Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, #1)

Skinwalker by Faith Hunter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It really is a good feeling when you like a book much more than you expected to.
It’s well-written, complex, thought-through, unique, and fun.
I’m not really a fun of vampire themes (the whole sex-and-dominance imagery ticks me off more often than not), so when a book touches on those images, but lures me in with other good and fun qualities enough to make me ignore them, it matters heavily.
Looking forward to discovering in which directions this series goes from here on.

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Naked in Death (In Death, #1)

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


DNFed, for 2 reasons:
1) There’s something very un-likable about the main character from the first pages. Like she is trying to be cold and professional, but actually looks like she is trying to be nasty on purpose.
2) This whole book is like a string of predictable clichés one after another. And not even nice ones.

The whole book is soaked through with the feeling of “let me show you something vile, because I think it’s cool”.
It’s everywhere: in the word choices (I find the whole ‘our boy’ talk about the killer distasteful and trying to hard, like children trying to play at ‘badasses’; and the distasteful sex talk everywhere), the victim choices (because of course prostitutes shot in face and genitalia, what else is ‘cool’?), the side characters (pompous sexist senator with gun obsession, flaunting beauty salon worker, … and other stereotypes that hardly require any imagination); dominance games; and so on and so forth.
Also, the mind-hopping writing doesn’t do this book any favours.
Then the “mysterious, tall, dark, handsome, and rich” couldn’t have been a bigger cliché if we all tried together.
The expensive presents, the coffee mania, the insta-lust, the prostitutes,… every single thing about the part of this book I read felt like the most overused elements you can find stuck up your nose. With a constant unsavoury undertone to boot.

This book is trying to be a serious futuristic crime suspense…but it stops just there. At trying very hard.



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The Grendel Affair (SPI Files, #1)

The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This book has an interesting enough setting and idea, but it simply failed to grip me.
I attribute it to the fact that writing was dry, and repetitive. Sometimes it almost seemed like every chapter was written separately for people who didn’t read the rest. Seriously though, while people with attention span of 30 seconds might appreciate it, it at times felt like readers were treated like idiots who aren’t able of remembering that main character is as a seer and what it means for longer than 3 pages.
A pity, really, because it feels like I could’ve really like the characters and setting (and Stat Trek references) if the prose just didn’t feel like such a snooze fest…




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Breathe (Colorado Mountain, #4)

Breathe by Kristen Ashley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This book was not what I expected. Especially the beginning. The way it begun you would’ve thought it was some kind of modern thriller or heavy-crime-shit drama, instead of a romance.
There’s a lot of heavy and nasty themes here, and if people pick it up thinking they’re getting some light time with a contemporary romance they might be disappointed.

I didn’t like everything about it.
The writing is a bit too heavy on reflection and looong paragraphs of over-explaining and thinking back on things that already happened. Also, weird time skips, just to spend half of the chapter to recount what happened during the time that was skipped (two-steps-forward-one-step-back style). It also is very heavy on bad language and swearing.
I personally never been anywhere even close (as in on the same continent) as Colorado Mountains, so I don’t know how natural the speech in this book is, but it bothered from time to time. As in Chase’s manner of speaking did tend to get annoying. I couldn’t tell how much of it seemed too condescending because he was too condescending, and how much of it was just his speech manner.

Even with the points above and some other issues, I’m still going to give this book 5 stars, because it has some very good things going for it. The main relationship is about things that are very right. There are a lot of right things said, and the characters are written very well. You don’t need to like a character to know that they are written thoroughly and consistently.
This book also got better and better towards the end.
Since this is a romance, the beginning actually of the book makes you expect more of the ‘gory real-world-crime-shit’ that there actually is. Not to say that there still isn’t enough of it, some of it quite dark and gory. There isn’t too much, and it does take a background role. I also probably have a talent to imagining worse developments.
What I really appreciated about this book is how multiple characters got to ‘set the record straight’ by explaining to other people how things should be and what is right, and it actually got through. It’s not often that I find a book where I can not only breathe happily when people make logical arguments at length, but also don’t have to get all annoyed because no one listens to them anyway.
Also, humour. And geek humour, none the less.

Not what I expected from this book when I got it, but a good lengthy read that will go on my ‘favourites’ shelf.



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Tempting Danger (World of the Lupi, #1)

Tempting Danger by Eileen Wilks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


There is just something about this book that prevented it from grabbing me.
Maybe it was the world setting where the werewolves can only be male and like to walk around topless.
Maybe it’s the too many levels of political games (and dominance) and players.
(Clans, sorcerers, cults, police, various government agencies, etc; and the pissing contest within each one and among them all. Too much of boring and unpleasant to labour through it all.)
Maybe it’s the ‘all self-important’ (prejudiced, judging, I-know-better, and ‘I have to be this way to be taken seriously, so don’t expect me to get off my high horse any time soon’) side to the main character.
Maybe it’s all the ‘free sex’ and poly-amorous themes and sexualised imaginary everywhere (right until they are forced into insta-lust and monogamy by the powers above).
The content of this book just kept balancing on the very edge between ‘okay’ and ‘don’t like’ for me constantly, and I couldn’t really get into it.



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Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor (Friday Harbor, #1)

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Am I the only one who sees a big fat problem with the central idea of this book that has a 6 yo child who just lost her mother making a wish for ‘a mother for Christmas’?
A part from an unbelievable child and a throw-away character of Shelby, who just shouldn’t have been in the book in the first place,
it’s a perfectly ordinary contemporary romance story with attractive characters, food, coffee, and an ugly dog.



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Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Kitty Norville, #1)

Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


DNFed.
This book lost me somewhere between mleh and disgusting.
A weak (in more than one sense) main character who surfs through the story on sheer dumbness and luck. It’s likely very subjective, but there just was nothing to like about her. The whole ‘Secret world of supernatural creatures? Hear me talk about it on the radio! A hired gun is coming to kill me and he needs to do it on the air? Of course I can’t quit the show and save my hide, the show is more important!’ way of thinking is just something I can’t get behind.
Her attitude towards everyone and everything is just..too dumb.
Then, even setting the protagonist aside, the whole “supernatural world” of this book is too immoral and distasteful. It’s all about dominating, bullying, and abusing each other. Mated alpha practically raping anyone he wants and she still wants to hide behind him and have him protect her? Main character’s close friend questioning her why she would protect herself from being raped by the guy who turned her against her will and telling her she’s “getting too cocky”? The main character in turn then deciding she would enjoy it to become a bully herself instead?
No thanks.



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Dead Man Talking (The Happily Everlasting Series, #1)

Dead Man Talking by Jana Deleon

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Very simple and very slow slightly paranormal story.
Speaking kindly.
Speaking truthfully, ‘boring’ might be more the word.
This book feels weak on practically every aspect, including writing quality.
The little things, really. How there can be several paragraphs in a row where the main character would only be referred to as ‘she’ in every sentence. A lot of too glaring dialogue short-cuts. Uncomfortable flow of the text.
Also…”Towel that felt like Kleenex against the skin”? Is that supposed to be a good thing?





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