The Beast of Talesend

The Beast of Talesend  by  Kyle Robert Shultz  description:

Private eye Nick Beasley lives in a world where fairy tales ended a long time ago – where zeppelins now soar the skies instead of dragons, and where the first automobiles have taken the place of flying carpets. He’s made a name for himself across the Afterlands by debunking fake magicians and exposing fraudulent monsters. This is the modern age, after all. Magic and monsters are long gone.

At least, that’s what Nick believes. Until he gets magically transformed into a monster, that is.

The only person who may be able to help Nick is Lady Cordelia Beaumont, one of the last enchantresses in the Afterlands. But in order for her to cure him, they’ll have to retrieve a powerful artifact from a ruthless crime lord – who is also Cordelia’s father.

The fate of the Afterlands lies in the hands of a runaway enchantress and a monstrous ex-detective. What could possibly go wrong?

BOOK 1: The Beast of Talesend  4 STARS

This is like a hard boiled detective got tossed into the darkest and bloodest of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, then made it darker and more horrifying, and then someone decided it should be a comedy. Surprisingly it works. Honestly the twists Shultz has taken on the fairy tales was rather surprising and far different than anything I’ve read before, and I’ve read my fair share of retellings. I would love it if he would go back and write books on the stories they talk about in here as their history. Because while this is obviously a Beauty and the Beast retelling, since it’s a land of fairy tales, they’re all mixed in in varying ways, and the truth about Snow White honestly made a lot more sense than a lot of the other reasons for why the step mom would want her heart. Like I said, it’s dark, but the humor brought to it by the characters going through this, and Nick and Cordelia’s banter help really lighten it over all, even while they’re fighting evil and saving the world from darkness and destruction. Though it did start out a bit overly goofy in the beginning, once you really get into it, the tale does find a good balance and you get taken on quite an adventure. I even rather enjoyed Crispin’s involvement, as Nick’s little brother, there’s a lot going on there that I’d love to see developed and to find out more about their past. But it was the last line of this book that sealed the deal on me snatching up the next as soon as I can. I don’t want to spoil it, but I liked how Shultz got there and then left you hanging with that OMG moment. There’s just so many ways this series can go from here, and I look forward to the journey ahead.

Bride of the Dragons

Bride of the Dragons  by  Selina Coffey  description:

Elokon and Siron have yet to find a mate.
Elokon became the alpha of his tribe three months ago, and since then, the human towns nearby have sent a dozen women in tribute, and even the women of nearby dragon tribes have sought them out. Elokon’s tribe is powerful and any dragon would be pleased to bear a child of his bloodline.

But neither he nor Siron has seen a single woman that awakens the mating instinct. At long last, the High Dragon has passed down an edict: find a mate, or Elokon will be stripped of his power and banished. There is no place in the Dragonlands for an alpha who will not carry on the old bloodlines.

As the third daughter of an impoverished Earl, Adelina has no dowry and no prospects.
Desperate not to become a priestess, she makes a plan: when the High Dragon’s court comes for their historic meeting with the human king, she will be so alluring that she can steal the heart of one of the richest noblemen at court. She has worked late into the night, sewing herself a dress that will catch anyone’s eye.

During the festivities, she knows she can tempt someone into an indiscretion…
But much to her shock, that someone isn’t human. Furthermore, it’s not one someone, but two. And now that they’ve found their mate, Elokon and Siron aren’t planning to let her go.

Bride of the Dragons   3 STARS

It was like Coffey wasn’t sure if she was writing a novel or a short story. This is more than just a fluff story about Elokon, Siron, and Adelina, but even with a whole world of dragons, Naga, and a war brewing between the 2, this story was very underdeveloped. Everything was rushed and just happened in the style that short stories like these do, but for how much you invest into the story and all that’s going on it just ends up leaving you wanting more, and not in a good way. With the 3 you get them meeting, marrying, and Adelina having a baby before you’re more than a few chapters in. While I get the rush of the marriage due to Adelina’s situation and the dragons traditions, but afterwards it would’ve been nice to see how they got to actually know each other, and Adelina learning how to fit in with the dragons once she’s in their kingdom. Even the war was rushed, regardless of what a formidable foe the Naga were built up as. She had this whole world that we’re introduced too, but we never really see the full breadth of it. Honestly this is the sort of story that could go on into a series, which would be helpful to then see where this all leads too, not just with these characters, but other dragons and dragonflights. If so I’d definitely be willing to check it out.

