Sorceress – Super Hero #3
Superhero, Urban Fantasy
(11 Sept. 2019)
I thought a magical superhero murdering people was someone else's problem.
Then he killed someone I love.
Now I'm going to make myself his problem.
But first I have to find him. Hopefully before he kills again.
A half-trained sorceress like me versus Earth's most powerful sorcerer?
What could possibly go wrong?
This is a series of 3 of which I read books 1 and 2 some time ago, but book 3 was then published, so I re -read 1 and 2 to remind myself of the storyline. Available in paperback and KU.
Our flawed heroine begins to mature into a responsible adult in book 3 as her relationship with Ghost – the Hero – develops during the hunt for Millenium.
In this world we have official Heroes. And Metahumans. I’m not sure what the difference exactly is except that registered Heroes are just that – registered with costumes and known powers. This is very much the Comic Book world written into a novel with a Hero Guild and enforcers to ensure that Heroes behave appropriately. Society at large accepts Heroes but doesn’t know about Magic even though it is there and everywhere but hidden. There is a belief that Mundanes – i.e. ordinary humans – would accept Heroes but not magic users as it is too easy for magic users to behave selfishly and to harm others. They are not controllable would be the belief. Except they are controlled by a rigid hierarchy of magical creatures. And mythical creatures are real – see Fairies and goblins and dwarves.
Our Sorceress, Sage, is a magic user who also has metahuman – and then some – powers and strengths, and thus can hide in plain sight as a Hero or a bodyguard to mythical creatures. But in previous books, Sage was thrown into jail and thus has a difficult background and finds it hard to find a job, let alone control her rage or strength and magic. In this book, working with Ghost helps her to begin the control and she also works on developing her magic which she had abandoned after her father’s death.
These are fun books – comics as books – lots of snark, bad puns and jokes and great deeds from our Heroes!
Riwenne & the Bionic Witches
Divine Warriors #2
Kristen S Walker
YA, fantasy, urban, steampunk
July 2, 2019
No friend left behind. Riwenne escaped the floating city with her life and most of her friends, but one loss haunts her nightmares. If only she could save her sister. But she's out of magic, and nowhere is safe for the divine warriors. Defying the Empire put a price on their heads. With nothing but an airship and a few gods on their side, they need a new way to fight back! The sun goddess is arming bionic witches with blood magic. Riwenne's talking bird mentor, Tika, says the only magic that can stop the sun is the moon goddess. But the moon goddess was banished and even her name is forbidden. Riwenne must search for ancient clues to free the moon and get her powers back. She's not afraid to fight, but the battles are getting fiercer. She can't let her broken heart get in the way. Sooner or later, she'll have to face the one person she dreads-and this time, death is the only way. But can she live with herself if she becomes a killer?
This is book 2 of a series set in a Steampunk world.
There is a Creation myth of the 2 goddesses – the Sun and the Moon. Who fell out with other – hence the separation in the sky, but a war is about to commence in this magical world with bionic enhancements. The Sun and Moon goddesses were at each other’s throats.
This world has a whole set of creation myths involved in it, including many minor gods such as a trickster created to look after all aspects of life – even cheese making!
Technology was considered as the evil as it permitted the creation of terrible weapons and thus war and conquest – and ultimately a war amongst the gods. Again. And – as technology improved so the worship of the old gods diminished and was linked into one set of worship.
This book is good, in my opinion for mid-teens to read. I was given it to read by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Catnip Assassins 1-7
fantasy romance, urban fantasy
(6 Mar. 2021)
Books 5-7 in the action-packed Catnip Assassins urban fantasy series, together in one volume for the very first time! Kat and her family have moved to a new town, but that doesn't mean that things will calm down. New enemies, new allies and new challenges await them. To survive, Kat will have to polish her claws and trust the three guys willing to do everything for her. And not eat too much catnip, obviously... Continue the bestselling Catnip Assassins series with this handy boxed set, which doesn't just include countless kittens, but also an adorable fawn! This is an urban fantasy romance full of cats, secrets and dead bodies. It includes a slow-burn reverse harem relationship where Kat ends up with three love interests.
So this is a review for 7 books – a whole series – that’s what Covid lockdown did to me – I just read whole series all the way through. Luckily for me it was easy, as they came in 2 packaged books – 1-4 and 5-7.
