Tag Archives: urban fantasy

demons in the bedroom

Book Review: Demons in the Bedroom, by Lidiya Foxglove

I picked up a copy of Lidiya Foxglove‘s Demons in the Bedroom as an Amazon freebie, about 6 months ago.

demons in the bedroom

Have you inherited a creepy old house that needs updated bathroom tiles, a new kitchen, and an exorcism?

Call me: Helena Nicolescu, the best house flipper witch on the east coast.

But I have to admit, I might be in over my head this time. I bought “Lockwood House” at an auction, and the magical community definitely knew something was up, because my rivals were all in on it, including Jake and Jasper, the infuriating wolf shifter twins who think they’re so much better at renovations than me. I overpaid and now I’m stuck with a mess. Floors caving in, 70s carpeting, and…the ghost of an incubus who won’t stop flirting with me while I’m trying to demo.

That’s not the only problem. The former owner’s son seems to be drawn to the place against his own will. My witch radar is going off big time, telling me he has demon blood coursing through his own veins. And the wolves must smell trouble in the air, because they keep sniffing around too. I’ll definitely never tell them that I keep uncovering disconcerting artifacts throughout the house. And more than anything, I won’t admit that they both look pretty good in a tool belt. Why does this house seem like it’s calling trouble to the doorstep?

I have eight weeks to get this done and then I’m putting this mansion on the market and moving on.my review

This was fluff, but enjoyable fluff. Despite that, I have a few things to say, some relevant and some just me spouting off, none of it to be taken too seriously.

First, I wanna talk about that cover. I like the cover, don’t get me wrong. It’s flashy and eye catching. It snagged me successfully. But the characters is described in the book as dressing like Wednesday Adams. How exactly does a tightly dressed, half-clad woman, on a sexy cover translate into that character? It does not.

Why do we always have to glam characters up on covers? And it’s not just the ‘Oh, objectification of women’ argument. (Though, having to make a character more visually sexier than her character to sell books is pretty baseline objectification.) It’s the fact that authors create characters, who have personality and characteristics, and then someone decides to completely ignore them and give readers a cover that has nothing to do with the character they’re reading and appreciating. It drives me batty. I hate it. At least make an effort to get characters close on covers, please. This ‘model’ may be blond (and I appreciate that she looks as strong as you’d expect a house flipper to be), but she doesn’t give off a vibe even close to Hel in the book.

Readers should know that, though Hel and the guys that are forming her harem are fun and the book is quite readable, the plot isn’t a complete arc. It’s not really a cliffhanger, but nothing concludes either. Go in knowing this is the first third, or so, of a story and you should be OK.

Next, and I know this is completely irrelevant and does not effect my rating/review at all, but is pertinent to my current life. In my real life, I’m trying to get some work done on my house. I can’t get anyone to plaster my kitchen wall without a 3-4 month wait time. I can’t even get anyone to call me back to pave a drive, and it feels like no store ever actually has anything truly in stock, everything has to be ordered. So, the whole “eight weeks to get this done,” when discussing a whole house refurbished (even if doing a lot of the work themselves) might be the strongest fantasy element in the whole book and is chapping my already construction related chapped ass. Just rub it in, why don’t you. LOL

All in all, I liked the book enough to search out and read book two…and three. Because I know I’ll have to read them all (and more, if that’s not the end of the series) to get any conclusion.

My Blood Runs Blue

Book Review: My Blood Runs Blue, by Stacy Eaton

I’ve had Stacy Eaton‘s My Blood Runs Blue floating around in my Kindle Cloud since 2012. I’d basically forgotten about it, being burried in my TBR as it was. However, the audio versions of the series have apparently just come out and they were promoed on Sadie’s Spotlight. So, having been reminded the exist, and since I’ve been making a concerted effort to read some of my older ebooks lately, I dug this one out to try.

my blood runs blue cover

“I’m still a cop, and my blood runs blue.”

Officer Kristin Greene has always felt that something was missing from her life. Even though her job with the Fawn Hollow Township Police Department keeps her busy, she continues to feel as if there is something else out there she is meant to be doing. Kristin finds herself investigating a homicide where a young woman has had her throat ripped brutally out. As she begins to dig for the answers, she finds herself thrown into a world she never knew existed. When Julian and Alexander crash into her life, she finds herself being pulled into a love triangle that has been going on longer than she has been alive. Kristin in determine to figure out who they are and why they keep calling her Calista. Join Kristin as she fights to learn the truth about the recent murder, the two seductive men who have entered into her life and the real truth about herself in a suspenseful tale that weaves paranormal into to the realistic world of law enforcement.