Also I hate it when the covers don’t even try to represent the characters. Not that that affected this review, it’s just a side note.

Fire in His Kiss

BOOK 1: Fire in His Blood  by  Ruby Dixon

Fire in His Kiss   description:

Bloodlust and insanity rule my existence. As a fierce drakoni warrior, this strange new world I find myself in eats at my mind until there is nothing left. There is no light or clarity…until she arrives. I save her life, plucking her from the sky.

From that point on, she is mine.

But the human I have chosen for my mate – Sasha – is fragile and wounded. She does not trust me and fears my presence. I will not give up, though. I will do anything to give her my fires and bond us both in body and spirit. How can I convince her that I want nothing more than her happiness if she will not let me touch her?

How does a dragon woo a human?

BOOK 2: Fire in His Kiss  5 STARS

Wow. I’m surprised we got to learn so much about the dragons and their home world so early on, but it does open the doors to the potential of this series. I think that’s what so great about it, is that there’s so much Dixon can do with it, so many places it can go. With Dahk we get a better look into what’s going on with the dragons, but I also loved Sasha and how much she struggled with it all. Having been abused in the After, and then being taken away by the humans’ greatest enemy, she definitely isn’t someone ready to jump into a relationship. She’s just trying to survive, and poor Dahk is so confused over how to woo a woman, and why Sasha reacts the way she does. Mostly though, it’s that Dixon doesn’t wash over the bad. Even as Sasha may know Dahk cares for her, he’s still part of the reason her whole life is destroyed, and yet he’s also a victim of his own insanity, and so there’s this constant struggle for both sides to understand the other. Then with the addition of Emma, who gets to be a part of dealing with them and trying to understand, while of course not being one with a dragon, really helped flesh out the story. The last book we didn’t really get much with Amy or Sasha, so I’m glad we had Emma to give another point of view in this. Altogether it was even better than the first, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Questions I have for Adventure Time

Since Adventure Time is to end in season 9, there are some questions that I’m hoping will be answered. Since we’re only half way through season 8 at the moment there’s a chance some of these are to be answered soon, but if not hopefully they won’t leave anything hanging since they know so early on that they’re finishing. Here are some of my questions, honestly there are more that I have, and more will probably continue to pop up, but these are the main ones for me at the moment.

  1. What is the deal with Gunter’s baby cat? It clearly has powers since it floats and shoots lasers, and since Gunter is technically Orgalorg does that mean the cat is some kind of god-like creature as well?
  2. Why were the Martians fated to meet Jake? They just said that it was foretold, and yet he doesn’t do anything for them. Finn has more influence over events in their life than Jake does, so just why?
  3. What exactly was the Peeper who created Jake? Does it have anything do with Orgalorg considering the similar appearance between the 2?
  4. What exactly is the second coming of GOLB and does Finn have anything to do with him due to the fact of him bouncing off GOLB when leaving Pillow World?
  5. Was Pillow World real then?
  6. Why did GOLB take Margles and will he bring her back?
  7. Will Peace Master ever save his 2 children who have been cursed, and finish seeking revenge on Peppermint Butler?
  8. Why does Peace Master hate Peppermint Butler, considering nobody else knows he’s evil, and even those who know he’s the Dark One don’t seem to mind?
  9. What’s going on with Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant and Maja?
  10. What happened to the people from the Mountain of Matthew, and what does its’ destruction mean for his supposed need to restore the world in the future?

