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Review: Demons Not Included: A Night Tracker Novel

demonsWhoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

 Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil… prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon. – Terry Pratchett

Monsters are real. You just can’t see them. And if you do? Well, a Soothsayer will make sure you forget all about it. So, it’s all good, right? Olivia’s T-Shirt says it all: People like you are the reason People like me need medication. And there is heavy need for medication going around. Because the Ruhin Demon Gate has been breached, the Gatekeeper murdered, and demons are at, and past, the gate.

Nyx is a Tracker, protector of the people of Earth from the things that go bump in the night. Of course, Nyx is one of those things that go bump in the night – a Drow Princess, half Dark Elf, half human, crazily strong, crazily brave, and more fragile than most would understand. She lives between worlds, not only as a Tracker but also in her very makeup. By day, she works as a PI beside her friend Olivia, a human. But by night, Nyx is Drow, or as close as she can get. Her half-blood heritage means she her skin is amethyst rather than blue, her hair cobalt rather than sapphire, but she is still Drow in her heart, and her Drow powers of manipulation of the elements, strength and speed mean that she is very, very good at her job. But the sudden presence of demons in Manhattan changes everything. As Trackers die, and their human liaisons disappear, Nyx’s strength will be tested beyond anything she ever imagined – and the whole world will be at risk.

This first in the series had the potential to be “just another UF.” There is the expected cast of characters – vampires, werewolves and elves (Oh, my) as well as characters that aren’t often seen, such as shadow stalkers and metamorphs. But Cheyenne McCray has done a wonderful job of taking this book to a new level, writing a much more character-driven novel than one normally sees. There are twists and turns, some seriously messed-up stuff, and the truth of never knowing if those who you believe to be your friends truly are.

This is a great start to the series, and I look forward to reading more.

I was given this book as a gift from a friend. All thoughts are my own.

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Review: Into The Fire by Jodi McIsaac

intothefireCedar McLeod had a quiet life before the action in Through the Door, the first book in The Thin Veil series. A tired, overworked single mother, Cedar and her daughter Eden still manage to have a happy life. But one day, things change drastically. For Eden is more than she seems. So very, very much more. A single open door sends Eden and Cedar on a terrifying slide into horror and despair, as the teachings of Cedar’s mother, to not ever tell Eden of her father, pushes a child to make a devastating error – an error which cost lives, and lead to the kidnapping and terrorizing of Eden, and a trip across space and time to the land of Tír na nÓg, and a battle to save two worlds.

As Into the Fire, the second in The Thin Veil series, begins Eden and Cedar, and their newly found family, including Eden’s father Finn, have returned to Tír na nÓg. Destined for the throne, Cedar finds instead that Nuala, Eden’s kidnapper and the partner of the destroyer of Tír na nÓg, has entranced the Council, and is making a strong bid for the throne herself. Though Cedar’s parents were the King and Queen before their deaths and baby Cedar’s banishment to Earth, she finds that she must fight for her position, and for the protection of her family – and to save Tír na nÓg from the evil Nuala. It won’t be easy, and she will have to fight against the very people who should be working to help her, but in order to save her world, it must be done. Filled with Celtic myth, mystery, suspense and adventure, this second installment of The Thin Veil series is as good, if not better than, the first – and I great look forward to the third!

I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Review: Through The Door by Jodi McIsaac – Highly Recommended

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

~John McCrae

What connects two thousand years of genocide? Too much power in too few hands. – Simon Wiesenthal

…the Tuatha De Danann or Sidhe, the ‘Gentry’, the ‘Good People’, and the ‘People of Peace’ are described as a race of invisible divine beings eternally young and unfading. They inhabit fairy palaces, enjoy rare feasts and love-making, and have their own music and minstrelsy. They are essentially majestic in their nature…Mythologically they are gods of light and good, able to control natural phenomena so as to make harvests come forth abundantly or not at all. — W. Y. Evans-Wentz; The Faerie Faith in Celtic Countries, 1911 (quoted by Michael Tsarion)

throughthedoor
Click to purchase the book, and to learn more about Jodi McIsaac. Highly Recommended!

