Moonshadow by Thea Harrison

Moonshadow (Moonshadow, #1)

Moonshadow by Thea Harrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This might be the closest I felt to a female protagonist. Which is probably over-sharing.
And yet, I did find a few too many things I found myself empathizing with.
Other than that:
Yes to the banter, yes to the setting (though I do wish we would explore it a little more), yes to emphasizing thinking for yourself, yes to keeping your promises, and yes to men in black with swords.
I don’t know how much we will come back in the other 2 books of these series, if at all, but it does feel like some of the concepts and ideas were left a little underdeveloped. Like the forms and identities of the remaining knights not being addressed after the beginning, or Dark court relationships in general. I think the ending could be expanded a bit more, instead of saying ‘in next few weeks things like these happened’… But oh well, this is more like asking for more, than real complains.
Also, I had about 4-5 scenarios in my head of how this book could go horribly wrong all the time while reading, and I couldn’t be happier that it didn’t touch any of them.
One more book like this and Thea Harrison might become a name a on my ‘automatic buy’ list.

The only real complain I can give is the cover…

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Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #1)

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Imaginative, original, addictive. It’s actually sad that it is so short (and that I can’t get the compilation edition in this side of the world). I feel like there could have a been a bit more meat to this.
Loved the idea, even with the vampires (who are a bit like carnivorous violent elves), loved all the references, loved Sean and Beast bonding.
It’a bit like a mix of good urban fantasy with old classic comedic sci-fi, but where where everything can be explained by magic. Can’t wait to get my hands on the next part.
Out of Ilona Andrews’s worlds (and I haven’t read them all yet, but I’ve read the descriptions) this idea might actually be my favorite.

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First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Want to read about the worst things humans do in a fun way? This book is for you.
It has great writing and humor, and they’ll mostly make you forget that it also touches on some very heavy topics. In other words, if you have a lot of triggers, this book is not for you. It is also probably important to mention that most of the worst things that happen/are mentioned in this book involve children.
I feel like I’ve been fooled into a false sense of security by the attractive humor of this book, and it doesn’t feel too right. I also feel like I dug my toes into yet another 10+ book series, and now I’m in trouble.
I enjoyed this book a lot, even despite the bad things it deals with, but I’m a little cautious about the directions it is going to take from here on. To be honest, I’m not sure how I will feel about the whole gates to heavens and armies of Satan scale it threatens to go with…

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Blameless by Gail Carriger

Blameless (Parasol Protectorate #3)

Blameless by Gail Carriger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Heh. I still maintain my position that the whole ‘I won’t believe this child is mine’ debacle that ended the previous book was a terrible terrible plot decision. Yes, I understand that it was probably necessary to make the heroine go to Italy and learn all the things she needed to learn, but my whole being stands against suiciding the main relationship of the book like that and then downplaying it like it was no big deal, just temper… a very long outburst of temper.
I wished for a while that I was strong enough to simply leave this series behind and not be compelled to continue reading just to get rid of the foul aftertaste the ending of the second book left.
Yet here I am. Thinking I will probably have to pick up at least one more, before I give up.
TBH, the whole preternatural plot line in losing me. I feel like I mostly skipped through Alexia parts, really tuning in only on things happening back in London.
I don’t like that once the main characters got married they spent 90% of book 2 apart, and 98% of book 3 apart. I don’t like that instead of spending time with fun and interesting London characters introduced in the 1st book(though we did at least get some of Professor in this one), we have to follow Alexia and French inventors, interact with fanatic societies and read a lot of degrading language. The world of these books still has elements and characters I’m attracted too, but I just can’t really agree with the directions the story is taking…

The ‘refreshing beverage with a crunchy snack’ was the best part of this book, and it’s sad.

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Dark Days: Semester 1 by Liz Meldon

Dark Days: Semester 1

Dark Days: Semester 1 by Liz Meldon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While I thought that the book begun strongly, it soon switched to a format of jumping from one short encounter to another, most of them turning sexual. It was very easy to forget that the main characters were supposed to be supernaturals. Or that there was supposed to be something else going on besides two adults behaving like hormonal teenagers around each other, unable to express their thoughts and feelings. And the ‘mysterious disappearances’ were hardly mentioned until the very end of the book. While some of the writing and dialogs were fun, the ‘they’re going to speak or have sex once a month and that’s all the story we’ll get’ format made me feel increasingly detached half way through, especially from the heroine (who mostly bit the insides of her cheeks at least once each chapter, if not page).
I don’t know, I feel that there were some very good elements, but they are not really tied together in an engaging way. Maybe timeline-hopping kind of stories is just generally not my thing. I also generally don’t like characters (and people) who can’t be honest to themselves, it’s tiring.

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I haven’t really considered before how big of a stone the saying ‘Don’t judge book by its cover’ was, aiming for publishers and marketers.

I think it’s actually very difficult to find a book, unless it’s a famous international bestseller with a few dozen of editions, where a cover would match the content. (And even then, if you look at the very first cover it was published under, it will probably make you shake your head. Like ‘Harry Potter’ covers… they are not bad, but after the 3rd one, I do believe they became too childish for the content.)

Just in these two months, I’ve seen good quality fantasy hidden behind badly photoshoped cheesy jackets with half-naked models that made me cringe; or on contrary, picked up something for it’s beautiful and sophisticated cover just to find tasteless PWP inside. It’s almost like you need to go from the contrary each time time try to chose a book. For example, a lot of YA books get beautiful hardcover editions and sprayed edges, because of the bookstagram movement that for some reason decided to focus on YA, but I’ve found out (after getting caught by the pretty editions a few times, I do love pretty books) most of them have hardly anything worth finding inside. And then, the best urban fantasy usually comes in cheap mass-marked editions with covers that are more likely to scare people off with their trashiness, and make me happy that in our country there’s a big culture of personal book covers to put on your books when reading outside…

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Dragon Bound (Elder Races #1)

Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After all the disappointing book surprises I had recently, this book was such a pleasant surprise I think I added one extra star just for that. I also have just read the whole book in two sittings in a couple of hours, so my judgment maybe clouded.
I’d also like to point out that the pleasantness of the surprise might have been enhanced by rather low expectations, and the low expectations came from the fact that there was something about the cover and the short description of this book that turned me away a couple of times when I considered this book previously. (In fact, I also decided to go and buy the UK edition with a different cover separately after I finished reading this.)
The best thing about this book is the humor. I do feel like the I had to turn off a part of my mind that would question the solidity of the setting, because if I questioned if Dragos is really believable in his role of a being who has been around since the beginning of time, I don’t think I would like the answer. But then, I feel like it doesn’t even matter. The humor makes this story just un-serious enough to accept these things and flow with it. It still has a solid urban fantasy world and a story. It’s not heavy, it’s not angsty, it’s has just enough thrill in places, but what it does best is the lovable sarcastic characters and dialogs that just kept me turning pages until I got through the whole book in less than 6 hours.
While it’s still an adult ‘romance’ book with its bedroom scenes, there was something about its mood that reminded me of good old fantasy worlds I loved reading so much in my childhood, and I’m very grateful to it for that.

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