for Julian of Macedon, it’s a nightmare. Once he was a proud Spartan general, now he’s a love-slave, his essence magically held captive in a book, cursed to spend all eternity pleasing women. Then, one day, Grace Alexander summons Julian to fulfill her passionate dreams — and sees beyond the fantasy to the man himself. Long years as a sex therapist, listening to other people’s bedroom problems, has taken a lot of the fun out of the physical side of love for Grace. She’s remarkably understanding about Julian’s situation — and that’s disconcerting for all concerned. With or without sex, the rules of the enchantment cannot be changed. Julian is hers for the next month. And, as their time together slips by, Julian and Grace find more to share than sympathy and conversation — and they begin to wonder if love might be within their grasp. That leaves only one question. Is love enough to break a 2,000-year-old curse? 

Review:

A while back I read Deadmen Walking. It’s one of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s newer book and the first one by her that I’d read. I thought it was awful, which surprised me since so many people like her books so much. Another reader commented that she loves Kenyon’s writing, but agreed Deadmen Walking isn’t the best. She recommended I try Fantasy Lover instead. The reason I never read Kenyon before is that I was baffled by all the overlapping series and didn’t know what to read first. So, with a recommendation on where to start I picked this one up at the library. 

I didn’t hate it. I won’t say I loved it. But it was a sight better than my previous Kenyon experience. The book has a certain self deprecating humor I appreciated and poor tortured Julian was too sweet for words. But I also thought Grace too prim for a sex therapist, wondered why her Ph.D. best friend was running a tarot stand, thought no one reacted reasonably (or at all) to literal gods popping up in their lives, and I got desperately bored with 300+ pages of sexual angst but no actual sex until the conclusion (and then it was abrupt and without any foreplay at all). 

Some of what irritated me just comes from the fact that the book is 15+ years old and the norms of the PNR publishers of the time are ones I find irksome now. Grace’s whole personality seems to be based on being giving, caring and generous, for example. Because of course a woman is, right? But still, I didn’t hate it and that’s something.

The book talked enough about Kyrian that I’m curious about him. But I’m also not particularly interested in having to read another one. So, I don’t know which way I’ll go, maybe read the next book, maybe not.


Edit: A search of my reviews shows that Deadmen Walking wasn’t actually my first attempt at a S.K. book, Dragonmark was. However, I didn’t finish it. So, I’m not going to change the wording of this review.

Review of Venom & Vanilla (The Venom Trilogy #1), by Shannon Mayer

I borrowed and audio copy of Shannon Mayer‘s Venom & Vanilla through Amazon Prime. (I’ve just realized I can do this for audio books!)

Description from Goodreads:

Successful Seattle baker Alena Budrene doesn’t want to die. But when she’s infected with a lethal virus spread by supernatural beings, her only chance for recovery is to make a deal with the devil—or in this case, a warlock.

Though he saves her life, it looks nothing like the life she once knew—and neither does she. Alena is a new breed of “Supe” no one has ever seen before. Even the supernatural police don’t know what she is. Now exiled to the northern side of the Wall, which marks the divide between humans and Supes, Alena is thrust into a dark and magical new world.

But just as she begins to adjust to all things supernatural, she realizes that her transformation is the least of her worries—and it was no accident. She was chosen…to be killed by a Greek hero trying to make a name for himself once more.

Alena was brought up to be subservient, preferring creating to fighting, and vanilla and honey to blood. But that was then. Now, to survive, she must stand up for herself—and this time she’s got fangs. But will she be ready to use them?

Review:

I was not impressed. Another reviewer, who is on Mayer’s street team, says the author calls this an urban fantasy parody. That makes the whole ridiculous thing a little easier to swallow. But it still just isn’t very good. Maybe it needed to be more or less of what it is. More parody, if a parody or less parody-like if a serious novel. I don’t know. Maybe an author who writes in the urban fantasy genre shouldn’t be writing parodies of it unless they highlight what it is in big neon letters. Either way, almost everything about the book irritated me. 

First and foremost the stupid non-cursing grated like sandpaper. Hearing an adult woman, who is supposed to be kicking ass and taking names call someone a donkey’s butthole instead of a jackass was not cute. It was super irritating. Similarly, wanna RUIN any sexual tension you have going on? Throw in a “He grabbed my bumm.”

Mostly though Alena was just too perfect. She wakes up with the perfect body. She’s loyal and sacrificing. She makes allies out of enemies with nothing but her sass. She defeats her foes with aplomb. She saves the day and gets the guy (if she wants him). And while all of that sounds fine, to have it all in one character is over-reaching and moves right into underdeveloped and unbelievable. 

All in all, this was a big old bust for me. No thank you.