*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+.
Set in the UK, Agent Connor Smith works for an organization that deal with aliens and alien artifacts. When he starts feeling paralyzed randomly, it is revealed that Noah, an alien, is making contact with him because he believes Connor is his soulmate. There is also an underground crime syndicate selling artifacts and aliens on the black market.
Despite the interesting premise, this book is sadly disjointed, unfocused, and stilted. I just didn’t feel much emotion from the writing and that made it hard to care once the plot really got going. I wanted to like this so badly but it just felt so dry. There’s some real untapped potential here but I didn’t enjoy this as much as I’d hoped. 2.9 out of 5.
*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for mature readers.
Holden Krause, a former rent boy turned private investigator/vigilante, is asked by a friend to find her missing husband and also asked by the police to look into the murder of a known local drug dealer. With the help of his partner, Chai, Holden uses all the skills at his disposal to suss out the killer and find the missing man.
This book feels really unfocused a lot of the time; simultaneously trying to work in the back story of the infected, some sort of feline shifter-like condition, despite Holden himself not being one. It’s heavy on the pop culture references and class, gender, and race politics. It’s important to include these things in your work but overuse can make your reader cringe no matter what side of the aisle you’re on and I did just that.
Overall, this reminds me of “Pushback” where the plot you’re expecting from the synopsis is secondary to other random details. The reader may be expecting more emphasis on the werecat virus and have it factor more into the plot other than a dramatic rescue, it really didn’t. It’s an ok book because Holden and Chai are fun characters to follow. 3 out of 5.
Retz is tasked with bringing some escaped exhibits for Lady Delight, a lamia who runs a menagerie of captured supernatural creatures. Lady Delight is a former acquaintance of Nalem, an entity who shares Retz’s body and mind so he agrees to the mission not knowing his Retz’s brother, Jarrod, has been hired by the escaped funaribi to protect them from Lady Delight. Retz and Jarrod have been estranged for 10 years and their reunion occurs under the pall of their conflicting missions as well as a horde of homicidal unicorns.
With all the stuff going on, this book is difficult to pin down. I get some Supernatural vibes (I haven’t watched more than a couple episodes of that but even I could see the similarities) but it is a superficial connection that didn’t take away from the story as a whole.
The characters are lively, well written, and have some great chemistry; particularly Retz and Nalem. The dynamics of having to share a body with some ageless entity of dubious morals is conveyed very well. Jarrod and his boyfriend Ferris have a great relationship and Jarrod is a great character who happens to be transgender instead of being transgender being the entire focus of this existence; as it should be. And with a relentless army of killer unicorns in the mix, this is a cool dark urban fantasy. I really enjoyed it. 3.9 out of 5.
*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.
I’ll let the book blub tackle the summary so I can get to gushing about this book:
“Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it’s up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it’s too late.”
I love everything about this world and this book. I love all the different creatures, body types, and powers along with a cute Scooby Doo-esque mystery and some romance. The art is reminiscent of Tea Dragon Society; soft and flowing with bright colors and excellent line work. I dare say this is nearly perfect except for the ending. They solve the mystery then POOF! It’s over. I would have liked to see another chapter wrapping up as the characters process what happened. Aside from that, I adore this book. 4.9 out of 5.
This book follows the adventures of Tala and Aiva Morgenstern as they search for their missing sister, Hartley, in a world filled with magic and demons.
The way this flows is just like episodes of a TV show; absolutely riffing off Buffy, Angel, or Supernatural. If you like those shows and want some fastpaced urban fantasy, this isn’t half bad. I don’t wanna give away too much since there’s a lot going on. Sometimes the writing felt forced; trying too hard to be badass but overall, it’s a fun read. A bit gory but hey, there’s demon killing happening so that’s to be expected. 3.4 out of 5.
*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.
Emma Addison, a timid agoraphobic, accidentally summons the Devil, awakening powers in her she never knew she had.
This is an odd book. With such a simple, straightforward premise, you would think the plot would move in a certain direction but nope. The story meanders all over the place. Emma loses her boyfriend, her job, gets magic powers, loses, them, meets new people, the Devil pops in from time to time, and all the while I’m wondering; “Where is this going?” I compare the feeling of reading this book as a walk in a beautiful forest on a trail you have no map of but everything is lovely to look at. The writing is good, Emma is a bit of a saint but I enjoyed following her on her journey; even if it did lack focus. 3 out of 5.
Petra’s husband, Gabriel, has gone missing and despite her body being currently ravaged by chemotherapy and cancer, she devotes her remaining days to finding him by any means necessary, even going so far as to adventure into the underworld.
There is a lot going on in this book. Aside for Petra, there’s a coverup about Gabriel’s disappearance, wolf clans, a mermaid seeking revenge for her imprisonment, a long lost son, a whole bunch of stuff. But it is cool stuff. We have a diverse cast of characters who meet up by chance, fun action, and interesting magic. I had a good time reading this but it didn’t leave much of an impact after it was done. 3.8 out of 5.
"Julian" aside from being a class assignment, was also an experiment for me in writing a short story with pure dialog. I wrote it circa 2002. It’s edited to make it a little cleaner but it’s pretty much exactly what I wrote back then. I had fun with it. 🙂 I may write more with Julian since she’s very cool and she’s my outlet for channeling Motoko from Ghost in the Shell. XD
And "Djinn" will update as it comes. I’m just letting this story flow. I have no plan. You have been warned. XD