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book   by  Jennifer Donnelly  description:

An original addition to the beloved Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, Lost in a Book follows the lonely, bookish Belle as she finds an enchanted book in the Beast’s library called Nevermore that carries her into a glittering new world. There, Belle is befriended by a mysterious countess who offers her the life she’s always dreamed of.

But Nevermore is not what it seems, and the more time Belle spends there, the harder it is to leave. Good stories take hold of us and never let us go, and once Belle becomes lost in this book, she may never find her way out again.

This deluxe hardcover novel expands upon the beautiful story and world seen in the new Walt Disney Studios’ film, Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book  4 STARS

This was a fun sweet young readers book. While you don’t have to see the new movie to enjoy this book, there were references and things brought up that do come from the movie, so I would recommend doing such. If you have seen the movie, the book mentioned has nothing to do with the book used in the movie, rather this is an adventure that’s right in the middle of the story. You don’t get the story of how Belle ended up there, although it’s brought up, nor do you see how the story ends for Belle and the Beast. This does help you get to know the characters a bit more, but because so much of this story takes place in Nevermore we’re really seeing more of what’s going on with Belle and what’s really keeping her in the castle, and how she feels being pretty much trapped there. However, even as simplistic as this tale is at times, it really does a good job of looking at what real relationships, both romantic and friendly, and how they aren’t always perfect and sparkly, that they have their ups and downs. That’s life and that being there for someone when they’re down is when they tend to need that connection the most, and that’s a pretty good moral for a fairy tale, and definitely makes this worth the read. My one complaint was the number of typos in the book. You’d think a book like this would’ve been edited a bit better.

Fire in His Blood: A Post-Apocalyptic Dragon Romance

Fire in His Blood  by  Ruby Dixon  description:

Years ago, the skies ripped open and the world was destroyed in fire and ash. Dragons – once creatures of legend – are the enemy. Vicious and unpredictable, they rule the skies of the ruined cities, forcing humanity to huddle behind barricades for safety.
Claudia’s a survivor. She scrapes by as best as she can in a hard, dangerous world. When she runs afoul of the law, she’s left as bait in dragon territory. She only has one chance to survive – to somehow ‘tame’ a dragon and get it to obey her.
Except the dragon that finds her is as wild and brutal as any other…and he’s not interested in obeying.

What he is interested in is a mate.

fire-in-his-bloodBOOK 1: Fire in His Blood   4 STARS

Dixon, of course, doesn’t write a simple erotica, but instead gives us a world that is both our own and yet vastly different. A world that remembers how it once was and the day it all changed, and Claudia is a woman placed in an impossible position and struggles with the consequences. Learning of the horrors the dragons have reeked it seems illogical for a human to ever care for one, but Dixon does a wonderful job of making them both the enemy and a victim just as much as the humans they’ve harmed. It adds depth to the story, and gives the reader so much to discover that you can’t help but want to know what happens next. The best is how Claudia is so real in her emotions. She’s had a hard life and she’s learned how to survive and care for her sister, but she isn’t the unwavering badass that so many authors want to make women into. Instead she’s afraid when she’s facing certain death, and she does wish someone would take care of her so she can relax and not have to worry constantly. While she’s a fighter she’s also human, and that makes me love her all the more. I hope this series continues on until we’ve learned all we can of these dragons and what’s left of the earth they’ve created. I also look forward to seeing how the other love stories work themselves out.

Spy Glass

BOOK 1: Storm Glass  by  Maria V. Snyder

BOOK 2: Sea Glass

Spy Glass  description:

Opal Cowan had been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her friends and rid the world of blood magic. Though she survives, she is forever changed…

Opal Cowan has lost her powers. More than that, she is now immune to magic. Opal is an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference to the world and were her whole world…

