Reading Wrap Up – Repeat Edition

wildfireYep, so it has been a bit since my last reading wrap up post, and things haven’t been too bad. I dove into Flame in the Dark from Faith Hunter, and I loved it. Totally worth staying up all night for, and I can’t wait to see where things go from here. Love Nell, love Occam, and love seeing their potential coupledom take a few big leaps forward, too. I also got back into the In Death series from J.D. Robb after a couple months long break, and that was welcome, too. The great thing is that it is like coming back to old friends, and with this series I never feel lost even after a bit of time away from them. Works out well. And I finally did my re-read of Wildfire from Ilona Andrews. I seriously can’t even tell you just how much I love the Hidden Legacy books. They are absolute favorites – like top 5 series of all time – and I do so hope for more.

I also tackled a new to me series I have been meaning to get to for forever, with…interesting results. I read a couple of Jennifer Estep‘s young adult offerings over the years, and actually quite enjoyed them. But I am having a little bit of an issue with the Elemental Assassin books. I mentioned in a post from last week that I thought I was nitpicking, but that the constant repetition of everyone’s eye color was getting on my last nerve. I liked pretty much everything else, but that one detail bugged the crap out of me. Once, twice, three times… I am fine with that. Repeating a characters eye color more than 40 times in one book – sometimes multiple times on a page – was over the top. Well, that was what I found in the first book, and my issue has expanded a bit.

Now, I have learned to basically skip the eye color thing. I might roll my hazel eyes a few times, but I was dealing. Until the rest of the repetition reared its ugly, ugly head. Descriptions and phrases are said pretty much word for word, over and over (and over) again, without end. The repetition was never ending.

I repeat: the repetition was never ending.

Gin’s 5 point weapons arrangement. Finn’s love of chicory coffee. Bria’s shaggy blonde hair. JoJo’s painted toenails. Sophia’s monosyllabic grunts. Over and over and over. But the one that really bugged me was weird. It was the way she referred to Sophia – long time friend, co-worker, helper, basically extended family member. She is either called The Dwarf or the Goth Dwarf 90% of the time, and for me it became insulting. Saying what she is a few times is fine, but she has a name. Use it. One of my friends is a bit older than me, and French, but I call her by her name, not the “old French chick”. I believe there was one page where she was referred to as the dwarf or the goth dwarf four times. ON ONE PAGE. I REPEAT – ON. ONE. PAGE. It got to the point where I was mixing up the names of the “Dwarf sisters” because Sophia’s name was so rarely used.

The problem is that I do like the storyline, and pretty much all of the characters – except Gin. Because the story is told from her first-person POV, I keep hearing her repeating everything so my annoyance has transferred to her. But I do like Finn, The “Goth Dwarf” and her sister, and Owen seems like he has potential (I am only on the third book, Venom). I really do want to keep going with the series, but I find myself skimming a bit when the verbal replays get too much. And as one of you warned me in the previous Nitpick post, apparently Gin picks up a nick-name for what I will assume is Owen that will really push me over the edge. Sigh. Something to look forward to. I repeat….eh, never mind.

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Pick of the Week

Yeah, I know. This post probably isn’t going to come as a big honkin’ mystery to most of you, but my pick of the week is Flame in the Dark from Faith Hunter. I am about 20% into this one and loving it, and I find myself going back and re-reading sections as I go along. Not looking forward to the wait for the next one, but what can you do?

flame in the darkSynopsis…

Nell Ingram has always known she was different. Since she was a child, she’s been able to feel and channel ancient powers from deep within the earth. When she met Jane Yellowrock, her entire life changed, and she was recruited into PsyLED–the Homeland Security division that polices paranormals. But now her newly formed unit is about to take on its toughest case yet.

A powerful senator barely survives an assassination attempt that leaves many others dead–and the house he was visiting burns to the ground. Invisible to security cameras, the assassin literally disappears, and Nell’s team is called in. As they track a killer they know is more–or less–than human, they unravel a web of dark intrigue and malevolent motives that tests them to their limits and beyond.

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What is your favorite spin-off series? I think that this one is mine, but I have high hopes for Heirs of Chicagoland from Chloe Neill. I even hope to like it more than the original series, honestly.