This is a fantasy novel with orphaned cat shifters who act as Assassins and are trained in their trade in a special academy. There are other shifters involved and a children trafficking ring and lots and lots of cats of all shapes and sizes. The world they live in bears little resemblance to our own, so it is easy to believe in as we see it through the eyes of our story characters. Each book ends on a cliff-hanger which encourages the reading of the next, and as the story progresses the world becomes richer and more detailed and the characters more interesting. The suspense is good and the plot rich and complex.
We also find our Heroine Kat involved in a reverse harem by the end of the series.
Grave Robbing and Other Hobbies
(Grave Concerns #1)
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Reverse Harem, Romance
Publication date: April 20th 2021
Ghosts, corpses and four hot men—what’s a girl to do? Abandoned at three—whose parents want a kid who sees ghosts?—I learned the world is quick to punish misfits. I try my best to be a normal, boring human, but the call of the supernatural just won’t be ignored. When a stranger shows up on my doorstep in the middle of the night, it’s no sexy tryst. Instead, I’m off to the graveyard, digging up the corpse of a murder victim at the demand of the local vampire coven—and that small felony is just the start. The spirit of the woman has gone missing—something that shouldn’t be possible—and everyone is looking to me for answers. There’s Kase, a vampire who’s both terrifying and secretive. Grant, a mage with a bad attitude and a lot of power. Troy, the possessive werewolf-detective next door and Hunter, a mysterious bad boy who isn’t even close to human. It’s a race not just against time but against everything to figure out where the spirits are going, who’s behind it and if I can trust the men who now share my bed. And all because of a little grave robbing…
Hunter didn’t remove his hand from my mouth. It made me realize he was also entirely pressed against me, and despite it not being possible, he felt better than he’d looked. His skin was warm, even through my robe.
He took his hand off my mouth but didn’t move away. “Stay still,” he whispered against my ear.
“Why? Is it coming back?”
“No. I just really like looking down your robe.”
As soon as his words sank in, when I moved past the adrenaline and the purr of his voice, I realized that yes, my robe had bagged open and he had a perfect view down the front.
I elbowed him, but he didn’t seem to even feel it. He released me, though the way he did it implied my little move hadn’t meant a thing.
“I am so tired of people breaking into my house,” I said.
“You aren’t human, and you don’t have any wards. That’s the same as a ‘come on in’ sign in our world.”
“I am human.”
“Sure, shadow-girl.” He sent me a conspiratorial wink, as if we were on the joke together.
“No, I actually am. No funky teeth, no freaky eyes. Human.” I pointed at my face as though that drove the point home.
He waved at himself. “No funky teeth, no freaky eyes. Very much not human. Sure, though, if you want to pretend, I’m not one to turn down a bit of good roleplay. You want to be innocent Little Red Riding Hood? I’ll play the wolf.”
His suggestion derailed me. How could it not? Any girl who claimed she hadn’t had entirely inappropriate dreams about the wolf in that story was a damned liar. Once I’d reached a certain age, ‘all the better to eat you with’ had taken on a very different meaning.
I pictured a dark, heavily wooded forest as I ran, something on my heels, gaining ground. His warm breath on my neck when he caught me…
Suddenly I didn’t care what he’d said, why he was there or what exactly he meant by him ‘not being human’.
Until I recalled he’d broken in, and clearly him showing up at my office wasn’t a coincidence.
He snorted. “I liked where your mind was going before.”
“What are you doing here? And what was that thing?”
“Don’t we have better things to discuss? Or we can do away with talking all together.”
“I don’t sleep with people who might kill me, but thanks.”
“If someone might not kill you, are they even worth sleeping with in the first place?”
I nodded, then handed the ice pack back to him. When he took it, he frowned at a red mark that remained on the white pack.
“Sorry.” I turned my hand over, the one Grant had cut, to find that sure enough, I’d managed to tear open the scab.
“Grant needed my blood for the wards.”
He frowned, as though he disliked the idea. “He could have done less damage.”
“That’s what I said, but he said it was about the sacrifice of the action.”
Kase lifted his thumb to his mouth and pressed it against the tip of his fang. He didn’t grimace, didn’t show any reaction to the wound.
Blood welled at the top, a red so dark it was almost purple.
Which sent me bolting. I jumped to my feet, wanting that blood nowhere near me.
Kase didn’t grab me—and I knew damn well he could have, because vampires were terrifyingly fast—but he stared. “Really?”
“I may not always love my life, but I do love being alive. No thanks to that.” I waved at his thumb.
“How can you be so ignorant of our world? You can’t be turned into a vampire from a little blood.”
“That sounds like men who say a girl can’t get knocked up because it’s just the tip.”