Until spying through the glass becomes her new power. Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes fl ash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that someone has stolen some of her blood and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or learn if she’s lost them forever…

spy-glassBOOK 3: Spy Glass   5 STARS

There are two things I love about Snyder’s books. How it shows characters overcoming the most horrible of abuses, and coming out of it stronger than ever. First Yelena, and now Opal, show that if you keep fighting, and find those people you can trust in and holding onto them, you can survive whatever the world throws at you. More so, I like that she shows that any who truly seek redemption can find it, one way or another, which is shown in Devlen. I’ve read several reviews that don’t like the relationship that forms between Opal and Devlen, but I understand it. I see it as someone finally getting sober after having done things while in the midst of addiction that no sane person would do, but once sobering up are ashamed of their actions. It was more than just being free of his magic,  because Ulrick who went through similar circumstances shows no ability to take responsibility for his own actions. But you can see how Devlen is one of the few who can understand what Opal is going through, and he tries to help her in the way he was trained to be a Story Weaver. While I’m glad that the characters from the Study series continue to be a big part, I also love how Snyder does mainly focus on the new friends and enemies Opal has gained in her own journeys, and ties up the full arc of the story that we’ve been following through this trilogy. I’m just so happy that she continued to write more in this world with the continuance of the Study series, can’t wait to see what happens next.

Alien Former

Alien Former  by  Ashley L. Hunt   description:

Joanna Angeles is ready for anything. Sent to Chalice, an alien world, with state-of-the-art equipment and a ten-year time limit, she is determined to change the harsh environment of her new world into a welcoming home for the hundred-thousand colonists that are depending on her. How will she survive the most brutal environment she has ever faced? Can her Artificial Intelligence companion, Barbas, truly be the perfect lover? Can she succeed in her mission when her new home seems to be determined to kill her?
Join Joanna & Barbas in their mission to survive to this exotic and new harsh planet…
Readers should be 18 and over due to mature situations and language.

alien-formerBOOK 1: Alien Former   4 STARS

This book was like an futuristic astronaut got dropped into a Beowulf epic. Joanna is being sent by the Pan-American government to get a new planet ready for more people to come live on. She’s got all this advanced technology, the best of which is Barbas, an AI who’ll have you questioning what it means to exist. Plus the relationship between Joanna and Barbas is kind of wonderful in how they become best friends and are struggling together to survive on this harsh world. Yet, instead of her landing amongst a super advanced alien race or barbarians, they land in a world where the aliens are basically at the stage of vikings, and hold that warrior ideology, which is enhanced by their own magic and mythos. And magic is the best way you can explain it when you have groups of people who can create storms or bring a person back from the dead with shaman talismans. Instead of the sci-fi and fantasy worlds clashing, they’re just woven wonderfully together. In an infinite universe with worlds evolving in different ways, magic should be a possibility. My main complaint is that while I love Joanna, and you do feel for her, it feels like there’s not enough explanation about the Earth she is leaving behind, and even when it comes to describing her, you only get the barest image. Which is strange considering Hunt does a great job of building Chalice/Ravanur, letting you know exactly what the people look like. Which is nothing like the cover, cause they’re all white and wear leathers from what they’ve killed and armor, so really don’t get the cover. Also they’re stories of how life came to be on their world, their beliefs of why it’s frozen there, and the scary hints that it may not all be stories, was all very in depth. In the end it had me snatching up the next book as quick as I could.

The Diary of an Immortal

The Diary of an Immortal  by  David J. Castello  description:

THE DIARY OF AN IMMORTAL (1945–1959) is the story of twenty-one-year-old U.S. Army combat medic Steven Ronson, a man who escapes the constant inundation and threat of death in World War Two after he discovers an immortality formula designed for Adolf Hitler during the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp in April of 1945.

Steven begins consuming the immortality formula and, after realizing that aging and death no longer control his life, travels to Manhattan to realize his childhood dream of becoming a jazz saxophonist on 52nd Street. The immortality formula gives him supernatural powers and fantastic musical abilities. His performance catches the attention of a disgraced British missionary and his adopted niece who knew the Buddhist monks in China that have guarded the original formula for thousands of years.

