Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Taunting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins (The Fae Chronicles #2)

5 Stars

I have already finished book #3 and when I finished #2 it was my favorite, but now I am having a hard time remembering this one.  I remember what happened in book 1 and book 3, but book 2 in kind of a blur…

This book takes up right where the first one end (which was right in the middle!).  Syn had just looked through a window to see Rider and his 13 in black robes and brutally interrogating a group of men…some of which Syn knew…from The Guild!  Syn runs away right as rider looks up to see her (end book 1), Syn makes it away from Rider and to The Guild where she is persona non grata anymore because she is fae and not a witch!  Her mentor Alden coldly tells her to get lost.  She ends up going to her parents’ house where she is living with Adam.  Except is going into transition faster than Syn and has to be taken to Rider’s so he can transition in safety. 

Syn has signed another contract with Rider which gives him the sole right to guide her through her transition.  On top of this, the mages are still out there killing fae and they are also after Synthia now.  She ends up moving back in with Rider and his men.  The bombshell in this book is who they think Synthia is.  They know who Adam is (another bombshell) and because of this it puts Syn in a position to choose her own happiness or the death or thousands of fae.  Fae that she thought she hated for killing her parents, but she is learning that not all fae are evil like not all humans are good.  She meets her mother and father and more as she is taken back to Faery to fulfill a prophesy. 

Fighting Destiny by Amelia Hutchins (The Fae Chronicles #1)

4 Stars

I started reading this book without expecting much.  I had never heard of the author and it was a fairly cheap book, but I am a sucker for books about the fae.  I am really glad I ran across it because I devoured the entire series (so far, books 1-3, but at least 2 more are supposed to come out).

The main character is Synthia Mckenna.  She is a witch for The Guild in Spokane, Washington.  The book opens up with Syn taking a job that is nearly impossible.  She has to break into the Dark Prince’s abode and steal his crown.  Synthia ends up in a binding contract with the fae, working with the same Dark Prince (Rider) to catch a killer.  They are after a serial killer who can take out both witches and the immortal fae with very little resistance. 

Syn has her own reasons for hating the fae which make this assignment particularly difficult.  Her parents were murdered by the fae when she was very young.  She trusts very few people and is finding this number shrinking more each day.

This is a great starter to a series.  I have two complaints.  One is there was too much sex!  Often when you see that kind and amount of sex it is covering up the lack of a storyline and/or writing skills.  But the author is clearly talented and the storyline is A-MAZING.  I could have cut out 75% of the sex and built up more of the sexual tension and been happier with this book.  My second complaint is that the story seemed to just off in the middle.  There was a point in the book where it would have made sense to end the book and leave it open knowing there is more.  This is so far beyond a cliff hanger.  It is like the editor (or author, not sure who to blame) opened up the pages at random and said, “we will end it here.”  It was a very odd place to end the book. 

Overall, when I finished it, I went right online and bought the next book (which is my favorite so far), and started it right away.    

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of The Beauty and the Beast by Robin Mckinley

4 Stars

So you may notice that I recently read another retelling of Beauty and the Beast.  The reason why I chose to read this one right away is because one of the reviews for the K.M. Shea version left a comment about how her version couldn’t compare to the Robin Mckinley version.  I think that is way too strong a statement and I think this person is over fond of the Robin Mckinley version because it is from her childhood.  I liked both versions very much.  K.M. Shea has a very different take on the story and it is well written and refreshing.  I loved the vivid depictions in the Robin Mckinley version. 


Beauty lives with her father and two sisters.  Beauty’s real name is Honour, but has long gone by Beauty although she notes throughout the book how she is not beautiful like her sisters.   Her sister Grace is engaged to be married to a man who works for her father in their shipping business.  The business goes on hard times and the family is forced to moved far away and build a new life.  The other sister Hope finds a man to marry as well during all of this.  Their father makes a trip and on the way back gets lost in the enchanted forest.  It is during this time that a deal is struck with the beast in the castle in the enchanted forest.  Either the father but die or he must bring one of his daughters to live in the castle.  Beauty is chosen and like the story goes she must see past the outward appearance of the beast. 

I loved everything about this story except the falling in love portion.  Beauty, although always saying she is not beautiful, still considers herself far above the beast.  She makes a very sudden realization that she loves the beast although prior to that she was adamant about keeping her distance even to the point of running away and appearing quite disgusted when she wakes up in the beast’s arms after fainting.  He is always very gracious and patient with her but I found little in her character to warrant such patience.  At the very end when the spell is undone, it all happens too fast.  He changes back, she wants her beast, but quickly sees he is the beast, but thinks she isn’t beautiful enough, he assures her she is and they go out to meet her family.  There should have been more substance to this part.  It is the climax and yet it is as though once the spell is broken we must end the story ASAP.  No declarations of love, just look how richly dressed your family is as they come to our wedding.  It also doesn’t discuss the significance of the week.  The beast lets Beauty go for a week and if she doesn’t return he shall die.  Why???

House of the Rising Sun by Kristen Painter (Cresent City #1)

3 Stars
First, I think it is important to note that this is a spin-off series from this author’s “House of Comarre” series.  I didn’t read that series and although they only mention “comarre” briefly I have no idea what that is.  Other than that you should be able to read this without reading that other series with no issues, although you can tell that Augustine is more familiar to the reader of the previous series.
This book has two main characters and we get alternating points of view.  Harlow is the daughter of Olivia Goodwin who is a retired actress.  Harlow doesn’t get along with her mom because Olivia refuses to tell her daughter the name of Harlow’s father.  Olivia lives in New Orleans and when Harlow gets in trouble with the Cyber Crimes Unit she has to ask Olivia for help.  Augustine lives with Olivia and has ever since she took him off the streets as an adolescent.  She saved him from a grim existence and he loves her dearly.  Augustine is forced to take up the mantle of Guardian (it means he is protector of everyone in New Orleans) after Olivia is attacked by rogue vampires.  Augustine wants revenge and Harlow just wants money to pay her fine and go back to Boston.
I enjoyed the premise and am currently reading the second book in hopes that Harlow won’t drive me crazy like she did in the first book.  She is probably the most selfish, childish, annoying main character I have ever read.  I am wondering if the author is trying to show growth with this character so that is why I am continuing to read.  Literally every encounter Harlow has with anyone was annoying.  She was estranged from her mother because Olivia wouldn’t tell her her father’s name.  There is a reason for that you spoiled brat!  Ugh.  I liked Augustine except that he seemed to has an unexplained attraction to Harlow no matter how bad she treated him.