Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Dime Store Magic" by Kelley Armstrong

Dime Store Magic (Women of the Otherwold, #3)Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"Dime Store Magic" is the third book in author, Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld, series. It is written in the narrative first person point of view of Paige Winterbourne, leader of the North American Coven of witches. If you've read the other two books before this, you will have met Paige for the first time in "Stolen." In fact, many of the characters in this book were introduced in book two.

This story picks up where "Stolen" left off. Paige takes Savannah, a powerful teenage witch, as her charge. It is her duty to protect Savannah and keep her from Cabals and black magic witches. This proves to be a difficult feat for Paige because Savannah’s father is a Sorcerer and leader of one the most dangerous Cabals on the West Coast. Nast, Savannah’s father employs the help of a telekinetic half-demon Leah, also introduced in book two, to retrieve Savannah and bring her to his Cabal.

Paige finds herself battling a legal custody case, sorcerers, black magic, media, and her own coven whilst protecting Savannah. She and Savannah, forced to align themselves with an unlikely ally – battle against all odds with an attorney/sorcerer named, Lucas Cortez.

As I read through this book, I found Paige to be very na├»ve and incredibly boring, albeit, she has strong morals and has potential to be a strong witch. Sadly, I think having Paige’s mother in this story would have added some substance to this story. Paige, knowingly, was not ready to be a stand in mother for Savannah. She was ill-prepared for the job. Paige really came across as a teen not much older than Savannah, to me.

This whole story, although well written, just seemed to lack substance. It was mostly a battle of wits and sure luck. I suppose I expected something more… like maybe Paige finding her magic deep within herself. I also thought there would be more romance in this story. Maybe half a chapter toward the end had a roll in the… uh… laundry. There was no build up to it. In fact, Lucas Cortez repulsed Paige! Then you turn the page to the next chapter and they’re rolling in the laundry. Sorry, but that seemed contrived at best.

In the end, Savannah and Paige, with Lucas' help (the good), beat Nast and his minions (the bad), saving our heroes to live happily ever after.

As stated, the author writes well, develops the characters reasonably well, but the story just seemed bland to me. I think reading it is important if you’ve started the series, but truthfully, I don’t think you need any of the back story to get through this one. The wolves from "Bitten" and "Stolen" are not in this story, except for a phone call. That’s it. However, it is a great book to fill the need to read between other stories that you’re waiting for authors to publish.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"Moon Called," by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1)Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Moon Called,” by Patricia Briggs started slow at first. There seemed to be a lot of world and character building. There was a lot of information poured into the story as well. However, the author built a believable world with believable characters.

Briggs described the hierarchy of the werewolves well. She explained little innuendos such as what it meant to look into an Alpha’s eyes. It was a way to show dominance. I felt she described Mercy into a strong female protagonist, with just enough smarts to know when she should back down. One fact not made clear was the description of a skin walker. Briggs explained in the story that Mercy was a skin walker, but then described Mercy as a Coyote. To me, a skin walker is a Native American legend where a person with supernatural ability could turn into any animal she desired. To be able to transform, the legend says the skin walker would require a pelt of the animal she wanted to be. Granted, more modern telling of the legend either removes the pelt or uses it for only the initial change. If the person wanted to be the same animal every time they changed, they would no longer need another pelt. Mercy was always a Coyote. So far, there’s no indication that she can turn into anything other than a Coyote. With that said, I believe Mercy has some other tricks up her sleeve, and I really hope to see this series take off in that way, revealing more and more.

Now, I was kind of bothered that there was no romantic factor in this book. Not every book needs to have romance or eroticism, but it sure adds to the pleasure of reading. However, again, this book looks to be a jumping off point into an excellent series. Briggs left a lot of loose ends that I foresee having a delightful tie-in into the next book in this series.

This is an excellent book. I’ve rated it 4 out of 5 stars because I do feel it was lacking just a bit as mentioned above.

You can get your copy of Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) today!

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