Flame in the Dark Review

Flame in the Dark is my last really big release of 2017, and since I have finally gotten caught up on all of Faith Hunter‘s Jane Yellowrock world releases recently my anticipation has only gotten stronger. Nell is a favorite, and everything about the Soulwood series just works for me. Doug Meeks kindly sent over his early review for this one, and I so glad to see that it is as good as I thought it would be.

flame in the darkWhat Doug said…

WOW! First off let me point out that while I LOVE Jane Yellowrock and this whole world, she is pretty unique BUT there has never been another heroine like Nell, she is the most original character in urban fantasy in many years.

This time she seems to be up against something they can’t even identify and add that to the normal trials and tribulations of a woman who had spent her whole life as a “churchwoman” in a near cult-like existence, she is proving to be one heck of a strong heroine.

Nell is in touch with the world around us like no other heroine ever and that has some serious pros and cons, add more into the mix that her sister is exhibiting signs of being like Nell.

This story has a lot going on and you can’t scan any pages or you might miss something important and a lot of it is just Nell learning how to be normal as she can.

I won’t drone on and repeat the synopsis but, this was just an absolutely exceptional story and while it seemed to be written like it could be the last one in the series, I am assured that there will be at least 2 more in this exceptional story.

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Welp, we have less than a week to wait since it will be released on December 5th. Let the countdown begin.

 

December’s Book of the Month

heartInstead of running the poll like I have been doing lately (which is a giant pain to add since WordPress started playing around with things behind the scenes), I thought maybe we could all just list our top couple of picks for the month. My big, huge, honkin’ number one pick is Flame in the Dark from Faith Hunter. It is the third book of the Soulwood series featuring Nell Ingram, and since I have just recently finished my complete Jane Yellowrock world marathon I am more than ready. Love me some Nell and company.

Coming in at number two would be Fury of Denial from Coreene Callahan. It is the third book of the Dragonfury; Scotland series, which I think I enjoy more than the US based one, honestly.

So, your turn. Which book or books are your most anticipated for the last month of 2017? Any genre goes.

Reading Wrap Up – New Author Edition

alpha betHey all. Everyone getting ready for the Christmas/Holiday season? I can’t believe we are looking at wrapping up the year in a few weeks, honestly. It seems like it was September, then December, with nothing in between. Anyways, ever since I finished up my Jane Yellowrock world marathon, I managed to get caught up on all of the new releases I was behind on. And even better, I got back into J.D. Robb‘s In Death series after a couple of months break (and did I ever miss them).

I decided to try out a couple of new-to-me authors, too, with varying degrees of success. The first one was Milly Taiden. I have seen her around for a while, and so I decided to pick up her newest release, Alpha Bet. It was a fast, fun story about a brilliant half-human, half-shifter who has been mistreated by her full-shifter packmates all of her life. Just when she finally gets the chance to strike out on her own in her dream job far away from pack life, the new Alpha starts to make his interest in her known. I really quite enjoyed this one, and while I didn’t immediately “One click” all of Milly Taiden’s other works, I will definitely keep an eye out and see what she comes out with next.

Unfortunately, though, I didn’t have much luck with my other new-to-me author. I was sure – and I mean SURE – I would love Devon Monk‘s Death and Relaxation. Not sure why, but I just was. I figured it was the safest bet in all of the authors I am looking to try, but it didn’t quite work out that way. I ended up DNF’ing the book at about the 25% point. I just couldn’t get into it, and I found myself starting to skim through looking for something to grab my attention. When I realized that I just couldn’t get interested, I decided to pull the plug. I did a bit of review-reading on Goodreads to see if maybe things would pick up and I should keep going, but not much on there made me want to change my mind, either, so I did the dreaded delete (so much easier than making myself toss a print book, though). I still might check out the Allie Beckstrom series, but it will be a while before I get there.

So, any new-to-you authors you have discovered lately? How far do you read before you decide to give up the ghost on a new author or series? Do you make yourself finish the whole thing, or do you cut your losses and move on?

 

Check One Off Of The Bucket List

check24 novellas. 13 books. Spread over 2 series…read from start to finish without stopping. And I can officially check Jane Yellowrock off of my TBR Bucket List. Yes!

