The Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan – Review & Giveaway

The Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan – Review & Giveaway

 

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The Legion of the Flame
The Draconis Memoria series – Book #2
by Anthony Ryan
Release Date: June 27th, 2017

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Description:
Empires clash and a fell power stakes its claim in the second in a new series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Raven’s Shadow Trilogy.

For centuries, the vast Ironship Trading Syndicate relied on drake blood—and the extraordinary powers it confers to those known as the Blood-blessed—to fuel and protect its empire. But now, a fearsome power has arisen—a drake so mighty that the world will tremble before it.

Rogue Blood-blessed Claydon Torcreek, Syndicate agent Lizanne Lethridge, and ironship captain Corrick Hilemore embark upon perilous quests to chase down clues that offer faint hopes of salvation. As the world burns around them, and the fires of revolution are ignited, these few are the last hope for the empire and for all of civilization.

 

 

Review:

The Legion of Flame by Anthony Ryan is the second book in his The Draconis Memoria series.  The Legion of Flame picks up after The Waking Fire left off.  Being an epic fantasy there is a lot of detailed information, as the story line progresses.  In this intense world, the humans and blood blessed (humans who drink the blood harvested from dead dragons), are in a fight for survival in a war against the onslaught of all dragons (blue, black, green, red and the new ultra powerful white).  It is also a world filled with magic, war, danger, destruction, ships, and dragons.

Lizanne and Clay, who are both blood blessed, continue as the main characters with POV’s  in this series.  Hilemore, the captain of one of the fleets, also has some POV;s, and Sirius, who has been captured by a white drake (dragon) now has his own POV, as he has been changed into a human-spoiled controlled by the White.   With the danger escalating, and the world very much in danger of being destroyed by the attacking Drakes;  Lizanne, Clay and Hiemore  take on various assignments to stop the enemy before it’s too late. 

Lizanne, after being successful in her last mission, will now go undercover to a city that is a prison for rough tough mean prisoners that survive in the city of undesirables.  Lizanne, who is an agent and assassin for the syndicate, is determined to find someone who has the ability to build items that could help fight the Drakes.   Clay follows a vision to also discover more about the Drakes, and someone who might be able to help them win this war.  Hilemore must push his men on the ship to fight the continued attacks by the Drakes.  Each of them faces terrible odds of survival, especially Lizanne and Clay.

What follows is an exciting, dangerous, intense storyline filled with non-stop action.  All three of our heroes are on their own, with no contact; and as the tension grows, we fear for their lives. The journey for each will take them to depths of hell.    To tell too much more is difficult, as in fantasies there are many details that need to be read to understand.  I loved Lizanne, as she was some tough heroine, who refused to ever give up.  I liked Clay too, but to me Lizanne stood out the most. 

Anthony Ryan does a masterful job in writing this complex story that intensifies the further we delve into the horrors we witness in a world that is falling apart.  As in most fantasies, this is a big book, just under 600 pages.  If you enjoy epic fantasies, in a sort of sci-fi dystopian world, with lots of action, then you should be reading this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

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Intercession by M.A. Abraham – Review & Giveaway

Intercession by M.A. Abraham – Review & Giveaway

 

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Description:
In the history of the Tantalarian people, The Tribunal Elder is the only one who ever stood up to the Tribunal. He did that when he was a Tribune, and managed to live to eventually lead it. He had disagreed with a decision the counsel made and acted on it. In protest; he cut off his ceremonial braid and threw the discarded plait onto the floor at The Elder’s feet, and refused to ever wear a braid again. His action was considered an insult, to the Elder of that time, as well as the Tribunal. The spirit of the man, who was, still lives in the ruler who is now.

The Tribunal Elder has lived through more millennium than he cares to think about. He is not the type to shirk his duties. He is a force to recon with; yet he is known to be a kind man. To settle a dispute between the Martians and the Human settlers, he is being forced to take the mother ship that they had arrived on Tantalus with many eons before back into space. This, he is not happy about.

The message from the Martians is clear, remove the settlers from the surface of their planet, or they will die. The Tribunal Elder soon discovers there is more to this than those who are command know about, for the act that precipitated this action had multiple events. Someone is working in the background, manipulating forces, to create a power struggle between the two species.

Will he allow the Tantalarians to be pulled into a conflict that they have and want nothing to do with?

 

 

Review:

Intercession by M.A. Abraham is the 4th book in her Tantalus series.   M. A. Abraham once again gives us an exciting and tense story as we return to the world of Tantalus.  Intercession picks up shortly after the last book ended. A brief refresher of the premise of Tantalus: This is a Sci-Fi story about two species (Humans & Tantalarians) that are forced to work together on the planet Tantalus.

