Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Goblin King by Heather Killough-Walden (Book 4 in the Kings Series)

 4.5 Stars

I really didn’t anticipate liking the installment.  I have read stories about the Goblin King before and they were just ok.  The Goblin Kings name is Damon Chroi.  He is a very old fae.  Older than the Seelie and Unseelie kings (by at least a thousand years!)  He was banished to be the king of the Goblins (a race of fae) over a thousand years ago (so he is at least two thousand years old!)  He likes to watch My Little Pony and Highlander and like most of the kings, he is lonely.  He just wants to find his lovey! 

Diana is his queen to be and is a veterinarian.  She can heal (like Dannai Cage) but not being from the supernatural realm she hides this and only heals animals.  One night she runs into a goblin and it turns out this big lug just wants Diana to heal him.  I picture him looking like Big Foot or a Yeti but with super long finger nails.  Damon is at the scene and thus starts the saga of Damon winning over his queen. 

A side story (which I normally don’t like but really enjoyed this one) was that Evie (Vampire Queen) is kidnapped by Roman’s brother.  I loved the dialogue here between Evie and Rafael. 

The Seelie King is already out so I am looking forward to delving in, but I believe I have to wait after this :(

So far we have the Vampire King, The Phantom King, The Warlock King, The Goblin King, and The Seelie King.  We also know of the following kings: The Unseeling King, The Dragon King, The Time King, The Shadow King and The Winter King.  That is only 10 kings.  The hope the last three aren’t silly!    

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dark Waters by Shannon Mayer (Book 1 in Celtic Legacy Series)

4 stars
If you are looking for an awesome UF series try the Rylee Adamson series by this author. It is one of my top favorites (along with Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs). Since I love Rylee so much I decided to give this a shot.
I like the idea of the story: two sisters, one destined to fulfill a prophecy. Irish lore.  One sister is taken and the other is trying to get her back and to do this she must accept the help of creatures she didn’t know existed before.  There are two factions of the fae in this and I really like the descriptions of the “bad ones”.  Quinn has a fear of the water and this drives many of her actions and reactions in this book, which is annoying but more realistic than making the heroine suddenly overcome her fears. 

There is a small amount of romance or what might turn into it, but right now it appears to be the beginnings of a love triangle, which I happen to despise. We will see how that plays out.
The main character Quinn, was a little annoying at times, making stupid decisions. Hopefully as she matures, that will fade. It was over half of the book before the reader finds out that Quinn is 26 years old. I was reading her as younger than that so that clarification should be earlier in the book, but I am happy she is older. 

Overall a good quick read. I will definitely read on.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Bloodline War by Tracy Tappan

3 stars

This is the first book I have read by this author.  I believe this is a series but it is the only book out right now.  It is set up in a way that you know there is more to come. 

The heroine is Dr. Toni Parthen.  She is hospitalized with a concussion one night after she is called in as the medical examiner for a bizarre crime scene.  The bizarre just keeps on coming for Toni.  She wakes up to a nurse trying to sedate her and as we all know; one must remain awake after a concussion.  The next time she wakes up she has been kidnapped.  The people who kidnap her tell her it is for her own good and explain she has special blood that allows the Varcolac (a race of humans that the myths of vampires are based off of) to breed.  The Varcolac apparently can’t make little Varcolacs unless the other person has this special blood and thus the Varcolacs are a dying breed.  Basically they give her three choices for mates and she is told to choose.  Obviously we know the good doctor will put up a fight.  To make matters worse, there are even worse people out to get her blood.  Part of the plot is confusing as it appears that Toni’s father wanted to get his hands on her to breed her with her half-brother?  This wasn’t said outright but I must assume that if this guys father and Toni’s father are the same, that makes them half siblings and he was definitely trying to make babies with her.  This is disturbing in that it was never brought up about them being half siblings.  Gross!  There is apparently something even more special about Toni’s blood than originally thought, but I am not sure we fully understand this yet. 

The problem with writing this type of story line is that the main character can sometimes come across as annoying to the reader who knows that the person that the heroine thinks is a bad guy is not bad at all.  So the reader is rooting for the Varcolac and Toni is fighting against them.  The author attempts to overcome this problem by making the previous women kidnapped and now happily married to Varcolac men, angry about how they are treated.  Only these women sometimes come across as annoying too.  It is hard because you know they were kidnapped and held against their will in the beginning and that is wrong and in real life no one would find this acceptable let alone romantic. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Warlock King by Heather Killough-Walden (The Kings #3)

3.5 stars

This is the third book. By the time I read this there are still two more books out.  That is the way I like to read series, otherwise I forget things and it is agony waiting for the next installment.  This series is a spinoff of “The Big Bad Wolf” series and follows the 13 Kings of the supernatural realms and their quest to find their queens while also dealing with supernatural disasters.