This wasn’t horrible, but it didn’t particularly resonate with me. Some of what bothered me was objectively problematic, like some sloppy editing*. I noticed a couple word-order issues (such as “It had been a small gift to myself after had Trevor died.”) and missing letter mishaps (like ‘she’ being ‘he), and a lot of repeat words that just made for awkward reading. Things like:

When we were done talking, it was decided that Gabriel would stay at the house with the Taylors in case Damon came to the house after Gina Marie.

Hopefully the meeting tonight with Julian would give me some answers. Julian. Sigh…The thought of seeing Julian…

I walked into the restaurant and told them I was meeting someone. I told them I would wait by the bar until he arrived.

None of it was atrocious, but I noticed. I also thought names were used too often in dialogue, making it feel stiff.

A lot of what bothered me was subjectively problematic though—things I personally disliked, but might not bother others. One of my least favorite writing critiques is the dictate to show not tell. It’s not that it’s bad advice, I just hate it because it’s so often quoted that it’s lost any real meaning, IMO. But in this case I really felt it. This book is told, not shown and it meant I didn’t really connect with any of the characters.

What’s worse, a lot of the story is told in lengthy, disruptive flashbacks. So, I was never able to settle into the flow of the narrative. This was extremely exacerbated by the fact that almost every scene is seen from AT LEAST two POVs. So, you’d read scene from, say, Kristan’s POV and then go back in time and read the same scene from Alex and/or Julian’s POV. Notice the and/or. Yes, there were times you’d read it from all three. This made the narrative stutter painfully and I did not enjoy it. But it might not irritate others as badly.

I had a similar feeling about the romance aspect. The two men were in love with an idea and it had nothing to do with who Kristan actually was. They might as well have been fighting over a watch, for all the importance her, as a person, held. And the way she threw herself at whichever was in front of her meant I never formed an attachment to either man. I simply didn’t care who she chose. I might have been a little more interested if she’d chosen both. But that was clearly not on the table.

Lastly, I appreciated that Kristan really was strong and independent. But I hate author’s tenancy to make even the strongest female character fall unconscious repeatedly. Despite being an experienced cop, Kristan manages to trip over her own feet and knock herself out AND get knocked over and unconscious by a dog. This is a ‘frail female’ trope that can die as far as i am concerned.

I do actually have the next book in the series. (Well, it’s book 3, as 2 is a short story that I don’t have.) But I don’t plan to read it. I’ll keep it, in case I change my mind at some point. But right now, I’m not interested.

*Note/edit: Goodreads has a note that states, “My Blood Runs Blue was originally released in 2011. This 2014 version has been revised and re-edited.” My version predates 2014, but Amazon doesn’t show an update available to me, which would infer that I already have the updated version. So, I don’t know what that means for the editing comments. Make of it what you will.

the wave of silence

Book Review: The Wave of Silence, by Xen Randell

I recently picked up a copy of Xen Randell‘s The Wave Of Silence as an Amazon freebie.
the wave of silence

As with most disasters, this one began as a potentially good idea. A breakthrough for humanity.

After a science experiment gone awry which throws the world into chaos and destruction, Alex finds herself alone and on the fringe of surviving.

Fanged, savage strangers called strigòns populate the Earth, entering from one of the dimensional tears; and despite their mutual animosity and hatred, Alex and her super-smart dog Einstein hop on an adventure to save both their and the strigòns’ worlds.

Will this group of unexpected allies save what’s left of their post-apocalyptic worlds or is the damage too great to be repaired?

Follow Alex and Einstein in their quest and see how far it gets you.

my review

I freely admit that I chose to read this book entirely for the dog on the cover. So, I didn’t go into it with high expectations. Which is good, because I’d have been disappointed. I think pedestrian and not particularly well edited is the kindest way to describe it.

The book sets up an interesting premise and world and then goes about completely not utilizing it. The whole book is basically traveling to the important thing they’re supposed to do, as opposed to the actual thing, completion or prevention of the things, and/or the fall-out of the thing. I was frankly bored for most of it. Which meant I had nothing to distract me from the messy editing and sometimes impenetrable writing. Like this, for example, “Soft susurrus of the more persistent leaves concerted with the melancholic whine of the late autumn wind kissing naked tree branches.” Do you know how long it took me to figure out the wind was blowing through the trees?

Add to all that the predictability, deus ex machina saves, and the way everyone lusted over the rather lack-luster heroine and I was just plain not having a good time, my dude. Glad to be done with it.