The Tribunal Elder has been requested to go to Mars and remove the human settlers who live there or all humans will be killed.  He gathers a team made up of Tantalarians and human leaders who have migrated nicely in Tantalus.   The purpose is to find out the what and why causing this issue.  The Elder wants only mated men, as the Sirens from Mars are known to use their ability to get what they want by using alluring spells; and the mated men are immune to those spells.  He also wants Terec & Adele (our previous book heroes) to come, especially since Adele has the ability to read people and able to see if they are lying.

When they arrive in Mars, they are greeted by the Siren leader, as well as one of the woman warriors, who threaten them.  They are told that a few of the women are missing, and blame the human residents.   The Elder senses there is more to the story, and with his team they meet with the resident human leaders of various ships to discover what is happening.  Adele will make friends with Glynnis, one of the Siren females, who helps heal those who have been affected by sickness from contaminated water.   Adele and Gynnis will play a big part in helping fix the water, and learn the truth about what is happening.

What follows is a well written and excellent story line that will have the Elder, and the Tantalarians discover the issues, as well as stopping a dangerous revolt.  I loved meeting Echoes, a Siren princess, who was able to stop the revolution, and dictate punishment to those involved.  I loved Adele and Terec. I also enjoyed the surprise twist was also very nice. 

M.A. Abraham once again gives us an interesting, fun and different story line of the Tantalarians and Humans working together, as they try to diffuse the situation in Mars.  If you enjoy fantasy, aliens,  world building, then I suggest you start this series with the first book.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for review

 

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Wanted & Wired by Vivien Jackson – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Wanted & Wired by Vivien Jackson – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

 

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Description:
A rip-roarin’ new snarky, sexy sci-fi paranormal romance series with the perfect balance of humor, heat, and heart. Now that Texas has seceded and the world is spiraling into chaos, good guys come in unlikely packages and love sprouts in the most inconvenient places…

Rogue scientist • technologically enhanced • deliciously attractive
Heron Farad should be dead. But technology has made him the man he is today. Now he heads a crew of uniquely skilled outsiders who fight to salvage what’s left of humanity: art, artifacts, books, ideas-sometimes even people. People like Mari Vallejo.

Gun for hire • Texan rebel • always hits her mark
Mari has been lusting after her mysterious handler for months. But when a by-the-book hit goes horribly sideways, she and Heron land on the universal most wanted list. Someone set them up. Desperate and on the run, they must trust each other to survive, while hiding devastating secrets. As their explosive chemistry heats up, it’s the perfect storm…

Review:

Wanted & Wired by Vivien Jackson is the first book in her new sci-Fi Tether series.   I enjoy reading some sci-fi with a fantasy element, but I do tend to enjoy straight fantasy more.  I had mixed feelings about Wanted & Wired.   This had a lot of possibilities, a good story line, and some really interesting and likeable characters.   I also thought Jackson’s writing was very good.

Mari is a tough heroine, who is also a crack shot who never misses.  She partners with our hero, Heron, who is human and part droid (technically advanced).  When things go wrong on an assignment, Heron uses his technical ability to be one step ahead of those trying to catch them. During this adventure, we meet many people who are technically enhanced or complete droids. The key to the story is to find out who betrayed them in the assignment, as well as to keep Mari safe from those who want her killed. 

My mixed feelings:  The story was very technical, which was either a bit redundant or confusing for me.  Though I like my fantasy and sci-fi, I do not like too much technical terms which takes me out of the story.   I also thought the constant sexual innuendos, and situations seemed to be constant. Wherever, whenever, whoever was around, it was all about their lust for each other.  I like my books to be story oriented, with the sexual chemistry and situations part of the story.

I did think that Heron and Mari were very  good heroes, if we had the time to learn about them; as well as  some of the secondary characters that were well done, such as Chloe, Kellen, Adele, just to name a few.  If you enjoy Sci-Fi with advanced humans or droids, and a heavily sexual story then Wanted & Wired would be a good read.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

excerpt

 

She popped her bubble gum and leaned against a Plexiglas route map. Cool as a daiquiri was Mari.

He waited for the bus to pull away from the stop and then rolled his car to the curb, about a meter from her mud-caked wellies. Green ones, with tiny sunflowers on the pull loops. He moved one hand off the steering wheel, signed a command, and her door shished open.