Millennia. Millennia beyond counting, the Tuatha De Danann graced the lands of Tír na nÓg. Tír na nÓg, where fields of flowers . . . caress those who walked past, waterfalls of crystal nectar, trees that sang and danced and hung heavy with fruit. . . And yet, though they despise the humans that drove them from Ériu and back to the lands of Tuatha De Danann, the lands of plenty and peace.

Click this link to visit the beautiful land of Ériu

And yet, even the Tuatha De Danann are not immune to war. And war there is, a war of hatred and greed, a war led by a psychopath. For sometimes, living forever is dangerous in the extreme. Long years of thought, of jealousy and avarice, and bitter blackness of the heart. Those who are undying can be killed – and the slaughter is beyond comprehension.

Many years later, we meet Cedar McLeod as she enjoys a busker fair with her beloved Finn, her boyfriend of two years, and the love of her life. Having a wonderful time with Finn, she is also excited for another reason – for she has a secret, of the baby sort, and she is trying to find the right moment to tell him during this wonderful day. Just as she begins to impart her news, however, Finn suddenly tenses up, then rushes Cedar to her apartment and leaves. The next morning, Cedar walks into Finn’s apartment only to discover it empty and he is gone without a trace . . .

Forward seven years, and though Cedar is an exhausted, overworked single mother, she has her own mother for support and a deep and abiding love for her daughter, Eden. Oh, yes, it is hard to look upon her sweet face at times, for Eden is the spitting image of her father. But her great love for her child lays all those pains aside, to be pulled out only in the dark of the night, alone in her bed. Life isn’t wonderful, but with Eden’s presence, life is good.

But things are about to change. For Eden is more than she seems. So very, very much more. A single open door will send Eden and Cedar on a terrifying slide into horror and despair, as the teachings of Cedar’s mother, to not ever tell Eden of her father, push a child to make a devastating error – an error which will cost lives, and lead Cedar and Eden on a trip across seas, and across time and space, in a desperate bid to return Eden home.

Through the Door is a modern day urban fantasy of the very best kind. Filled with fantasy creatures, of course, this isn’t just a fantasy. It has deeply embedded strands of thriller and suspense, mystery and terror that step this up from just fantasy to something so much more. War and death, psychopathy and greed, power and politics play a strong role, for even the gods themselves are not perfect. Add to that the fact that Jodi McIsaac has done a stunning job of research into the world of Tír na nÓg and the Tuatha De Danann, and the writing itself is beautifully done, and this is a highly recommended read. And don’t forget – the final book of the trilogy is out! That means that you can sit down and read all three straight through – how awesome is THAT?

Into The Fire (The Thin Veil Book 2)
Beyond the Pale: A Thin Veil Novella (The Thin Veil 2.5)
Among The Unseen (The Thin Veil Book 3)

jodi
Click to go to Jodi’s site!

 About Jodi:

I grew up in New Brunswick, Canada. After stints as a short-track speed skater, a speechwriter, and fundraising and marketing executive in the nonprofit sector, I started a boutique copywriting agency and began writing novels in the wee hours of the morning. I currently live with my husband and two feisty daughters in Calgary, Alberta.

I love to connect with readers, so come say hello on FacebookTwitter, or Goodreads!

_______________________________________________

I received this book from the publisher, 47North, in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own and are not influenced by this fact. If you enjoyed my review, please click “This review was helpful” at Amazon.com. Thank you!

Release Launch: Finding Us by Megan Smith

Front Cover
Finding Us The Newest novel by Megan Smith USA Today Bestselling Author!

I owe Ms. Smith an apology. She had expected this to be posted on the 22nd, but personal issues kept me away from home, so it is just being posted today. Sorry, Ms. Smith! Your cover is beautiful!
SYNOPSIS:
Jasmine Jennings is running from her past, something she never wants to deal with again. Starting out fresh in a new city, life is finally looking up.

That is until she meets him — Knox Mitchell. She tries to elude him, but he’s everywhere. When she finally gives in, he begins to avoid her.