The Warlock King is Jason Alberich (spelling?).  He was present in one of “The Big Bad Wolf” books but as a bad guy.  He kidnaps his childhood friend gone love obsession, Dannai Cage.  Since then he has seen the error of his ways, but there is still a lot of tension between Jason and the wolves.

Jason’s queen is Chloe who is apparently one of the original Akyri.  Even after finishing the book I am not quite sure how that makes her different from the next generations of Akyri, except she is mucho old. Chloe knows Jason is after her and she wants nothing to do with him.  She is running, but he continues to keep an eye on her from afar.  The 13 kings are heading into deep waters with the mysterious evil that they are only just beginning to understand. 

Not a lot happens in this installment except Jason and Chloe have a meeting of the minds.  It was kind of anti-climactic.  I am anticipating good things from some of the other kings.  I hope the Seelie and Unseelie kings are good as well as the Shadow King (very mysterious!) and I am not even sure we have meet the rest of them, but I hope there is more to their stories. 

The Phantom King by Heather Killough-Walden (The Kings #2)

4 Stars
I have had this book for ages and ages.  I read “The Vampire King” soon after it came out and enjoyed it so why did I wait so long you ask?  I have no idea ok!  Sometimes I just make silly decisions for no discernable reason. 

The premise of the series is a spinoff of “The Big Bad Wolf” series.  The first book obviously follows the Vampire King as he meets his queen and deals who all the foibles that come along.  The second book is about the Phantom King.  He is the king of purgatory which is where all the souls of people who died wrongful deaths go to forget their wrongful death and then move on. 

Thanatos (or Thane) is the Phantom King.  He rules over purgatory and greets these souls as they enter.  I can’t really tell much more of his importance except that they souls seem to be able to spy for him (and defy him as well so they must not have to obey him) but they can’t leave purgatory.  Thane himself seems quite powerful, but I am not seeing his importance as one of the 13 kings. 

Despite this, I did enjoy reading about Thane discovering his queen who is a warlock.  Siobhan (I have NO idea how to pronounce that name!) has denied the darker pull of her warlock magic her whole life.  Because of this (and obviously her potential to be Thane’s Queen) there is a big nasty after her.  This would be the Akyri king who is the culprit behind the death of her boyfriend, Steven Lazarus (who plays a role in the whole book). 

In this series and “The Big Bad Wolf” series the author interweaves the romance between the characters.  By this I mean that often there are two men vying for one lovely lady’s attention and one of them is made out to be a bad guy, but in the next book we find out that he is misunderstood (or in some instances has a change of heart) and he becomes the hero of this next book with his own lovely lady that he must protect from the next bad guy. 

In “The Phantom King” we start to get more of the big picture for the series.  There is a bad guy who is after Siobhan, but there is also a badder bad guy pulling his strings.  This series reiterates many times that the queens on a chess board are the most powerful just like the queens of these 13 kings. 

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

5 Stars
This isn’t the first time I have read a retelling of “The Goose Girl” but I will tell you it is my favorite.  This is the first book I have read by this author and in fact I am not sure the author has anything else out there yet, but I will be following her (or him, I can’t tell by the name). 
The premise of “The Goose Girl” is about a princess who is sent far away to another kingdom in order to marry a prince, but on the way she is betrayed and through one mechanism or another she is no longer believed to be the princess.  Another takes her place and the princess is made to serve as a goose girl.  The prince, however, is still in danger although the princess becomes quite comfortable in her new role, she must find the courage to confront the evils that are present. 

I liked this particular retelling as it was slightly different than previous versions I have read (which you will just have to read to find out).  It also read slightly older and mature.  There was nothing inappropriate in either language or sexuality in the book.  I enjoyed both the princess and the prince in this retelling more than I had in any other version.  Valka is a character that you love to hate.  She just makes it so easy. 
I did feel like the ending wasn’t quite resolved between the princess and the prince, but I am hoping that this story might go beyond “The Goose Girl”.  I would like to hear more from Red Hawk as well as Rowan, Oak and Ash. 
Beautiful cover!  I am guilty of the crime of judging a book by its cover.