She leaned in, twirling the parasol, flinging errant raindrops all over his contrast-piped leather interior. Cool sprinkles, like cupcake dusting. A dimple tucked itself next to her flirty smile. “Hey, stranger. Goin’ my way?”

Heron pressed his lips into a line. “No funning, please. Get in. Quickly.”

“No kiddin’ no fun,” she muttered under her breath, probably forgetting that her com was subvocal. Although she was sharp as a shiv when her hands were on a gun, she could forget crucial things on planning and extraction. Or she deliberately relied on him to keep all that sorted.

Either way, Heron didn’t mind. He reached through the wireless and shut down her com.

She closed the umbrella, tossed it to the floorboard, and folded herself into the passenger seat. Heron had the door down as soon as her skirt was clear of the seals.

He’d examined this sector extensively in planning and had every escape route timed down to the second. He hadn’t counted on the law enforcement response being so fast, though, almost instantaneous. Road blocks and drones were popping up like dandelions every time he polled the mirror, and he had no defenses set up to counter them.

He knew precisely the speed at which information flowed, and there was no way within normal parameters the authorities could know her identity and location this quickly. Clearly, Mari had been set up. He even had a good idea who’d done it. The cloud, with its delicious glut of information, hovered just beyond his vision, tempting. He could see her doom erupting, 33.3 milliseconds behind real time, and he couldn’t do a damn thing to stop it.

No, that wasn’t true. He had a range of options, but the only one he allowed himself, the only one that made sense, was to get her away from here. Get her somewhere safe. Hide her.

Traffic became a torment, not just because his escape was slowed or capture crept closer with each passing second, but also because…she was here. Close. Too close. Within touching distance close. He could practically feel her vibrating with postjob adrenaline. Just eight blocks to the expressway entrance ramp. He endured them. Every bloody inch. Every stroke of her naked hands on the cushion. Every drip of skin-warmed rainwater from her ponytail, teasing its way down between her shoulder blades and along the seatback. Every push of her breath against damp synthetic cashmere. Every distant siren, every rolling update from his mirror… Interpol had her bios now, but he suspected the UNAN agents would find her first.

No. Over his goddamned corpse they would.
He hit the entrance ramp at 120 and blew into the cruise lane. The wireless exchange with the bus earlier had reminded him of another closed system, off-cloud. A bigger one. Private. Safe.

“Thought our exit vector was south. Cabana down in Cabo San Lucas and an endless tab of mojitos? This ringing a bell, partner?” Mari craned to see a road sign too blurry to read with naked eyes.

Heron cataloged the sign, crossed three lanes, and slung the car onto a flyover, taking them decidedly not south.
“I told you our plans had changed. No cabana this time, but don’t worry. I’m taking you someplace safe.”

“What place? Your place?” She waggled her eyebrows.
He inhaled deliberately. She doesn’t mean it the way it sounds. It is not an invitation. You know how she is. Bald come-hithers and poor timing were typical of her postjob process. Everybody had a different way of ramping up and down for jobs like this, and hers was invariable. A peek at her biometrics showed elevated hormone levels in her blood. Flight or fight or fuck, and Mari had an unnatural ability to suppress the first.

Any other job, he’d have her on a plane by now and off to the hired harem of cabana boys she needed to seduce to prove she was still alive. But this wasn’t any other job. This was a botch. On a contract held by Texas. She was in danger, and he didn’t have time to wrestle with her attempts to make him into another of her temporary playthings.

Temporary, because the only time she’d be able to stomach fucking a post-human would be right after a job. And then she’d hate herself after. He knew what she thought about people with implanted tech. Cyborgs. No better than machines.

And he sported a metric shitload of implanted tech.
So he’d kept their relationship purely professional, and there had never been a reason to alter that structure. Until today. Now, to keep her safe, he was willing to suffer a lot more than her derision. He was willing to lay bare his most deeply held secrets and hope she didn’t heckle. Or worse, send him away.

He accelerated through fourth gear, and the car lowered, uncomplaining, hugging the asphalt.

Fuck it all—he was taking her home.

 

 

 

About the author

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VIVIEN JACKSON is still waiting for her Hogwarts letter. In the meantime, she writes, mostly fantastical or futuristic or kissing-related stories. When she isn’t writing, she’s performing a sacred duty nurturing the next generation of Whovian Browncoat Sindarin Jedi gamers, and their little dogs too. With her similarly geeky partner, she lives in Austin, Texas, and watches a lot of football.

