Past Tense — Jack Reacher #23, by Lee Child

Past Tense by Lee Child My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is a review of the NetGalley e-book version, so there may be subsequent changes. First off, it’s Lee Child, and so you know the story is going to be good. I stayed up until 2AM finishing the last few chapters. The character of Jack Reacher is well established from prior novels, but from this novel the reader gets a strong feel for his ability, sense of responsibility, and duty. Characters on both sides of the good-evil spectrum are also well developed, as one would expect. The setting is … Read More

Lord of Fire — Wytchfae #5, by Flossie Benton Rogers

Lord of Fire by Flossie Benton Rogers My rating: 3 of 5 stars This is a quick and fun read, a cross between fantasy and romance, with a bit of action sprinkled in. The world-build is interesting, in that Fae and other creatures use cell phones and drive cars, and the ability to travel to other realities and times is taken as a given (probably built up in the prior books, as this is #5 in the series). The writer is clearly an expert in Reiki and chakras, and she does a nice job conveying how the colors, crystals, and … Read More

Review of Beneath the Fallen City, by Jamie A. Waters

Beneath the Fallen City by Jamie A. Waters My rating: 5 of 5 stars Beneath the Fallen City by Jamie A. Waters tracks the life of a post apocalyptic young woman as she discovers her origins. The world-build that Waters constructs appears to be Earth in a future where the cities have been destroyed by war and the ozone layer has been depleted, such that people on the surface require UV protection. The overlords dwelling the in towers rarely brave the surface, while the ruin rats and traders extract resources from the devastation. It’s clever and sets up obvious conflict … Read More

Review of Atticus Crayle: The Accidental Spy, by Jason Rybak

Atticus Crayle: The Accidental Spy by Jason Rybak My rating: 5 of 5 stars Atticus Crayle is the classic young adult hero. He has the brains but not the brawn, and he has mad skills despite his face being an open book. This first installment of the Mondial series introduces Atticus during his initial spy mission, one of trial by fire. He’s shot, attacked, and worse, attracted to a young female with similar interests to his.During his ordeal to rescue the kidnapped girl, and then the kidnapped rescuer, he never loses his head (except when encountering attractive members of the … Read More

Review of Chad Queen’s “The Bearer’s Burden — Phantom Pact #1”

The Bearer’s Burden by Chad Queen My rating: 5 of 5 stars Chad Queen demonstrates brilliant imagination with his complex world-build. Chalice is a place where those appropriately trained can conscript the phantoms of the recently passed by entering into a pact with them. The price is high–having more than one consciousness simultaneously can drive the bearer insane. However, Cade Elegy, the protagonist, fights through this and many other battles in this primary installment of this new series. In addition to the masterful world build, Queen tells a great story. The plot has twists and turns, and the ending satisfies. … Read More

Review of Relentless, by Karen Lynch — Awesome!!

Relentless by Karen Lynch My rating: 5 of 5 stars In Relentless, Karen Lynch brings to life every mythical creature ever considered. From vampires and werewolves to trolls, goblins and imps, she builds a world containing all manner of fantastic creatures. Set in the Northeast US, the hidden universe exists outside the vision of the human population, who only see the occasional carnage.A major subplot involves vampires and the vampire hunters, which Lynch handles superbly. She explains the natural history of the relationship, and the reader doesn’t feel slighted about the reasons why this conflict exists.She also does a wonderful … Read More

Review of “The Game” by Terry Schott

The Game by Terry Schott My rating: 2 of 5 stars Initially, I expected to leave a stellar review. The concept of recreating “The Matrix” with different parameters got me turning the pages. In this book, Earth is a virtual reality where the players–who are children in the “real” world–are born, experience life in the VR, and die with only minimal passage of time. They then take their performance-based earnings and re-enter with additional capacity. Meanwhile, the wealthy of Tygon watch in a “Hunger Games” fashion as the virtual lives unfold. It’s an interesting premise, albeit clearly adapted from other … Read More

Review of Ignited, by Desni Dantone

Ignited by Desni Dantone My rating: 5 of 5 stars I was pleasantly surprised by this paranormal urban fantasy. I picked it up free on Amazon and left it in my TBR queue for a long while before starting, but then raced through it in 2 days. It reads very quickly and the writing is excellent. The plot centers around a teen with a horrible past, such that she fears living. If not for a guardian angel, she, too would certainly be dead. She can’t even talk to her crush, she’s simply hopeless.. Then a new and even more handsome … Read More

Review of Beyond the Veil, by Pippa DaCosta

Beyond the Veil by Pippa DaCosta My rating: 4 of 5 stars Beyond the Veil creates a world where demons and humans coexist, with the emphasis on those who cross the veil from the netherworld into the human world. The protagonist, Muse, is half-blood, so she can reside on either side, having characteristics of both races. Unfortunately, half-bloods are usually killed or tortured on the other side of the veil, so she seeks peace on the human side. Tranquility is not her nature, however, and the lust of Mammon, one of the Seven Princes of Hell, sweeps Muse back into … Read More

Review of “The Changing Tide” by KA Dowling

The Changing Tide by K.A. Dowling My rating: 4 of 5 stars KA Dowling builds a relatively contemporary world where two races compete for dominance on an island where few leave, and only pirates visit. Readers learn the history of the enmity in book one, The Changing Tide. We are also introduced to Emerala the Rogue, whose value to her people is obviously significant based on the intrigue around her, but deliberately unclear heading into the second book.The cast of supporting characters includes Emerala’s family members, the rival Chancey king and military guardsman, and pirates, one of whom was born … Read More