My Lady Mage by Alexis Morgan

My Lady Mage (Warriors of the Mist, #1)

My Lady Mage by Alexis Morgan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Remarkably simple fantasy romance with knights, horses, animal companions, disgusting villains, and mleh ending

I couldn’t stop thinking that this book held striking resemblance to something I would write when I was about 13-15 y.o. It ticked all those points – a heroine with magic power related to horses, a handsome knight on a black horse, an instant romance with the aforementioned knight, a group of overly protective and honorable warriors with animal companions, etc.
Unfortunately though, the villains in this book were a bit too villain-y and disgusting in the beginning, and then were thrown away in a mangled and abrupt ending in a rather disappointing way. For an ending like this, I really don’t see a point for building up the resentment towards them as much as it was built up.
Another point would be that the heroine could do with a bit more brains (as usual). I literally couldn’t stand the way she behaved and acted in last few chapters.
I think, that even for a silly fairy tale (with sex) for girls this book had some promise, until about 70% in, when it suddenly flew off the hinges and the plot was washed down the toilet.

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Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power (Healer, #1)

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A fantasy adventure that had a promising start, but got lost, and lost all of its appeal half way through.

The first half of this book looked like an ‘okay’ fantasy adventure, with a promise of some romance, and admittedly less-than-average writing. The world-building was not bad, if not very deep; there was a lot of phrasing that felt too modernistic to fit with the setting, and characters did not really feel very interesting or developed… but most of it felt more or less passable.
Unfortunately, from around the middle of the book, it then all went down the drain. The time progression, events sequences, felt random and mangled. More and more things felt unnatural, like the way they kept getting captured and released, and the reasons for both. It became tiring to follow. It was already increasingly difficult to keep myself interested in reading on, and then a character of a type I practically hate the most got introduced (a nasty manipulative egomaniac), and I found myself skimming pages just to get it over with.
Also, the whole idea of people having sex for the first time, and more, while one of them is dying form a plague (and due to die in few days) actually made me uncomfortable. I don’t find it romantic, don’t like how it was done, or how romance was done in this story in general.
I though there were some promising ideas at first, but overall it turned out to be very disappointing.

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I do honestly recommend to take a look at Hellblade. (if you can handle disturbing images) 
If you prefer/can – play it and support the developers. (it’s neither expensive nor long)
Or be like me and watch it like a movie. (not that I don’t want to support the developers, I just can’t really handle playing on my own right now) 
I personally watched it on Mr.Odd’s channel. (but if you prefer a playthrough without any commentary, I’m sure there’s tone of those too.)

But do take a look if you can, because in terms of story-telling and visuals, it’s a damn masterpiece.

Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan

Warprize (Chronicles of the Warlands, #1)

Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A healthy fantasy romance to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

A easy ‘comfort book’ through and through, with a handsome and overprotective warlord, likable side characters (also very protective), a ‘stubborn healer archetype’ heroine, a healthy relationship (admittedly, an ‘insta’ one, though), and grand gestures. Nothing else to say really. A good romantic read to put some balm on your soul and get away, without having to read about much angst and intrigues.

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Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Written in Red (The Others, #1)

Written in Red by Anne Bishop

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting concept of an urban fantasy with a twist, yet unfocused.

I wanted to like this book a bit more. The thing is, I do like the world, the concept, and a lot of its characters. I just kind of feel that the focus was not in the right places for a lot of the story, especially the second half. I would have thought Meg (and hopefully Simon) were supposed to be the main character in this, but after the first initial chapters we don’t really get any substantial focus on the development of their relationships, just snippets here and there. I, personally, wish that the bit about Asia could have been left out altogether, and we could have had more time with Meg and Simon. A lot of their interactions get of ‘looking back’ treatment, when we don’t actually get to read about them happening, but get told that they had happened because one or another character was remembering them happen for a brief moment. It’s like the parts that were supposed to be more interesting were left out or breezed over, and boring insignificant parts about characters who didn’t even matter in slightest got a lot of focus and ‘screen time’.
Regarding the world-building: While there probably could have been a better name than ‘Others’ (and why do we even need the word ‘Others’ if there is a proper name?), I sort of like the more savage concept for the ‘supernaturals’ that were something that have been around long before humans, and will always be more powerful than humans they can feed on. Can’t say if the concept had been really developed believably from all angles, but I think I just like it enough to kind of believe it without looking for holes much.
The concept of blood prophets on the other hand… Definitely had more holes than substance, and was also left out of focus half-way through. I believe it will probably be revisited in one of the following books, but right now it feels more like just a convenient way to make the main character more special and let her predict things from time to time an be useful.

Returning to my very first point, (I just can’t really get over it) I feel that the most interesting parts were the interactions between Meg, Simon, Wolves, and some other supernaturals, but unfortunately they were too diluted by others and felt even more few and far between than they probably were. With the progression of the story, we got less and less insight into Meg and her actions, and it felt like we were getting farther and farther away from her.
I think I’m still interested enough to read book 2, but if it will follow the same pattern – of focusing on insignificant side characters and not on the developments between the main characters – that probable will be ‘it’ for me.

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Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1)

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tightly-packed and fast-paced urban fantasy.

Finally got to these series, one could say.
I enjoyed it, but it felt a bit too tightly packed for my tastes. In fact, it was so action-packed I feel like it just flew by too quickly for me to form a full opinion on this. (Maybe I shouldn’t have read it in less than 2 days)
But for such a short book, not only the action feels to be happening non-stop, with no time to breathe, we get introduced one after another to various wolves, witches, gremlins, vampires, gay lawyers… There are all these people in their stories and politics and concepts that keep piling and piling on top of each other, and it gets a little overwhelming. I like that there are so many thought-through details and branches, but I feel like this book would be a bit more enjoyable if we could slow down and linger on some things. Let the world-building settle in. Develop relationships some more. Get a better feel for some characters.
Feels a bit too much like a drama episode made after a novel, where all the extra story ‘juice’ that makes novel a novel was sucked out and only the indispensableness bones and meat were left to make sure no action-movie lover could have a chance to feel bored even for a second.
It’s hard to find a specific flaw in this, but there’s this feeling of ‘under-satisfaction’, of something missing, that leaves me with this cautious feeling of ‘I’ll get the next one and we’ll see’, instead of ‘I want the whole series right now!’ I was hoping for.

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