 

Social Networking Links

Website: http://www.vivienjackson.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VivienJacksonWriter/
Twitter: @Vivien_Jackson
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6517244.Vivien_Jackson

To Buy:
http://www.vivienjackson.com/p/books.html

 

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Gods of the Flame Sea by Jean Johnson – a Review

Gods of the Flame Sea by Jean Johnson – a Review

 

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Description:
The Fae Rii and their descendants encounter another universe-hopping race, the Efrijt. But where the Fair Traders are after just that, fair trade with other worlds, the Efrijt are after whatever they can get, and the two sides must fight to establish a peace between their clashing interests, or the native humans may end up crushed between them.

 

 

Review:

Gods of the Flame Sea is the 3rd book in Jean Johnson’s Flame Sea fantasy series. Here is a brief refresher of this series: a group of Fae’s known as Fae Rii, arrived  many many years ago and helped create the lands for them and humans who joined them to be habitual.   Over the years the land now called Flame Sea has advanced into a wonderful community for all, including many Fae/Human inter species children.  In the last book we learned more about another species, Efrijt, who live in another land, mining for Mercury, which they need to survive.  Both Flame Sea and the Efrijts keep their distance, but have formed laws to keep a hostile peace.

 Ban, one of the original Fae Rii, spends time with the young mixed race (Fae/Human) children to train them to fight.  Udrin is one of the students, and even Ban has noticed some changes in him, especially his arrogance.  We spent a few chapters in the beginning watching Udrin, who is mixed race between Fae and Efrijt, eat Mercury and steal anima (magic) from others, as well as create little strange creatures.  In a short time, Udrin’s powers grow, as does his insanity. 

What follows is an interesting and exciting storyline, where the Fae and humans begin to see Udrin’s instability, and how dangerous he has become.  Once he hurts one of the female Fae’s, almost to the death, they know they have to do something to stop him. Jintaya , who is the leader,  and many of the Fae team, do everything they can to try to stop Udrin, who continues to become more powerful than even they are.  Rather than tell too much more, it would be spoilers, but the race is on to find a way to stop Udrin, including getting help from the Efrit’s. 

Jean Johnson has written a very nice story that continues the flow of this world building.  I will say that the first few chapters were very slow, when we watched the making of Udrin.  But a third of the way in everything became very exciting, and interesting to see what they will do to try and stop him.   I was under the impression this was a trilogy, but I felt this was sort of left open for a return to the Flame Sea. If you enjoy Sci-Fi fantasy, I am sure you will enjoy this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Axel: Rescue One (Six Saviors 13) by Carly Fall-Review & Guest Post

AXEL: Rescue One (Six Saviors 13 ): Rescue One by Carly Fall-Review and Guest Post

Axel

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About the book: Release Date March 19, 2017

With his tattoos, dark, dead eyes and sketchy past, almost everyone in the silo keeps their distance.

However, people aren’t always what they seem.

Is there more to Axel than meets the eye?

••••••••••

REVIEW: AXEL is the thirteenth installment in Carly Fall’s contemporary, adult SIX SAVIORS paranormal/sci-fi romance series focusing on a species from the planet SR44. This is SR44ian Axel a member of the Rescue One team from planet SR44, and half human/half SR44ian Eden’s story line. Eden is the daughter of one of the original Six Saviors Hudson. AXEL can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty but I recommend reading the series in order for background and cohesion.

BACKGROUND: There were 6 original Savior warriors from planet SR44. The warriors were sent to earth over 220 years ago to stop and eradicate the 12 murderers who escaped from one of the moon colonies of planet SR44. The Colonists, as they were soon called, made their way to Earth, took the human body form, mated with the females and populated the earth with Colonist DNA. The earthly descendants will either manifest good or bad qualities; the savior warriors are part of the elite military from planet SR44, commissioned to remove the Colonists from Earth including the descendants with bad DNA. The beings on planet SR44 are incorporeal bodies of mist and smoke, each bearing a different color, but in their corporeal bodies on Earth, their eyes will glow their familiar- planet SR44 color each evening. Their mission has yet to be completed; their planet has been destroyed; and a new group of SR44 men and women have arrived in search of the original six saviors.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Axel and Eden) AXEL focuses on the forbidden relationship between Axel and Eden-a relationship forbidden by the man Eden recently learned was her father. Hudson and the rest of the SR44 males don’t trust Axel-he is dark, brooding, and silent, and not without some demons that are slowly destroying what’s left of his mind. With the recent discovery of Eden and her twin brother Benedict as direct descendants of SR44ian Hudson, the Saviors and their mates have taken extra precautions to protect our story line heroine believing she is too naïve and young to understand the world around her. What ensues are Eden’s attempts to bring Axel into her life, and the ongoing battle with a new enemy determined to destroy the SR44ians.

