Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Lover at Last," by J.R. Ward

Finally, J.R. Ward’s eleventh installment to the Black Dagger Brotherhood has arrived! “Lover at Last” was everything I had hoped for and more.

If you’ve read J.R. Ward’s previous books in this series, you will have seen the friendship, dedication, and love between Qhuinn and Blay develop. For me, the angst between the two was frustrating to watch. The on-again-off-again friendship made me want to slap either or both of these males. I really didn’t care which direction their relationship went, as long as both were happy. But to have Blay express is frustrated, matter-of-fact, straight talk to Qhuinn really gripped my heart. Then to watch Qhuinn wrap his head around what he truly and deeply wanted. To see him finally realize that he was living by someone else’s standard. Qhuinn brought me to tears. Being rejected by everybody in his family only to find himself accepted just as he is in a new family!

Although this book was expected to be all about Qhuinn and Blay, it was much more than that. There are so many different paths built into this book. If I didn’t already know what J.R.Ward’s next book is to be about, I would be hard pressed to know the next path we’re to travel next.

So many different facets open up in this book. There are exciting twists to Layla’s life. Remember, she is pregnant with Qhuinn’s baby. The Brotherhood make a decision that’ll blow you away and the Band of Bastards consider a new approach to winning the throne! We learn a little more of the shadow brothers, Trez and iAm. It looks like they will become more involved with the Brotherhood, but to what degree? Do you remember meeting Assail from “Lover Reborn”? He’s back and with more to his story as well! I think we will see more of Assail and maybe the new female that he meets in this book. I believe he may be an important factor with the battle between the Brotherhood and the Band of Bastards, even though he claims he wants nothing to do with any of it.

As you can see, there is a lot to this book. It will keep your head spinning and your heart pounding! This book has the makings of several stories to come. It gave me the feeling that it is has some kind of pivotal importance in the fight between the Brotherhood, Band of Bastards and the glymera. I have to give these book 5 stars. I was going to rate it with 4 stars just because there were SO MANY facets here to wrap my head around... There were some areas where it got a tiny bit confusing. However, by the time I reached the end, I realized that we're going to see much more to come.

I can’t wait for the next book, which J.R. Ward has announced will be, The King, and will come back to more of Wrath and Beth, who are trying to have a baby!

Awesome job, J.R. Ward!


Saturday, April 6, 2013

"The Taken" by Vicki Pettersson

The other day, I came upon a book that was offered for free on Barnes & Noble’s, The NOOK Blog. I’ve never read this author before, in fact, I’d never heard of her. Now that I’ve done my research, I’m surprised that I’ve never heard of Vicki Pettersson. She has written fifteen distinct works and has written alongside a couple of my favorite authors. She writes urban fantasy, mystery-thriller, & supernatural stories. If you’re like me & you know nothing about this author, check her out. With all learned about this author, I do see some other books I may touch upon in the near future.

“The Taken” is Vicki Pettersson’s first book in her Celestial Blues series. She coins this series as a breakout new trilogy. In this book, she introduces us to an immortal realm called the Everlast where Centurions are given the job of guiding murdered souls into the afterlife. These Centurions are mortals turned angels.

In this story, Griffin Shaw, once a gumshoe, now Centurion is sent back to the city where he & his wife were mysteriously murdered back in the 50’s. He’s given the responsibility to take a murdered soul back to the Everlast, but screws up the take, which messes with the order of things on Earth. Wings plucked, he’s sent back to the mudflat (Earth) to make things right.

Katherine “Kit” Craig is a rockabilly die-hard and dedicated reporter, obsessed with unearthing the truth. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she needs protection. Shaw’s orders were to watch Kit’s death, but he isn’t having that! Together they work to solve the mysteries both old and new.

I don’t know if it is just me, or what… but this book was a slow read for me. I suppose, if I think back, there are many new series that I’ve started where the story just took forever to develop. If this were a book to stand on its own merit, I would say it was boring for the most part. It didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat, dying to get to the next chapter. It was more of a slow burn… barely keeping me there, half tempted to start another book.

This story has the flavor of a gumshoe noir mystery kind of book. However, it takes on a bit of the ethereal too. Griffin Shaw is stereotypical gumshoe, who was deeply in love with his wife back 50+ years ago and is consumed by solving their untimely murder. His path crosses Kit’s when he’s sent to “take” her best friend’s soul to the Everlast. Kit is consumed with finding her BFF’s murder and the story that she tried to unravel before her untimely death. So, through most of this book, I’m trying to figure out why I even started it. I thought it would be a romance with more of a kick of angels.

Well, Pettersson pulled it off! This turned out to be a really good series to start. By the time I got to the last couple of chapters, I was hooked for the ending. I give this story 3 ½ out of 5 stars. What this means to me? It was a good read, written well, a lot of time developing characters, but not quite in a rush to get the next book in the series, “The Lost” which was just released March 19, 2013, but you can bet I'll get it! You can get your copy of this whole series at Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com.