Fire Bound – Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love

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Authors: Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love
Series: Belador #1.5
Pages: 95

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A dangerous creature is on the loose. Evalle, Tzader and Quinn take a VIPER team just outside of Atlanta for a sting operation that takes a deadly turn. Killing the half-human creature would be easy, but national security is on the line until the team can discover who created the monster, and whether more like it are waiting in the wings to be unleashed on the human world. The op goes bad with Beladors in the middle of it, and nothing turns out as expected, least of all for Evalle.

This is a short story that you can get for free in many places. One of them is the official page of Sherrilyn Kenyon. I want to stop starting sagas and then forget about them, so one of my really late New Year resolutions is going to be keep reading at least the book series I have started this year. And reconnect with some of the ones I forgot about a lot time ago (soooo many!!). I have even created a Goodreads shelf for them in order to keep them in mind.

The story of this book takes place several months before the first one. Some VIPER agents (Evalle included) have to investigate the weird killings of several expensive cows. They find that the culprit is a bizarre creature that someone has engineered. They must investigate the issue and neutralize the crazy guy experimenting with monsters.

Taking into account this is a pretty short book, I don’t have much to say. It’s pure action, which is what I was looking for. There is not character development. The contrary would be weird, because this story takes place before the first book. Fortunately, there is enough asskicking to forget and forgive that there is no kind of depth storytelling in the bunch of pages of Fire Bound.

OK. Maybe I have lied a little bit. We get to know the origin story of Evalle’s pet, so that’s kind of great and unexpected. He is such a cute gargoyle thingy!! I wonder if what we have learned about it (him? her?) will have an impact in future books… Wait and read, I suppose. Will I stay true to my word and read Alterant this year? I hope so!!

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2018 – Book Gallery

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Intensity – Sherrilyn Kenyon

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Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Chronicles of Nick #8

Pages: 400

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It’s a demon-eat-demon world for Nick Gautier. Just when he thinks he’s finally gotten a handle on how not to take over the world and destroy it, Death returns with an all-star cast that is determined to end the Malachai reign and lineage forever. Worse? Death and War have found the one, true enemy Nick can’t find, and even if he did, it’s one he could never bring himself to banish or kill.

Now framed for murders he hasn’t committed, and surrounded by new friends who might be turncoats, Nick is learning fast how his father went down in flames.

The heat in New Orleans is rising fast, and Nick’s threat-level has gone into a whole new level of intensity. He’s learning fast that when War and Death decide to battle, they don’t take prisoners. The don’t negotiate. And they’re both immune to his biting sarcasm and Cajun charm. To win this, he will have to embrace a new set of powers, but one wrong step, and he will belong to the side of Darkness, forever.

I have already said this over here, but I don’t mind repeating myself about that matter: Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of my favourite authors ever!! I love her crazy universes where anything could happen. Her sense of humor. Her love for redeeming the irredeemable. Her sense of adventure. Kenyon’s books are always a pleasure to read!! The Chronicles of Nick is the saga that I enjoy the most. But Intensity is the book I have enjoyed the least; but it’s not a bad book at all.

It’s hard to say what is the plot of this one. Is there really a plot? It feels like the last chapter of a TV Show where the main character just makes a tour among their people to say goodbye. Everyone must get some minutes for a proper ending. The problem with Kenyon is that she likes her books packed with characters, so this book is 90% talking with other characters without any further development. Yes, Nick has some trouble… but it’s not really the most important part of the book. The story is all about more revelations about the Malachai history and little more.

This is meant to be the last book of The Chronicles of Nick saga, but Kenyon, being true to her nature, couldn’t stop here and she is planning a new set of books with Nick and his son Cyprian: Shadows of Fire. This is really good news because I love the characters. But it has also meant bad news for the ending of The Chronicles of Nick. It has been weak, leaving a lot of holes that I guess will be filled nicely in that new saga. It’s not fair, though. This saga deserved a big ending and not this huge menage of characters with a couple of minutes for each.