The relationship between Axel and Eden is one of immediate attraction although Axel has been warned not to go near or interact with Hudson’s daughter. Eden is a strong willed female determined to exert her independence and in doing so places herself in a dangerous situation. The $ex scenes are intimate and compelling without the use of over the top sexually graphic language and text.

Most of the previous story line couples play secondary and supporting characters. We are introduced to Axel’s friend and tattoo artist Foster whose story will be continued in Carly’s new spin off series-OPERATION UNDERWORLD- a series about a clandestine organization whose members have special abilities to hunt those paranormal entities determined to cause harm to humans. The first book in the series comes out in April 2017.

AXEL is a story about one man whose dark past controls his present, and one woman whose looking for love from a man who is afraid to let go. The premise is heartbreaking, encouraging and sensitive; the characters are colorful and energetic; the romance is provocative and passionate. Carly Fall ‘s SIX SAVIORS series is an impassioned look at otherworldly beings trying to do the best in an impossible situation.

Previous Reviews

The Light Within Me
Finding My Faith
Reborn
Beverly’s Rebirth
Destiny’s Shift
Tangled Fates
Dreamwalker
Atonement
Justice
Titus
Roman
Six Saviors Christmas Novella
Axel

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

 

The Light Within MeNOTE: Book 1 in Carly Fall’s Six Saviors series THE LIGHT WITHIN ME (ebook format only) is currently FREE at most ebook retailers:
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When Abby and Noah meet, there is an explosive attraction between them that neither can deny…

As a shy, awkward, social misfit, Abby has gone her whole life feeling as though she’s different from everyone else and she simply doesn’t fit in well with society as a whole. She longs to feel a real connection with someone, and she finally does when she meets Noah.

Unbeknownst to Abby, Noah is from another world and his sole purpose is to hunt down the evil of his people that was unleashed on Earth hundreds of years ago. He’s certain he isn’t going to be able to return to his home, and anger and the need for revenge are his constant companions. His focus has been eradicating the evil and making them pay for taking his life on his world away from him.

Noah tries desperately to fight his attraction to Abby so he can keep his focus on his mission. But when Abby gets dragged into the evil and mayhem from Noah’s world, he realizes that maybe with Abby he can find a home here on Earth…if he can save her in time.

Guest Post

Imagine waking up in a hospital and noticing a red glow around some of the staff. Perhaps you would think that you’d hurt your head in the accident that put you there, but when you see these people flashing their fangs and drinking off of the patients and other members of the staff, maybe you’d think you’d completely lost your mind!
But, have you?

For Connor Dickson, the answer is a resounding no as he comes to terms with the fact he can see vampires, and they live and work among the human population.

Welcome to Operation Underworld!

Operation Underworld

When my fellow author Elise Marion approached me with the idea of us collaborating on this project, I was on board within seconds. I loved the idea of writing books about a clandestine organization that polices the paranormal entities secretly living among us!

I will be releasing the first three books in the series: A Touch of Blood, A Touch of Love, and A Touch of Death.

All three of these will be releasing in April / May so that readers don’t have to wait. Elise will be tackling demons in her first three books, releasing May / June.

Here’s the blurb to my first book, A Touch of Blood:

He cheated death once. Can he do it again?

After surviving an explosion deep in the heart of the Guatemalan jungle, Marine Connor Dickson has been left with a supernatural ability—he can detect vampires living among the human population.

With this knowledge comes the realization that there are good and evil among the vampire nation. After witnessing a horrific death at the hands of a vampire, it becomes his own personal mission to police the rogue entities and stop them from harming humans.

He is recruited into Operation Underworld, an organization where their sole purpose is to hunt the criminal entities of paranormal species. His first assignment is to find out why humans are going missing from nightclubs in Los Angeles.

When he meets the beautiful Sami Karim, he discovers they are working on the same missing persons case. As his attraction to her grows, he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding many secrets, as well as lying to him.

A shocking twist of events reveals Sami’s true agenda, leaving Connor devastated, fearing for his own safety, and ultimately, forced to face his enemy on his own.

I hope you’ll join us for Operation Underworld, and if you’d like to receive notification on when the books release, you can sign up here

Click HERE to sign up for notification releases

When paranormal creatures step out of line, Operation Underworld must step in to intervene … because sometimes, regular law enforcement just won’t do.

about the author

Follow: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Carly Fall 2I am a wife, a mother and a slave to Nicky the dog.

