Tag Archives: #amreadingfantasy

Review of Lineage by C. Vonzale Lewis

41084948._SY475_Smart-mouthed Nicole Fontane has a way of getting herself into trouble. She’s been fired from every job she’s had but still refuses to work in her father’s apothecary shop because of his practice of Earth Magick. On Tulare Island where Nicole grew up, Magick has always been a way of life—one she’s determined to avoid at all costs.

With less than two hundred dollars in the bank and rent due, Nicole is forced to take a job at Tribec Insurance as a last resort. Little does she realize, the moment she sets foot inside the building, she becomes a pawn. A sinister force has set its sights on her and will stop at nothing to use her in a sadistic game.

Tribec’s proprietors, the Stewart family, are curiously preoccupied with the Naqada, the mysterious pre-dynastic Egyptian society. Nicole finds it creepy, but on the bright side, the job reconnects her with her estranged friend, Marta. Yet the eerie atmosphere, disappearing Magick wards, and the smell of blood inside Tribec bring Nicole to a startling conclusion—the Stewarts are practicing Blood Magick, the deadliest of the Five Principles. By the time Nicole uncovers the truth, Marta and her four children have gone missing, and all signs implicate the Stewarts and an archaic blood ritual to an Old One, a Naqada god imprisoned on Tulare Island.

Battling the evil of Blood Magick will demand Nicole to confront a hidden past and unlock the Magick buried within. But can she set aside her deep-rooted fears to work with a team of vigilante Mages? Or will the clock run out on Marta and her children—and on Nicole?

My Review:

 

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Dark magic, a snarky main character, and a fast-paced high-stakes mystery made for a fun (if intense) read. A few scenes sent chills up my spine and violence was for sure a critical aspect to the book’s intensity.

In this magic-infused mess that our main character Nicole finds herself entangled in, we get to meet a lot of really cool, mysterious side characters, from the ‘patient’ Jonah and his barely contained violence to the swoony Alex and his tortured past. Lineage was an intense, pull-no-punches thriller, and I’m excited to read the next book in the series.

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Review: Collateral Damage by Taylor Simonds

Collateral Damage

Power. Courage. Invincibility. The marks of a true hero.

Meg Sawyer has none of these things.

Meg has never stopped a moving bus with her bare hands, been bitten by a radioactive insect, or done anything moderately resembling saving the world. She doesn’t have to. She’s a background citizen, a nobody, one of the swarms of faceless civilians of Lunar City–where genetically enhanced superhumans straight out of the comics have thwarted evil for years.

For as long as the Supers have existed, Meg has had one goal: to not become a casualty in their near-daily battles for justice. And for the last seventeen years, she’s managed to do just that. Sure, her minimum-wage job at the local coffee shop isn’t great, she can’t even leave her apartment without loading herself up with protective gear, and her car was just hijacked to throw at a supervillain (again), but she’s not dead yet.

But when Meg accidentally finds one of the city’s perfect, invincible protectors murdered under extremely suspicious circumstances, her whole “innocent bystander” strategy falls apart. After being coerced by his determined girlfriend into a mission to help prevent the deaths of the remaining Supers, Meg finds herself forced into the foreground of a story she never wanted to be part of—one that challenges everything she thought she knew about both her city and herself.

My Review:

I’ve been on sort of a superhero kick lately (hello Avengers!), reading the ‘Archenemies’ series and ‘The Supervillain and Me.’ But Taylor Simonds’ Collateral Damage is such a unique take on the premise of living in a superhero-infested city, it was a breath of fresh air.

Simonds’ fresh perspective of the ‘everywoman’ civilian was spot-on. I loved Meg, and her cynicism with all of the heroes and villains running around, just tired of being stuck in-between as … here it is – collateral damage.  Great title, by the way! It sums up what’s going on in the midst of all the Supers, and even takes things like insurance and damage reimbursement into account.

Simonds’ writing was fast-paced and fun, and she didn’t pull any punches with what happens when people are seen as expendable. I already mentioned Meg, but I loved Oliver and the whole cast of Supers (not giving away their identities, so don’t worry).

Totally worthwhile, fun read!

The Wicked King by Holly Black

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The Wicked King

(The Folk of the Air #2)

by

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

My Review
Ah, Holly Black…. how I love your worlds! I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time, because I’ve been feeling a lot of withdrawal from Holly’s rich words, revels, and debauchery. She paints a vivid image of magic rules, unearthly figures of terror and beauty, and most importantly, the complexity of human emotions entangled among the cruelty of immortals.
Jude isn’t my favorite of Holly’s characters, if only because, just like the warrior girl herself, I need her to be soft when she cannot be soft. Her stubbornness and inability to trust became a hindrance to some of the relationships I needed to see in this book. My other request – more Cardan!!!! The subtleties of his rich, complex character were wasted on cameos.
I’m hoping for Cardan to become the major player he deserves to be in the third book. Yikes….the wait!!!
4 stars