As I have whined about in other posts, I had tried to tackle Faith Hunter‘s Jane Yellowrock series a couple of years back with not much success. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, it was just that for whatever reason I couldn’t get myself interested. It checked off all of the boxes of what I enjoy in a series – except a set love interest. I think it was the whole “maybe it will be him? Or him? Maybe him?” that went on in my head between Rick, Leo and Bruiser, but it really took me out of the series. But all of that changed when I dove into the Nell Ingram spin-off…and completely loved it. That gave me a renewed interest in Jane’s side of things (along with all of you telling me that Jane does, indeed, get true love interest). And wow, did things change.

I can’t tell you why, but my second try at Jane just…worked. Maybe worked too well, since I honestly just couldn’t stop. I marathoned one after the other (after the other), read every novella and short story, and still wanted more. Even anticipated new releases were put firmly into my TBR collection to enjoy at a later date. Post-Jane later date. I do still think I am more of a Nell-series fan, but it isn’t by much. And I got so much more out of Nell’s books after I got up-to-date on the world as a whole that it was worth it for that alone.

For me, too, it is rare to find a series that seems to get better with every book. I seemed to like each Jane book more than the one before it, with Cold Reign (Jane Yellowrock #11) being my favorite one yet. So much happened…and so much was set up to happen in Dark Queen and beyond. Now my countdown begins for Nell #3, Flame in Dark.

Your turn. What is your longest uninterrupted complete series marathon? How often do you get so sucked into a world you just don’t come up for air until the whole darn thing is finished? Have you ever given up on a series only to find love on the second try?

Reading Wrap Up

blood tradeMy reading wrap up is pretty easy to keep track of, since I have been exclusively reading the Jane Yellowrock series from Faith Hunter. I have worked my way up to number 6, Blood Trade, including all of the sundry novellas involved. This is my second-go-round with this series – I tapped out the first time around the third book since I just couldn’t get into it. But after reading the Soulwood books I got a renewed interest in Jane and Co, and this second read has been going much, much better. Actually, I am finding them hard to put down.

The novellas do help quite a bit, too. I didn’t bother with the first four – the historical ones – but everything after those I have very much enjoyed. I was toying with the idea of skipping Easy Pickings, the crossover story with C.E. Murphy, but I was so glad I didn’t. It was fun, and there are little references in the following books that I would’ve missed. I might even try out The Walker Papers somewhere down the line, too.

I really like Jane, tough and no-nonsense but not invincible. Bruiser is developing into a really decent character, too. Eli and Alex are relative newbies, but they are already favorites. Molly and her family are great, but Evan can get run over by a bus – pronto. Judgmental tool. I do have a couple of sticking points, though. One would be Leo. I can’t quite decide how I am supposed to feel about him. Good guy? Bad guy? Just when I start to like him, he gets all skeevy and weird and throws me off. The other is Rick. I get that he has a lot of hate for his character – I haven’t gotten there myself, as yet – but I don’t get Jane’s continuing attraction to him, either. I do hope she turns the corner soon and gives him the boot out of her life for good. I think at this point, pretty much anyone else is a better choice for her. Eli. Bruiser. Hell, even Leo.

So, my second go round on Jane Yellowrock is a complete success so far. I am pulling a marathon and I have no signs of burn out as yet. My goal was to be caught up with everything by the time Flame in the Dark is released in December, and it looks like that won’t be a problem at all.

What are your favorite Jane Yellowrock characters? Where do you stand on Rick? And Leo? Where does the series stand among your favorites?

Nadia Novella News

Usually, I stick pretty firmly to my rules of only spotlighting releases that have a paranormal or supernatural romance angle, mostly because if you start branching out it is hard to know where to start. But once in a while, a favorite author will do something a little different. Kelley Armstrong has several great series that I have very much enjoyed, and it looks like she has a novella in the works that will tie two of them together. Nadia Stafford #3.6 will be called Perfect Victim, and it will also feature a character from her Rockton books. Yay to crossovers – especially ones that make perfect story-line sense. And there isn’t much of a wait for it, either, since it will be released on November 1st.

perfect victimSynopsis…

Fifteen years ago, hit man Tyrone Cypher disappeared into the wilderness. Now he’s back with a job for his old “friend” Jack. While Jack doesn’t consider Cypher much of a friend, the job is ideal for Nadia.

There’s a killer in Honolulu, targeting those involved in the family court system. When no one else would take one victim’s cases, lawyer Angela Kamaka did, putting herself squarely in the killer’s cross-sights.