I think chocolate and wine should be considered their own food group, and I wish Christmas happened twice a year.

I love the hot summer nights here in Arizona when my family and I play in our pool until late at night, and I hate 99.8% of politicians.

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Born of Vengeance by Sherrilyn Kenyon – a Review

Born of Vengeance by Sherrilyn Kenyon – a Review

 

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Description:
A fate worse than death . . .

Bastien Cabarro survived the brutal slaughter of his entire family only to have his wife pin their murders on him. Made Ravin by The League, he is now a target for their assassins-in-training to hunt and kill. The average life expectancy for such beings is six weeks. But defying the odds is what this Gyron Force officer does best, and Bastien won’t rest until he lays his betrayers in their graves.

Ten years later, he has one chance to balance the scales of justice, provided he relies on his former wingman— the very sister of the woman who testified against him.

Major Ember Wyldestarrin joined the outlaw Tavali the day Kirovar fell into the hands of a tyrant, and she and her sister-team were left on an outpost to die under the barrage of enemy fire. The last thing she wants is to be involved in politics again. But the one thing she wants more than anything is revenge on the tyrant who murdered her parents and forced her and her sisters into exile. Carrying a secret she knows Bastien will annihilate her over, she must find some way to trust her former wingman before he catches on and kills her. Even so, treachery doesn’t come easy to a woman who took a loyalty oath to protect her homeworld and comrades-in-arms, especially when Bastien is much more to her than just a former wingman.

Yet as she tries to do right for her family, she learns that Bastien doesn’t just hold the key to the fate of Kirovar, he is vital to The Sentella-League war, and to The Tavali. If she doesn’t ensure he survives this mission, three nations fall, and time for all of them is quickly running out.

 

 

Review;

I’m going to start off by saying that Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of my all time favourite authors and I have enjoyed all her stories to date. However, I seem to have mixed feelings over Born of Vengeance.  After reading Born of Legend I was hyped and ready for the next installment as I become quite intrigued by Bastien, and the position we found him in, in previous books.  Now after reading Bastien’s story I can’t help but feel a little cheated.  I was expecting more present day situation/events surrounding Bastien and Ember, but I felt like we got more back tracking and repetitive scenes/history from Hauk and Jullien(Dagger)’s books.  When we do finally get up to speed and join the present everything happens so fast that before I knew it I had the book read.  I was like, ‘that’s it, it can’t be, I want more, there needs to be more’.  Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the book, just wish there was more present day events.

Bastien is everything I hoped he would be and then some.  He’s a warrior who’s been to hell and back but somehow managed to hold onto his soul and humanity thanks to the love he still holds for Ember.  It’s that love that sustains him through his years as a Ravin, a criminal placed on the run by the League to be hunted and killed.  Bastien winds up seeking refuge on the planet Oksana where it plays havoc with communication and transmission devices.  He’s planned to hide out and wait out his Ravin sentence so that he can return to his planet Kirovar and seek revenge on Uncle Barnie as he likes to call him, and ex-wife Alura(Ember’s sister) over everything that’s happened to him.  Mind you, through all the back tracking/history of Bastien’s time on Oksana we do learn more about him; how he becomes friendly with the Sentella and is offered a position with them should he ever want one, we see more of his relationship with Jullien and his family, as well as how he becomes friends with Thraix and Trejan.  In hindsight I guess you can say the back tracking wasn’t all that bad, and did serve a purpose for when we reach present day.

Once we do reach present day and Bastien is gunning for revenge, events from here on in do move fast.  Bastien and Ember are reunited and have a common goal, Bastien learns he has a son with Ember, Florian, whom he loves instantly upon meeting the boy.  Absolutely loved this scene, it was perfectly written and the interaction between Bastien and his son is priceless.  In this scene we see the true Bastien come to the forefront, the man with a heart of gold, who will die before he sees any harm done to those he loves and holds dear. He may be a warrior honed in the fires of hell, but underneath it all, he’s just a cuddly teddy bear.  We also see this side of Bastien whenever he’s with Ember.  He loves her so deeply that there is no Bastien without Ember.  His love for her, and Ember’s love for Bastien flows off the pages and makes you root for them to finally get their HEA.  Bastien and Ember are solid characters who match each other in everyway which makes them perfect for one another.  Even her sisters adore him and welcome him back with open arms, which was another cute scene that makes you want Bastien to succeed all the more.  Another fun scene is when Bastien meets Trajen once he’s finally rid of his Ravin tracking device. Upon introduction via  Jullien he uses Bastien’s royal title, to which Bastien quickly lets him know ‘it’s just Bastien, or Bas, asshole if you must’.  Trajen’s response is priceless; “Aw god, there are two of you in this universe.” As he shakes his head and walks away muttering under his breath.  I was LOL, at poor Trajen at this point. 

