Author: Laura Thalassa
Page Count: 427
Publisher: Lavabrook Publishing, LLC
Notable Notables: Fantasy-ish story featuring the Biblical end times; romance featuring the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Recommended Readers: [Simon Cowell voice] It’s a no from me.
I had hoped that when Laura Thalassa had to change the covers of this series to this godawful thing, it wouldn’t be an indication of the story quality tanking, too. Pestilence was a shockingly, incredibly moving story with an engaging plot; contained a running commentary on human nature; featured a glorious, problematic villain love interest; and yeah, had some actual, well-written sex scenes. Who knew I could actually have it all in this genre, right? But then the cover change happened, War was unveiled looking like this, and I feared it was an ill omen of things to come.
Judging by my rating, you can see I was right, and you’re probably correct in guessing that, unlike the arrival of all my fears and doubts, I didn’t come at all. Instead, I am hugely disappointed by one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and even worse—War broke my five-star rating streak.
Upon finishing War, I am left with two burning questions: 1) Was Pestilence a fluke? 2) If not, then what the hell happened here?
Alright, let’s back up. It’s synopsis time, and oh yeah, expect spoilers throughout.
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Author: Tina Connolly
Page Count: 304
Publisher: Tor Books
Notable Notables: Reverse Beauty and the Beast elements
Recommended Readers: Fans of gothic fantasy
This book has been on my to-read shelf for a while now, so I was ecstatic to find it at my local library because it’s an unlikely find at a mainstream bookstore.
I’ve seen Ironskin promoted a few different ways. It’s a reverse Beauty and the Beast where the girl is “disfigured,” forced to wear an iron mask to hold back a fey curse of anger. It’s steampunk. It’s Jane Eyre but with fey. Some of these are only half-right while others are completely wrong.
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Title: The Fever Series (Darkfever, Bloodfever, Faefever, Dreamfever, Shadowfever)
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 309, 303, 327, 386, 608
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Notable Notables: In-depth world building in a modern setting, morally gray characters
Recommended Readers: Ages 16+, fans of urban, fae-heavy fantasy with a dash of mystery and romance
Rating: ★★★★☆ (Average of all five books)
So, I was going to review all of these books individually, but I ended up devouring them before I could even think about penning a review. As a result, I’m going to try something a little different, reviewing them somewhat individually but mostly as a series all at once. Haaaaaa, let’s see how this goes.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I’ve been pining for an engaging, Fae-centered fantasy series after how disappointing Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and Roses series ended up being. I took a risk on Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, and I’m glad I did because it healed me in ways I didn’t know I needed and provided me with content I’d been dying for.
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Title: The Ninth Circle, Book One: Fire
Author: C. A. Harland
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Version: ARC – eBook via NetGalley
Notable Notables: Loads of Action Scenes, Emphasis on Family, No Romance
Recommended Readers: Fans of Supernatural and monster-hunting tales
Well. This whole thing was eerily familiar.
You may see people compare this book to Supernatural but with women, and honestly, they’re not wrong. Filling the role of Dean Winchester is Tala Morgenstern, a demon hunter who is all about the business, about family, who’s got a foul mouth, a chip on her shoulder, and a sacrificial streak. Sam Winchester is played by Aiva Morgenstern, the sister who tried to get out of the business and lead a normal life, who gets dragged back in after the third sister, Hartley (Castiel? An OC?), goes missing. Like Sam, Aiva’s secretive, unsure of herself, often gets in over her head, and tries to steer Tala’s morality toward something more to Aiva’s liking. The sisters even have an old family friend, a once-hunter, to help guide them whenever they need help, like Bobby does for the Winchesters.
Normally, I might have given this book a pass, but I found a free copy of it on NetGalley, and I do like stories of demons as antagonists. But those stories are a dime a dozen and tend to blend together in terms of unoriginality. However, The Ninth Circle, Book 1: Fire seemed to offer an interesting twist: demons engaged in organized crime, and if that ain’t my speed, I don’t know what is.
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