One tragic night, Knox’s future was ripped away. His body and soul crave revenge from the man who took everything away from him, but when Jasmine crashes into Knox’s muddled life, he’s torn. What is he supposed to do about falling for the girl who was to be part of his plan for retaliation?

When all secrets are revealed can they move forward without the past destroying any hopes of having a future?

Add to your TBR List:
Goodreads ~ Finding Us

AUTHOR BIO:
USA TODAY bestselling author Megan Smith is a New Jersey native managing purchasing for an award-winning business IT and softwaredevelopment firm – and by night creating the memorable characters her fans have grown to adore. Smith’s The Love Series introduces readers to MacKenzie Cahill – a hopeful young woman who experiences adversity, challenges and the bittersweet triumph of true, authentic love.
Smith is a wife and mother, who makes time for her family, professional life and the creation of the Cahill’s world. Fans of The Love Series – Trying Not To Love You, Easy To Love You, Hard To Love You – are captivated by relationships, special bonds and family ties pervasive in Smith’s emotional, energized and engaging work. Smith is also the author of the 2014 releases, Let Me Love You – continuations of The Love Series, Finding Us (Finding Series) and a few top secret projects.

Pic of Megan
Megan Smith USA Today Bestselling Author!

STAY CONNECTED WITH MEGAN SMITH:
Website: http://www.authormegansmith.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authormegansmith
Twitter @AuthorMSmith
Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/kyx5x7y

 

 

On Unfaithful Wings (Icarus Fell, #1) by Bruce Blake


A Noir Urban Fantasy — FIVE STARS

on unfaithful wingsI first ran across Mr. Blake when I saw his second book, “All Who Wander Are Lost” in my regular daily “freebooksie.com” mailing. I am always thrilled to get those – I don’t always find all of the books to my taste, but the cover of that one grabbed me right away and the description sounded interesting, so I downloaded it. I started reading it this morning before noticing it was a second in series, after “On Unfaithful Wings”. After reading a few pages, I was hooked and downloaded OUF so I could start at the beginning. I am so glad I did.

The characters of the Icarus Fell novels are by no means bright and cheery ‘angels running around with wings saving souls’ and these are no bright and sparkly novels. They are dark, moody pieces with a deeply noir feeling and a sharp edge to the humour which abounds throughout the book. Icarus himself, the victim of vicious childhood abuse by a priest, finds himself lost and alone on the streets, deep into drugs and booze, traumatized past what he considers any sort of salvation at all. Murdered one night in the graveyard of the same church where his abuse took place, he awakens six months later in a nasty No-Tell Motel to find that he is a Reaper of sorts. And things get even weirder and darker after that.

It. Was. Awesome. The whole feeling of the book can be described by this quote from the early pages:

“And, let’s face it, if God existed, he probably looked down one day on the shite he created, packed up his tent and went somewhere else to give it another shot, hoping for better luck on the second go-round.”

Mr. Blake does a perfect job of skewering the ridiculous nature of religion when looked at from a logical rather than superstitious view. The angels are, at best, incompetent clowns more intent on their political games than on actually doing good. One of the ‘good’ angels is guilty of rape and another is more interested in proving a point than helping Icarus save either his son or a kind-hearted selfless nun.

Is Icarus really better off helping the so-called good guys? Or are the so-called good guys so far off of reality that they don’t even qualify as such any longer? Child molesting priests meant to go to heaven, nuns carted off to hell and one comment by an angel that really points out the weirdness of it all:

“Murder is a tool. Just because someone kills someone else, it doesn’t make them evil. You’re all instruments of God.”

Perfect! Murdered and abused children, rape, torture. It’s all good! Blake writes the story that I have always wanted to write – if there really is a God, it is removed far enough from our reality as to no longer exist, if it ever did at all. And he does it with a turn of phrase and intelligence that led me at warp speed through his writing.

Overall, this is a dark, moody piece which left me sad in places and laughing hysterically in others. A Reaper who has a solid body and can be shot, knifed and beaten – and can’t really afford a car to go pick up his next soul for delivery? Love it. I am so looking forward to the next installment. If you are a fan of the old noir detective stories, the Nightside novels, or similar you will these novels. Off to read the next one!

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