Of course it wouldn’t be a Kenyon book without her rag tag band of unique characters.  It was nice to see many of our old and current favourites return, along with some newbies to help Bastien, Ember and her sisters out.  The interactions between these characters is ROTFL’ing moments where you can’t help but think ‘my goodness how have they survived this long’.  Their antics and actions are off the wall and completely insane at the best of times.  It’s no wonder they all get along and have formed friendships, they’re all a little kooky.  It’s one of the reasons I love Kenyon’s books, her characters crack me up. 

Another highlight of the book was the little bonus story/chapter after Born of Vengeance.  It centers on Nyk and Jullien so we get to see how they’ve may in roads to being more brotherly with each other.  Nyk is entrusting his eldest daughter to Jullien to be trained in the Tavali ways.  Loved the interactions between these two and then watching Jullien with Nyk’s kids is simply adorable.  It’s a lovely written chapter, one that leaves you wanting more from these two brothers.  Here’s hoping we get more of these bonus chapters, or maybe, hopefully Thia’s story being told in the near future, with more brotherly interactions. 

After writing up this review I’ve come to the conclusion that yes I did indeed enjoy Born of Vengeance, even though I had some issues with the back tracking/history lessons.  It was full of the ingredients I’ve come to find in a Kenyon book and has me wanting more as I wait for the next installment.  Guess that’s why she’s the author and not me 😉  For any Kenyon fan this is a good addition to the series, now bring  on Mack and Ryn!!

Until next time my fellow Menyons, happy reading!! 

Reviewed by Marcie

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Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind – a Review

Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind – a Review

 

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Description:
Onetime lieutenant of the evil Emperor Jagang, known as “Death’s Mistress” and the “Slave Queen”, the deadly Nicci captured Richard Rahl in order to convince him that the Imperial Order stood for the greater good. But it was Richard who converted Nicci instead, and for years thereafter she served Richard and Kahlan as one of their closest friends–and one of their most lethal defenders.

Now, with the reign of Richard and Kahlan finally stablized, Nicci has set out on her own for new adventures. Her first job being to keep the unworldly prophet Nathan out of trouble…

 

 

Review:

Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind is the 1st book in his new series, Sister of Darkness: The Nicci Chronicles. I am a big fan of Goodkind’s  Sword of Truth series, and was happy with the end of the arc of Richard and Kahlan.  Though she was a villain early on in the series, Nicci became one of my favorites (besides Cara) later on.  I was happy to see that Goodkind has started a new series that will revolve around Nicci, starting with Death’s Mistress.

At the start, our powerful sorceress Nicci and the wizard, Nathan were on a trek to visit with the witch, Red, whom Nathan had a request.  Nicci and Nathan have been assigned by Richard to visit other realms and spread the word that the war and slavery is over, and everyone is free.  Nicci decides to go with Nathan on his visit to the witch, protecting him since he would be entering dangerous grounds.  Before they leave the witch, she will tell them of their destiny;   Nathan to find the land that will restore his wizard powers, and Nicci to save the world.

What follows is an epic adventure that will bring in some new characters to join them, as they face some wild and dangerous situations that always come into play in these types of fantasy novels.  At many different stops along the way, they come across dangerous and terrible situations  with sea creatures  or sand monsters, as well as two evil beings that lost their way from using powerful spells buried deep over the years.  It will take the ultra powerful Nicci to use her magic to help save the others, as well as Nathan to help find the hidden information to stop the villains from destroying the world. 

This is an exciting, non stop action filled story that has you totally engrossed in this adventure.  It is difficult to tell too much more, as you need to read and visualize the action.  I loved Nicci, and despite her being hard core, she has changed so much since changing her total loyalty to Richard, and in this book we begin to see a small change to her becoming emotionally attached.  The two new characters who we meet early were very likeable.  Bannon is a young man whom Nicci helps save, and then he joins her and Nathan on their adventure.  Thistle is young girl, who loses her family in one of the horrible attacks; she too joins with them.  There were many emotional moments throughout the book, which included being on the edge of your seat, fear and even tears. 

Terry Goodkind has given us a new series that allows us to stay in the Sword of Truth world, with the focus on Nicci as our heroine.  I for one am thrilled about this series, and will be waiting for the next one.  If you are a fantasy lover, as well as Sword of Truth fan, I recommend you read Death’s Mistress.