The reason I love Kenyon’s crazy universes is the same reason I have been a bit lost reading this book. Granted, I’ve been away for too long from the Hunterverse and my knowledge of the characters isn’t as exhaustive as before. It’s the kind of saga where you need a notepad to make notes about all the cast and facts. Otherwise, you are going to feel overwhelmed sooner or later. I could barely keep up with all the characters in this last book of The Chronicles of Nick. As I’ve said before, it seems that almost every character had something to say to Nick…

When I was almost at the end of the book I had a bad feeling about the ending. There were a lot of plot lines that needed to be closed and the author wasn’t aiming for any of those. What happens at the end has left me speechless and a bit angry. I will have to re-read it, because I’m not sure if I have understood it. The jumps in the timeline are crazier that usual, which doesn’t help at all with my understanding of the final book.

I know this review looks bad, but the book is very enjoyable. Nick is as saracstic as always and that always makes me smile. I LOVE all the characters of this Universe, so I’m glad everyone had a moment to at least say something. Fingers crossed we will see most of them in other books of the Hunterverse.

By the way… what is the deal with the cover?? They have broken the template of the saga with this one. It’s not a bad cover per se, but it is very disappointing. I guess it is as weird as the the book itself, though.

 

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2018 – Book Gallery

A Line in the Sand – K. A. Stewart

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Author: K. A. Stewart
Series: Jesse James Dawson #5
Pages: 306

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Jesse James Dawson is a husband and father who never intended to be the guardian of 275 extra souls, or to find himself in the middle of a demon war. When that war comes right to his front door, endangering his family, he is forced to seek aid from the last people he ever wanted to ask: the Catholic church and the priest sent to protect him, Cameron.

The Order of St. Silvius is made up of warrior-priests, operating out of its home base in Vatican City. The holy order has been facing off with demons for centuries. In a city as ancient and steeped in magic as Rome is, a few centuries is plenty of time to hide a few secrets, and what Jesse and Cameron don’t know could get them killed.

First of all, I LOVE this saga!! I swear I love it!! Even though I bought the book two years ago and haven’t read until today, I LOVE the saga!! I just have a lot of selfcontrol… OK. OK. I’m busted. I truly love this saga, but I forgot about the fifth book until I saw it in my shelf… still wrapped with the plastic used by the delivery company. Shame on me!!

I have always been a slow reader by choice, but lately I’m even slower due to the duties of life. This book of Jesse James has lasted about two days… that’s how much I LOVE this saga!! Yes, I will always use capital letters. My love is big!! Also, the book is kind of short; but still this time record is a big deal for me. Anyway, I guess you haven’t entered here to read about myself, so… Let’s review a book, shall we?

Jesse James Dawson is a demon hunter that not long ago became the vessel of 275 souls. As in every fantasy book, souls are pretty powerful and a wet dream for any baddie out there. So, his life is in constant danger due to them. He even lives with two bodyguards that keep him safe at all time. But the good Jesse knows that he can’t continue like that. He has a wfie and children… Demons breaking and entering at all time is not really the best scenario to rise a family.

So, the quest begins to get rid of the souls!! The companions: Sveta, the deadly champion; Cameron, the warlock priest and Ivan, the sick mentor. All of them travel to Rome to meet the leader of Cam’s Order (warrior monks or something like that). Jesse hopes that Order could help him to release the souls so nobody can claim their power. Obviously, nothing is as simple as that and soon the whole team is running for their lives. The whole team + a local nun that could totally be a superhero based in Italy. Is there something the lady couldn’t do? She is even funny!! K. A. Stewart is SO good creating characters!! Every time I finish a book of this saga I think about a half dozen characters that could have their own books. Fingers crossed for future spin-offs!!

Even though I LOVE Jesse, my all-time favourite is Axel. It’s not because he is a blond bad boy, not at all (OK, OK… a little bit of that). The main reason is because he is a mystery. He is a demon, but more than evil we could say he is mischievous (think about Loki). Yes, he has his own agenda; but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care for Jesse and company. I honestly think he is a good guy and the author has given me a lot of points to support that in this book. I won’t spoiler them, but let’s say I wasn’t expecting that revelation about Axel.

As always, the book is packed with action and crazy funny jokes. Yes, I get Jesse’s sense of humor. And I LOVE (I promise, I won’t do this again) all his T-shirts!! Where does he get so many silly ones? I have never seen anything like that in any shop of my town!! This book has made me laugh hard more often than not.

The end is heartbreakening… I wasn’t expecting that :(. I hope everything gets better, but doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon. The sixth book hasn’t been published yet. I don’t even know if K. A. Stewart has finished it. We will have to wait and I promise I won’t forget reading the next one.

