A Little Help for the BotM…

Doug Meeks worked his connections and got a couple of April’s potential book of the month releases early and sent over a couple of reviews. Let’s start with Faith Hunter‘s Dark Heir, which is released on April 7th.

dark heirWhat Doug said…

In any long running series there are a many things that have to happen and here are a few:

1. The main character has to have growth (you can’t write about a never changing character for 9 books)
2. There has to be interesting secondary characters that are more than cardboard cutouts (this series has them by the basket full)
3. While we need growth, the character can’t change so much that it is not the same character you bought books 1 & 2 and loved.
4. No repetitive plots (this one kills a LOT of good series)

Jane Yellowrock series has all these covered and probably a few more that I have forgotten but they never cease to entertain. The plots are multilevel and there is just enough humor thrown in with the action to keep you coming back for more.

This time you wonder if Jane has finally met her match in one of the strongest vampires alive but she feels it is her job to try to protect the people of New Orleans and marches on regardless of the odds.

About the only thing I can say in the way of negative is it seemed she spent a lot of time involved in self loathing/guilt which after a few times wore thin a bit (pretty much the ONLY thing you will see me write negative about this book). It started to make me think of the TV show Arrow, loved the first season when he was killing the bad guys, then he was “enlightened” to not kill any of the scumbags he runs up on (give me a break) so I left him to his “don’t kill the scum” plots. Jane was giving me those kinds of vibes for a bit there, I am pretty sure she got over it. Means I am still addicted to this series.

Jane and I share a common belief, if you kill them they really don’t bother you anymore and can’t hurt you 🙂

The action is fast and furious, the plot is wonderful, the interaction with other characters was amazingly good. Jane was Jane and THAT is always entertaining and there is never the same bad guy and seldom if ever the same solution to the plot (again, originality is spades).

Bottom Line: 4.5 Stars, rounded to 5 and I loved pretty much every minute of it and the strong points more than outweigh any negatives I may have had about this exceptional novel.

And then there is Diana Rowland‘s Vengeance of the Demon, which is also due out on April 7th.

vengeance of the demonWhat Doug said…

This was a difficult book for me to review since I have read every book in this series. This was neither my least favorite nor was it the best in the series for me.

This book felt a bit incomplete since the overarching storyline did not see much movement it would seem in many ways. This felt like book 1 of a trilogy in that it had a firm beginning and ending while leaving you thirsting for more but I felt that in all the crushing revelations of these last few books that the story we bought those first 2-3 books to read has disappeared totally in what amounts to a reboot. The question I kept asking myself was “does this make for a better series?” and I don’t think I got that question answered in this book. This progression that keeps knocking out the basis of the original plotlines seems to be heading into chaos, which might be ok if the reader was not left with so many questions that would not see any answers for another year.

This book while well written (since I never felt bored), never solved a ton of things that are going on around Kara. I have to wonder if we are seeing the series start to deteriorate under its own weight. Seven books is an impressive milestone in a series like this and it has been kept fresh by many startling revelations but even those are starting to feel like they are used for “shock value” rather than plot progression.

Our heroine and accompanying heroes are pulled from one emergency to another, we have horrible and puzzling revelations, we have a lot of self introspection, heartbreak and high emotion but some of it fell flat. I felt we had too many instances of people acting out of character……… but I could not put it down (hence the rating).

I am rambling here a bit but the fact is I enjoyed the book in spite of the various weaknesses I have mentioned, I am hoping we see some major resolution in the next book because at the end of the day I liked this book but it felt more akin to a “day-in-the-life” plot and left me with too many unanswered questions to say I loved it.

Bottom Line: I got to the end of the book and had way to many “What about ” type questions. There were minor progressions, surprisingly there was almost no sex which I give the author major kudos for not trying to force needless sex into a story that really did not require it at this point. On the positive side I got to around the 50% mark and I could not put the book down, part of this might have been looking for revenge I don’t think I got or waiting for the “big thing” I was expecting and instead got a really “big thing” I was not expecting (that might have been 2 big things).

This was an enjoyable but frustrating experience, but it was NOT a cliffhanger (yea!), there was just too much going on which I assume could not be resolved in this book but I am setting the bar very high for the next one. 4 Stars and wish it would have been 5 but at over 400 pages it had to end someplace. I had to work hard to avoid some major spoilers here but if I have to sum it up in one sentence “hugely enjoyable and ultimately frustrating” would have to be it. Thinking I have to wait a year to get answers just makes me grind my teeth a bit.

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