“I am sterile, so that isn’t an issue I deal with.” Kase spoke with such flatness of his voice, I almost missed that he’d made a joke, even more so because he so quickly moved on from it. “To be changed from mortal, a person has to die. My blood will help to heal you, but it won’t change you since I, again, don’t plan on killing you.”
I pressed my lips together, then responded slowly. “You know, I normally don’t spend so much time around people who have to keep telling me they don’t plan on killing me.”
“Would you rather I not tell you that?”
“I’d rather you not need to tell me that.”
“You need to do something,” I said as Kase and Troy struck a wall and knocked off a painting. Sure, it was a cheap one I’d picked up at a chain store, some mass-produced image of cherry blossoms I’d always thought would make me a calmer person, but it was my stupid painting and they’d ruined it!
“You’re right,” Grant said and snapped his fingers, whispering a few words.
The two fighting seemed unaffected, however, as Troy flung Kase off him and Kase sailed back, almost faster than my vision could follow.
I was about to tell Grant it hadn’t worked when I realized he held a bowl of popcorn now.
Had he really used his magic to summon popcorn? Hunter reached over me to grab a handful.
“You said you couldn’t use magic for frivolous things,” I stammered.
“You used it to get popcorn!”
Grant lifted the popcorn as though to make a point. “This isn’t frivolous, Ava. There is a man-on-man fight here—that requires snacks to properly watch. Get your priorities straight.”
My mouth hung open. Every time I thought I had my feet under me with these men, they showed me how wrong I was.
“They could kill each other,” I finally said.
“Sure, but they won’t.” Hunter stole another handful of popcorn and tossed some in his mouth, a few pieces falling to the couch. “Troy hasn’t fully shifted and Kase isn’t biting. This is just one of those macho alpha dominance shows. Let’s all be glad they’re doing this instead of actually measuring dicks. Trust me, that just hurts feelings.”
I went to get up, but Hunter wrapped an arm around me to keep me there. “Nope. This? This is the sort of thing where an accidental stray punch could end a fragile thing like you. Best to stay out of fights between immortals.”
“They’re wrecking my place,” I complained and winced as they destroyed yet another small table. It splintered into a million pieces, and even though I couldn’t for the life of me recall where I’d gotten it from, the loss made me sigh.
“They’ll fix it. Hell, they’ll probably get you nicer stuff just because they feel bad. Make sure you milk that. I want a large-screen TV here,” Grant told me before offering me some popcorn.
And, really, what was a girl to do? I couldn’t stop the fight and the two people who could—Hunter and Grant—didn’t seem all that driven to do so.
So I took some of the popcorn and joined in on the show.
Apparently saving the world would need to wait for these two to work out their little testosterone-driven fight.
It seemed all men were alike, immortal or not.
Jayce Carter lives in Southern California with her husband and two spawns. She originally wanted to take over the world but realized that would require wearing pants. This led her to choosing writing, a completely pants-free occupation. She has a fear of heights yet rock climbs for fun and enjoys making up excuses for not going out and socializing.
The Witchling's Girl
Sci Fi & Fantasy | Teens & YA
Hodder & Stoughton
Pub Date 7 Jan 2021
In a quiet street far from the river, with an ancient tree growing through its walls and floors, is the House of the Dead. There lives the witchling: healer, midwife and conduit between the world of the living and the world below. A witchling must give up her family and friends and spend her life alone, tending to the sick and carrying the dead down dark tunnels to the underworld. Haley was born with the gift of death-magic, and at the age of seven her mother abandons her to the witchling to be raised as her successor. But as Haley grows older and learns her craft - as invading armies pass through her town, people are born and die on her floor, and loyalties shift and dissolve around her - she finds it harder and harder to keep her vows and be the perfect and impassive healer. But if she can't, it will be her downfall - and that of everyone she's not supposed to love . . .
I failed to get involved in the storyline, it seemed too reminiscent of the stories of Baba Yaga and her house on chicken legs that lives in many dimensions. (In Slavic folklore, Baba Yaga is a supernatural being who appears as a deformed or ferocious-looking old woman. Baba Yaga may help or hinder those that encounter her or seek her out). So having read stories about Baba and her disciples before and quite enjoyed them, I needed to read a story which was completely different – except this one wasn’t. And death magic is quite common too in stories and comes across better in a humorous format I find.
This is my personal view as someone who reads and has already read, far more than the 10,000 lifetime books – as I read 400 books a year. So you really have to be good and original especially when delving into folk-lore or fairytales.