For Nadia, Angela is the perfect victim—an innocent person in danger for doing the right thing. So Nadia and Jack get an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii courtesy of Tyrone Cypher, who has his own reasons for wanting to keep Angela safe.

Do you have any favorite cross-overs? I liked seeing some of the BDB gang show up in J.R. Ward‘s Fallen Angels series. And right now I am reading Easy Pickings from Faith Hunter and C.E. Murphy – which would probably be great if I had read C.E. Murphy before, but since I haven’t it isn’t a big deal for me. Are there any series that you would like to see get the cross-over treatment?

 

Site Updates

question markI have been chugging along trying to get the character guides updated, and I have a couple of more I can check off. The Fever World guide is updated – and edited, thank god – to include the info from Feversong, and to hopefully streamline things a little bit. I also have the Power Game info added for the Ghostwalkers guide, and I edited the beginning breakdown a bit to try and include more about the girls. Only seems fair.

There are still a crap-load that I am behind on, but I thought that I might set up a guide for Jane Yellowrock (since I am on the big series read and all). I find the people less confusing to keep track of then the characters, to be honest, so I think I might do a glossary for this one as well. But I am a bit torn as to just what stories to include.

You see, I want to make it for the entire Jane Yellowrock world so I can include the Soulwood series as well. But when I was doing my research to set up the page, I came across Faith Hunter‘s official reading list for the whole “Universe”, and it is a whopper. There are short stories for characters I have never heard of, so I have no idea how they even tie into things. I am thinking to just include the info for stories that pertain directly to characters featured in the two main series – like Bruiser, Beast, Leo or Katie stories. I don’t really see the point of tracking down a story featuring…Ayatas FireWind (who?) or Ethan Kaille (who, too?). Just to show you what I mean, here is what I cobbled together for the COMPLETE reading list…oy.

Jane Yellowrock #1 – Skinwalker

Jane Yellowrock #2 – Blood Cross

Jane Yellowrock #3 – Mercy Blade

Jane Yellowrock #4 –  Raven Cursed

Jane Yellowrock #5 – Death’s Rival

Jane Yellowrock #6 – Blood Trade

Jane Yellowrock #7 – Black Arts

Jane Yellowrock #8 – Broken Soul

Jane Yellowrock #9 – Dark Heir

Soulwood #1 – Blood of the Earth

Jane Yellowrock #10 – Shadow Rites

  • Anzu, Duba, Beast (Jane Yellowrock): found in WERE

Soulwood #2 – Curse on the Land

Jane Yellowrock #11 – Cold Reign

Soulwood #3 – Flame in the Dark

Jane Yellowrock #12 – Dark Queen

What do you think? Would that be a cop-out to pick and choose which ones I add? Have any of you actually tackled all of these titles, or are you like me and didn’t even realize that half of them existed?

Reading Wrap Up

mercy bladeOk everyone, it is time once again to check in and see what everyone is reading (and hopefully enjoying) recently. I have been continuing my Jane Yellowrock adventure, and I have just finished the third book, Mercy Blade (and all of the novellas up to that point, too). I do believe this is the point where I threw in the towel last time, or rather where I just drifted away with plans to return, but this time around I am quite into things. My love of Faith Hunter‘s spin-off Soulwood series is serving me well.

For the character guide updating, I have finished a re-read of Feversong from Karen Marie Moning. I did get way more out of it the second time around, since in my haste/greed in the first reading, I ended up blasting through it and retaining little. As much as I liked these books, I am ready for the series to change direction. There is so much still left to be explored in this world, and I will be glad to see Mac and Jericho step aside for whatever is to come.

power gameOh, and I am also re-reading Christine Feehan‘s Power Game. Yeah, not minding this one, either, except for one little thing. I know everyone who reads the series seems to adore Nonny, and while I liked the little bits of her we saw at first, now she is getting on my nerves. Not really sure why – maybe it is the incessant cooking lessons everyone has to have – but I could do with less of her. And if I am being honest, I would love to go back to one of the other teams for a change. Seriously, teams 1 through 3 seem like a distant memory at this point. Hell, I would even be happy with a couple of cameo appearances. And don’t get me started on the original orphans who were with Lily…not sure where they are at all. It is hard when a series just keeps adding more and more characters because so many that interested you in the first place seem to get left behind.

On to you. Anything really good this week (or even really bad)? What have you been re-reading lately?