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Next: Foget Me Not by Brooke Blaine

Blood Trinity – Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love

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Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love
Series: Belador #1
Pages: 519

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All her life, Evalle has been straddling the line between human and demon. Curious about her origins, but content to live in the shadows, she finds that anonymity threatened by escalating conflicts between species. Accused of a savage murder, she’s forced center stage in what seems like the beginning of an Atlanta apocalypse. Before long though, her personal problems will submerge as she learns startling facts about a hoard of supernatural terrorists.

This book has been in one of my shelfs for several years, but finally I have picked it. One more series I start… I’m a series starter. Not so much a finisher. But I’m still young, so…

Urban Fantasy is by far my favourite genre, even though I read romance more. That’s because in Spain, the former is not very popular. I always have to explain what Urban Fantasy is to my friends and family. As you can imagine, few books of that genre are found in bookshops over here. Urban Fantasy by Sherrilyn Kenyon is a plus. She is one of my favourite writers, no matter what she writes.

The fist book of the Belador saga is just a huge display of the fictional world both authors have imagined. There are character introductions in every chapter and, by the end of the book, the cast size is quite impressive. It’s the kind of character display I’m used to finding in Paranormal Romance, where authors present the characters that will star in the upcoming books. But in the Belador series it seems we are not changing the main character any time soon. So, yeah, the character treatment is unexpected for the Urban Fanatasy genre. The description of the male ones is SO typical of Romance books. Something I can totally understand taking into account both authors are also romance writers.

Enough rambling! Did I like the book? No doubt about that. The main character is Evalle, a Belador (some kind of celtic warrior) that keeps demon at bay. But she is a special branch of Belador called Alterant. They are very rare. The main difference is that they can shift into very dangerous beasts. If an Alterant becomes a monster, it’s captured and locked forever. That’s why Evalle works harder than most and keeps most of her work mates far away. She has huge trusting issues for several reasons: her Alterant condition, tough childhood… She only has two Belador friends: Tzader and Quinn (a couple of über sexy hunks, of course).

This books opens a lot of plot lines and barely close any: the search of the Ngak Stone before it claims a new host, the impending trial before the Tribunal to decide her fate, the mysterious Isak’s inquisition, the getting to know Storm, the blind woman and the Kujoo… And I bet I’m forgetting something. It’s a bit too much and many of those end in a “To be continued” that, for some reason, has been more hurtful than other cliffhangers I have encountered so far. On the other hand, so much in the plate has made this book very fast paced, which is always a nice plus for Urban Fantasy. It’s a genre where you expect a lot of ass-kicking. This one delivers.

The mythology Dianna and Sherrilyn have created is very rich, as I always expect in a Kenyon book. It can feel a bit cramped for the untrained reader, but it’s always good to know that the following books will have a crazy Universe to plant their roots. The crazier the Universe, the better an Urban Fantasy book will be. That’s my opinion, at least.

There is also a bit of romance involved. Evalle hasn’t got a couple in her whole life, but suddenly she finds two candidates: Storm and Isak. Both tall, handsome and ripped (one more trait taken from Romance books). Isak is a human mercenary that hates supernatural beings, especially Alterants (go figure…) and Storm is a cursed werepanther. Which one I think is a better suitor for her? That’s a tough one. Isak looks like he is going to be a lot of trouble once he finds out what Evalle is; but he is still a mystery. So far, Isak has been pretty nice. Storm is actually the worst of the book, in my opinion. He is just the classic shifter from Paranormal Romance books. You know, the ones whose animal part is the one that fells in love due to a weird mystical mating… I can’t barely believe love stories when they start that way. So yeah, Storm is currently better positioned to win Evalle’s heart, but my candidate to support is going to be Isak. At least for the moment.

The main course of the book is the Ngak Stone and the Kujoo warriors. The last ones are the Belador nemesis. They want to use a very powerful artifact (the Ngak Stone) to get rid of every Belador there is. As you can imagine, there are several clashes between both factions that make the story fluid easily. There is also a nice story among a reformed Kujoo warrior and the new host for the Ngak Stone. That part is actually my favourite. Very sweet.

If you don’t mind your Urban Fantasy with a side of romance (very light romance, I swear!!), this book is very enjoyable. It doesn’t let the reader to take a breath, which conceals some of the flaws of the narration (the timeline is a mess!).

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Next: Off Base by Annabeth Albert