Reviewed by Barb

 

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Justice Ascending (Scorpius Syndrome #3) by Rebecca Zanetti-a review

JUSTICE ASCENDING (Scorpius Syndrome #3) by Rebecca Zanetti- a review

Justice Ascending

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 31, 2017

Before surviving the Scorpius bacterium, Tace Justice was a good ole Texas cowboy who served his country and loved his mama. After Scorpius, the world became dark, dangerous, and deadly… and so did he. The Vanguard medic is stronger, faster, and smarter than before, but he’s lost the line between right and wrong. His passion is absolute, and when he focuses it on one woman, there’s no turning back for either of them.

Sami Steel has been fighting to survive right alongside Tace, convincing the Vanguard soldiers she’s one of them. In truth, Sami is a former hacker turned government agent who worked at The Bunker, where scientists stored both contaminants and cures. Only she knows the location, and she’s not telling. Yet when sexual fire explodes between her and Tace, she’ll face even that hell again to save him.

••••••••••

REVIEW: JUSTICE ASCENDING is the third full length installment in Rebecca Zanetti’s THE SCORPIUS SYNDROME cross genre Sci-Fi/ UF/Dystopian series focusing on a biological pandemic sweeping the world that has already killed 99% of the US population. This is former Texas cowboy and soldier Tace Justice, and former LAPD rookie Sami Steel’s story line that looks at life in the aftermath, and the fallout from an unknown bacteria-from space. The story line advances the series but a few days. For more background information and some history, there is a prequel novella-SCORPIUS RISING-which can be found in the ON THE HUNT anthology (August 2015).

SOME BACKGROUND: Some of those infected with the biological virus have survived to become something known as a Ripper, but there are two types of Rippers inhabiting the world-one is a zombie like creature who feasts on the living; the other is a survivor whose brain has been altered resulting in a stronger, more powerful enhanced human being sometimes bordering on the sociopath ideology with delusions of grandeur and hate. If you are a fan of the series The Walking Dead, you will see many similarities in the story line premise including the search for food and supplies, attacks of the ‘undead’, and various groups of survivors vying for power and control.

Told from several third person points of view JUSTICE ASCENDING focuses on the struggle to survive as the depleting inventory at the Vanguard compound threatens the survival of anyone seeking refuge. Tace Justice, along with many other members of the compound survived the virus but the resulting after affects are slowly killing our story line hero. Tace is a former army field medic and has been ordered to the Mercenary’s compound to offer medical aid following an attack by the Elite Force and the self-proclaimed president of the USA- a man once infected by the Scorpius virus who has since become a sociopathic Ripper. Enter Sami Steel, the woman that calls to Tace’s heart, and the woman sent to scope out the Mercs for some well needed supplies. What ensues is the building relationship between Sami and Tace, Tace’s struggle to keep secret his deteriorating condition, and the search for answers at the California Bunker.

The relationship between Tace and Sami is a friends to lovers scenario-sparring partners, and compound soldiers, Tace has always been attracted to the feisty Sami Steele-a woman who keeps her past a secret –a secret that could help save Tace’s life. Tace is a mercurial hero, a man who struggles with the dark demons that have affected his brain and his mind. The $ex scenes are erotic, intense and passionate-there are some scenes of spanking and discipline.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Vanguard leader Jax Mercury and Lynne Harmony (Mercury Striking #1), mercenary Raze Shadow, and FBI profiler Vivienne (Vinnie) Wellington (Shadow Falling #2), as well as a number of soldier and people at the compounds both Vanguard and Mercenary. The Vanguard facility must contend with a growing number of people free of the virus hoping to keep themselves ‘pure’- the purists is a cult-like group who follow another self-proclaimed leader Pastor Zachary King who will protect his followers from the Scorpius virus. We are re- introduced to Damon Winter and Greyson Storm (leader of the Mercs) two men who struggle to keep their own people alive. The requisite evil includes President Bret Atherton, and his Elite Force of soldiers. Not everyone will survive.

JUSTICE ASCENDING is a story of survival set in a futuristic world where only the strongest survive; an action packed tale of death and destruction, love and loss, secrets and lies, struggle and freedom. New alliances are made; old enemies go down in flames. The premise is unique and imaginative; the characters are spirited, flawed and intense; the romance is passionate and challenging.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews

Scorpius Rising (On the Hunt Anthology)
Mercury Striking
Shadow Falling
Justice Ascending

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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