After a series of disturbing and prophetic visions, Steven accepts an invitation from the ex-missionary to journey to Xian. In a mountain monastery outside of the city, Steven discovers the incredible truth about the formula and the monks, and the interstellar origins of Jesus Christ and the human race. But time is running out−the German occultists who helped bring Hitler to power in the 1930s have selected another Aryan messiah, and this time he has the formula. Steven cannot allow the nightmare he experienced in Germany to happen again.

thediaryofanimmortal-frontcoverThe Diary of an Immortal   4 STARS

The book description I originally read didn’t mention “the interstellar origins of Jesus”, and so I was a little upset by that discovery. If someone messing with the truth of your religion bothers you, then I wouldn’t recommend this book. It was especially frustrating considering it had no purpose within the plot, when everything else is tied together so perfectly. However, before then it was a good book that I did enjoy, and after it was a challenge for me, but I decided I did want to see it through to the end for this review. Beyond that, I liked Castello’s approach to immortality, with it being basically a virus always at war with your mortal views on life and emotion. Changing how the person approaches everything around them now that life has no constraints on them. Plus, the way he used actual events in history, and built upon the cult following of the book The Coming Race during WWII by groups of Nazis, was truly fascinating. Not only are you entertained, but you learn a lot of about history, got to give Castello credit for that. Steven was also a very interesting character, and the way he viewed the world and the reason behind his choosing to be immortal and attempting to live that life all felt so real. More so, because he’s not the only immortal out there, and learning the truth about the pills, and seeing how it has affected others, was just so captivating. I loved the world, and the people, and his style of writing was very thorough so that you get the full view, but don’t feel like you’re bogged down in too much description or facts. Altogether, it was worth the read, even if I can’t get above my raising and hate the screwing with my beliefs bit.

Skipping Midnight

BOOK 1: Desperately Ever After  by  Laura Kenyon

BOOK 2: Damsels in Distress

Skipping Midnight  description:

One part Sex and the City. Two parts Desperate Housewives. Three parts Brothers Grimm.

For the women of Marestam, “happily ever after” has always come with a grain of salt. Be it infidelity or aging, deferred dreams or lost love, or even the pressures of raising a family, they have always seen each other through life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a brand new take on old-fashioned chivalry. But when rage and treachery take over, everything they hold dear comes under attack.

Suddenly, the monarchies are crumbling, Cinderella is missing, Belle is harboring the secret of all secrets, Rapunzel is facing the one dilemma she spent her whole life trying to avoid, and Dawn could lose everything she’s finally learned to love. In order to save everyone and unmask the wolf in their midst, this iconic group of friends must follow a dogmatic fairy no one trusts, invoke a magic no one understands, and face a past they thought they had buried long ago.

Rapunzel, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and the rest of Marestam’s favorite females return in this third and final novel in Laura Kenyon’s Desperately Ever After series, which takes a whimsical look at our most beloved fairy tale princesses several years after true love’s kiss.

At heart, it’s a tale of ordinary women coming to terms with how their lives have turned out. They just happen to live in castles.

skipping-midnightBOOK 3: Skipping Midnight   5 STARS

This is one of my favorite series, and one of the best twists on fairy tales that I’ve read. How she has weaved this story in a modern sort of setting, and yet so enriched with the kingdoms and magic, has been so much fun to read. This book does a great job of tying up all the loose ends. Kenyon rotates through all the characters with such ease that it keeps the story moving along and engages each one of them in this search for the truth. I love how she keeps you guessing until the end, as they gather bits and pieces of the full story, and how they begin to try and understand what’s really happening to all of them, and what the ultimate end game is. But what I think helps set this series apart from so many others is how Kenyon is able to take these old fairy tale princesses and make them so relevant for today, and for anyone searching for their own happily ever after. Not every relationship is the same, not everybody needs the same things, and not every happy ending is wrapped up in a tidy bow. Each of these princesses are dealing with problems in their life, whether it’s the struggle of having a child or trying to decide if the one they married is the one they’re supposed to be with. These aren’t stereotypes, it’s not some glossed over love story, it’s a look at what so many of us have to face on our path to true love and so much more. Can’t wait to see what Kenyon does next.